USB-C iPhone Sells for $86,000 On Ebay

An iPhone modified to charge and transfer data over USB-C would be a dream come true for some, and the world's first managed to prove the demand for such a device in a heated auction that ended in a massive increase over the price of an unmodified device. However, Apple's controlling approach to its products means it comes with a major catch.

Apple devices have a long history of requiring proprietary connectors, perhaps most infamously with the Lightning cables used with the iPhone line; while the vast majority of competitor devices use standardized connections such as USB-C, Apple uses its own specific pairing of port and cable.

The modified USB-C iPhone quickly attracted attention when it was listed on eBay, where a total of 116 bids were placed by 36 individuals. Over the course of ten days, the 36 bidders fought to become the owner of the phone, with the final bid edging in at only $1 above the previous. The final total comes to $86,001.

Even with such a high price, the unauthorized modification to the device is understandably not guaranteed to be compatible with any software updates; updates for iPhones are obviously designed for unmodified iPhones, and Apple's developers have no reason to account for any changes out of warranty. While understandable on Apple's end, such problems could just as easily be avoided by not using a proprietary connector in the first place.

The USB-C modification for iPhone X is the brainchild of Ken Pillonel, a robotics engineering student who has also made the plans for the custom PCB required available on GitHub. The open-source project contains all of the technical details and schematics needed to re-create the mod, but will require further development before it becomes widely used. On top of the difficulty of opening and modifying an iPhone, Lightning connectors are generally widely available and those not wishing to deal with proprietary cables could just as easily choose to buy an Android phone instead, which generally use USB-C as a standard.

The number of modifications for Apple products is relatively low, but from fan iOS UI concepts to fully realized hardware extensions, user-made improvements usually exist to fill some purpose that the stock product does not. If users are willing to put so much work into creating these modifications, Apple would do well to recognize such efforts and incorporate the ideas into future products to create a better user experience. However, Apple's business model sadly rarely prioritizes what users want; important features like the installation of custom keyboards only appeared on Apple devices after many years of being on Android.

Related Forum: Mobile Devices



"USB-C iPhone Sells for $86,000 On Ebay" :: Login/Create an Account :: 2 comments

If you would like to post a comment please signin to your account or register for an account.


Those people buying it for that much must be idiots. I can get that done for much less than 1,000.

The guy even released how he did it so just analyze the open source:


Why not just find a competent EE to do the job for much less lol. Or just wait for EU regulations to kick in.

Gaming Headlines