The World’s first USB-C iPhone, An iPhone that has been modified with a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connection, is up for auction, and the latest bids have driven the price over $85,000.
Ken Pillonel, a robotics engineer, showed off the USB-C device back in October. On Monday, Pillonel released a video detailing how he engineered the device and announced he would put it up for auction.
As of Thursday morning, the eBay listing for the USB-C iPhone has now reached a bid of $85,550.
Ken Pillonel, an engineering student, became the first known person to create an iPhone with a functioning USB-C port after spending months modding a secondhand iPhone X.
“After waiting for years for Apple to make a USB-C iPhone, I decided that I’d had enough. So I’ll make one myself,” he said in a Youtube video with over 170,000 views documenting the design process of the phone.
The final product is now up for auction on eBay, where the current bid sits at $85,550. On Wednesday, the price for the modified phone lingered at just $5,000, and with seven days left on the auction, the price could skyrocket even more.
The World’s first USB-C iPhone
Apple fans worldwide have been waiting for when Apple announces a shift to USB Type-C for its products, especially iPhones. One fan has ended this wait for himself, embedding a USB Type-C port on his iPhone X. The inventor is now calling it the World’s first iPhone with a USB-C port.
The USB-C port comes in place of the lightning port of the iPhone. However, the exciting part is that the creator of the first-of-its-kind product has enabled all the functionalities on the new port. That means that the modified iPhone X can charge and transfer data through the port using a USB Type-C cable.
A glimpse of the unique iPhone can be seen in a short YouTube video titled “World’s First USB-C iPhone.” YouTuber Ken Pillonel, the man behind the creation, shows how his modified iPhone X charges using a USB-C cable in the video. Pillonel even shows how the phone connects to a laptop for data transfer using the USB Type-C port.
The video posted recently on YouTube, as spotted by Apple Insider, is only a glimpse of the entire process of how he made the transition. In the video, Pillonel mentions that he is currently in the process of editing the full-length video. Once out, it will explain just how he managed to switch the lightning port on his iPhone X to a USB-C port.
Earlier this week, robotics student Ken Pillonel shared a video explaining how he modded an iPhone X with a functional USB-C port in place of the usual Lightning connector. The USB-C port works for both charging the iPhone and data transfer.
Pillonel also put the device up for auction on eBay, and bids are already topping a whopping $99,000. The listing describes the device as “the world’s first USB-C iPhone” and a “true piece of collection for any Apple fanboy out there.”
Bids are being accepted until November 11, with estimated delivery by late December. Pillonel said anyone who bids on the iPhone X agrees that they will not restore, update, or erase the device, will not open the device, and will not use it as their daily device. He also cautions that the modded iPhone X is “just a prototype.”
The winning bidder will receive the iPhone X with 64GB of storage in its box, without any accessories included. Pillonel is also offering a 30-minute phone call with the winning bidder should they have any questions about the device.
While many have called on Apple to add a USB-C port to the iPhone, the device uses Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. However, Apple has adopted USB-C for some iPad models over the years, including the new iPad mini released in September.
It seems like Pillonel has done it after all, with an upcoming video due to be the proof. This raises the question, when is Apple going to bring such a transition to iPhones? The company has already started switching to USB Type-C ports for its iPad lineup. Now that Pillonel shows that he can modify iPhones for functionality, will Apple take it as a serious option? That is if it is not already working on such iPhones.
There are some stipulations in the auction, however. For example, Pillonel requires bidders to agree that they will not restore, update, or erase the device, will not use it as their daily driver, and will not open up the device’s case.
“I guarantee that the phone will work when you receive it, but if you don’t follow the a for mentioned [sic] guidelines, you are on your own,” he wrote. “So basically, you can do whatever you want with it, but don’t expect anything from me if you break something. It is just a prototype.”
If $85,550 seems a bit pricy, Pillonel has released the project on GitHub. However, the process is in-depth and will void any warranty on a device.
The Bottom Line
What is known at the point is that Pillonel reverse-engineered Apple’s C94 connector to make a PCB with a female USB-C port. Then, once he had set up and tested the schematics, he shrunk the entire assembly to install it into the iPhone.
This is not Pillonel’s first-ever mention of the project. He had been trying to achieve this for months, having posted video updates for the same time and again. A video posted in May shows a working prototype of such an arrangement, wherein an iPhone can be seen charging and transferring data through a USB Type-C wire. Though at this point, the assembly was too big to be embedded within the iPhone.
Though the tech major might be left with few options going forward, a recent proposal by European Union hinted at a mandate for a universal charging solution for phones and other small electronic devices. The bid can force all smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, to adopt USB Type-C ports on their devices if brought to effect.
Well, good news for the company, it can do it after all. Though Apple does not do it, it is not recommended for others to repeat the process on their beloved iPhones. Pillonel is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL. On the side, he also loves to work on such projects. With his skills and knowledge, he was able to devise a way to get things done. However, it is improbable that the process will be easily repeatable for others.