After an auction to find the first USB-C iPhone in the world ended with $86,001, what started as an engineering project turned into a huge win for the creator of the device.
The internet has been delighted by Ken Pillonel's master's degree project to add a USB-C port on an iPhone X. Like many other phone modifications, Pillonel’s USB-C iPhone allows for full functionality for charging and data transfer. This is in contrast to many other phone mods.
Pillonel demonstrates in a video how he reverse engineered Apple's C94 connector to make a Lightning replacement port. He also created a custom circuit board for the iPhone and modified the iPhone's chassis to accommodate the USB-C port's slightly larger connector. After creating the first iPhone with a functioning USB-C port in the world, Pillonel sold the phone on eBay.
It was not clear, however, where the final price would be. After initial bidding began at $1,000 (the price of an iPhone new), bids quickly rose to $30,000 and eventually reached $80,000. This is not counting a few bids exceeding $100,000 that were later withdrawn.
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The auction closed today with an $86,001 winning bid.
Some might call Pillonel's USB-C iPhone project a mere novelty--particularly since it was created using an older iPhone X--but the sky-high winning bad and all the attention the project garnered seems like proof that people desperately want a USB-C iPhone.
While some iPhone users may be annoyed by having to change to a different port, with all the new iPads, MacBooks and desktop computers featuring at least one USB-C port, it is clear that the iPhone is an exception even among Apple devices.
It seems that Apple may make a completely portless iPhone, but it will need to swap out the Lightning connector for USB–C. For Pillonel and other enterprising engineers, however, the USB-C iPhone dream is possible.