A modified iPhone X that has a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port has sold on eBay for the princely sum of $86,001. The phone, which is the work of robotics engineering student Kenn Pillonel, can use the physical connector for both charging and transferring data. But Pillonel warns that the buyer shouldn’t use the groundbreaking device as a regular phone, take it apart, or update the OS — any of which could risk breaking it.
The fact that the mod has sold for over eighty times its original sale price shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Although Pillonel has open-sourced his work on the project in a Github repository containing technical details, CNC instructions, and information on the custom PCB the design uses, actually replicating the modification is no mean feat. Especially since it involves installing extra circuitry into the phone’s chassis.
The auction started at just $1, but bidding had reached over $3,000 by the end of its first day, before quickly climbing into the tens of thousands. There were also a couple of much higher bids of around $100,000 that were retracted before the auction came to an end. It attracted a total of 116 bids.
Although the prototype has now been sold, Pillonel has previously said he intends to continue working to improve elements like the USB-C iPhones’ fast-charging, waterproofing, and adding support for USB-C accessories. With the design open-sourced, and the prototype released into the world, it’s a project that’ll hopefully become a team effort.
If you’d like to hear more about Pillonel’s project, check out his appearance on the Vergecast this week.