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“Lightning cables sold by Apple are not ‘dumb’.” How the world’s first Android smartphone with a Lightning port was created

On April 1 this year, Ken Pillonel announced the world’s first Android-based smartphone equipped with a Lightning connector. It turned out to be modified Samsung Galaxy A51.

It was not a joke, such a smartphone really exists. Recall that earlier engineer Ken Pillonel modified the iPhone, equipping it with a USB-C connector, and then, by popular demand, he carried out a similar operation to add a Lightning connector to an Android smartphone.


The author has published a video that describes the modification process. He also said that he did it for the sake of interest and to test his skills. The first difficulty was hacking the authentication system inside Apple accessories. They will not allow an Android phone to use a Lightning cable. If the chip inside the cable does not receive the correct information, it will refuse to transmit power and data.

Lightning cables sold by Apple are not “dumb”. They will only charge Apple devices. So I had to find a way to make the cable think it was connected to an Apple device.


Ken Pillonel

This problem can be solved, but as shown in the video, it is not so simple. Miniaturization has also become a challenge – modern smartphones are so densely packed that there is practically no room for new equipment inside.

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