We’re all waiting for Apple to bring USB-C to the iPhone. But wouldn’t it be neat to be able to put all those old lightning cables to use even after the company switches to USB-C?
One YouTuber is getting buzz for managing to hack in a USB-C port alongside the lightning port on the bottom of their iPhone 12 mini. The user, Hyphaistos3672, took apart the device and chopped off part of the speaker to make room for the USB-C insert. A nearly six-minute video chronicles the entire process, from the teardown of the iPhone 12 mini to how everything was eventually soldered and screwed together.
“This is a video of making a TwinPort iPhone,” says the video description, translated from Korean to English using Google Translate. “I simply made it with the idea of using a C-type cable when needed sometimes.”
There have been so many USB-C hacks on iPhones in recent years. This one from last summer converted an older iPhone SE to the spec, while this one transformed the port on a more recent iPhone 13. But the original viral USB-C on iPhone hack came out in 2021, and later went up for auction on eBay for over $86,000.
The tale of USB-C on the iPhone has been ongoing for nearly a decade. The European Union has long been working on getting Apple and other companies to use the same charging standard as the dozens of other devices on the market. The commission eventually settled on a law in October 2022 requiring anything that charges under 100 watts to use USB-C. The motive is to cut down on e-waste and hopefully save consumers some money.
Although the law affects all tech manufacturers, it’s clearly targeted at Apple and its continuing use of the lightning port—which no one else uses it on their devices. Apple’s Macs and MacBooks use USB-C for charging and data transfer, so the spec already exists within the company’s walled garden. But not on Apple’s phones and earbuds.
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Since the law was passed, analysts have reported that the iPhone 15 will be the first to connect using USB-C, and Apple has said it will comply with the new EU mandate. But it’s a wonder if the proprietary charging saga will end with the iPhone 15. Leaks have indicated that although we’re at least a generation away from leaving lightning cables to collect dust in the back of the closet, Apple’s USB-C port might require proprietary cables.