Following a number of enthusiasts successfully adding a USB-C port to the iPhone, engineer Ken Pillonel has explained how he added a fully functional Lightning port, including support for charging and data transfer, to a Samsung Galaxy A51.


After posting a preview of the project earlier this month, Pillonel has now shown how he completed the conversion in detail. The complex process involved working around the device’s limited internal space, circumventing Apple’s proprietary software checks for the Lightning connector, micro-soldering, and 3D-printing a custom connector.

Upon posting the preview of the project, Pillonel told Engadget that it was “a complex modification that required some out-of-the-box thinking.”

The Lightning cables sold by Apple are not “dumb.” They will only charge Apple devices. So I had to find a way to trick the cable into thinking it was plugged into an Apple device. And the whole thing needs to fit inside the phone, which is another challenge in itself.

Pillonel admitted that “the quality of the finished product is nowhere near what it was for the iPhone,” but he doesn’t expect “anyone in their right mind” to want to do this to their device. “It was for fun, I just wanted to see if I could do it,” he explained, adding that such projects serve as a great example of what can be achieved with devices, even without the help of the companies that originally made them.

Pillonel was the first to gain notoriety for modifying an ‌iPhone‌ X to add a functional USB-C port, which went on to sell for over $86,000 at auction.

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