Apple iPhone and the truly wireless AirPods are the last of Apple Inc. devices to hold on to the proprietary ‘Lightning’ port. However, a DIY enthusiastic Modder has proven that a USB Type-C port works on an iPhone.
Apple Inc. continues to resist the changeover from Lightning to USB Type-C. Although the swap would be quite easy for the company, it would lose out on the lucrative royalties. A hardware enthusiast has proven that an iPhone can not only accept a charge from a USB Type-C port but will also allow data transfer.
Apple iPhone X hardware modified to at PCB level to accept an integrated USB Type-C port:
Micro USB was once the default port on all Android smartphones. At that time, Apple had slapped a weird oblong port inside an iPhone.
Now that the Android smartphone manufacturers are moving to USB Type-C ports, Apple Inc. is adamantly selling iPhone devices with its own proprietary, Lightning port.
— ITforNote (@itfornote) October 11, 2021
The USB Type and Lightning port are not identical. They are completely different in terms of hardware design, pin layout, data speeds, file transfer protocols, etc.
Hence, it comes as a surprise that a hardware tinkerer, identified as Kenny Pi, successfully swapped out the Lightning port inside an iPhone X with a USB Type-C port.
The DIY enthusiast essentially reverse-engineered Apple’s C94 connector to create a custom PCB (Printed Circuit Board). He connected this PCB to a USB Type-C port, and carefully inserted the whole assembly inside an iPhone X.
Incidentally, Apple Inc. released the iPhone X way back in 2017. More importantly, the company zealously protects its IP.
Simply put, third-party repair shops and DIY enthusiasts have to rely on leaks and tipsters to get blueprints and even certain hardware components. Such circumstances make it extra hard to seek repairs from technicians who aren’t “Apple-certified” or do not work at Apple Care.
Surprisingly, the hardware mod from the Lightning port to USB Type-C seems to work quite well. In addition to recharging the modified iPhone X, the new port even supports data transfer.
Will Apple Inc. release iPhone devices with USB Type-C ports instead of sticking with the Lightning port?
The European Commission had recently decided that USB Type-C port should become a common standard for charging and data delivery across the European Union. The majority of electronics and smartphones have already made the switch.
Needless to say, the legislature could hit Apple Inc. the hardest. However, the company could circumvent even this piece of legislature, if or when it comes into effect.
USB Type-C could be set as a mandatory Charging Port for all the Devices in Europe.
Apple Uses "Lightning Port" on their devices for years, so now its time for a change.
— Rajveer Yadav (Tech Blitz) (@TechBlitz5) September 23, 2021
The law allows electronic devices to ditch a USB Type-C port if they rely only on wireless power delivery solutions. The iPhone already features the MagSafe wireless charging technology.
In other words, Apple might remove the charging port on iPhones before introducing USB Type-C altogether. The company has gradually warmed up to USB Type-C. The majority of its products, except the iPhone and AirPods, feature a USB Type-C port.
Hence, technically, the company has the means and know-how to embed a USB Type-C port within an iPhone. But a company that goes to great lengths to prevent third-party repairs, might hold on to the Lightning port for as long as possible.