We’re not sure why you’d want such a thing, but someone modified an Android phone to use Apple’s Lightning port instead of the industry-standard USB-C connection.
The modification was undertaken by Ken Pillonel, who previously made waves across the Internet for a much more sensible project: bringing USB-C to an iPhone.
Pillonel’s video announcing the Lightning Android phone was published on April 1, but while that tongue-in-cheek date was a conscious choice, the modification is real. Pillonel said he wanted to “balance the chaos” stirred by his unveiling of a USB-C iPhone.
“I don’t expect anyone in their right mind wanting to do this to their device. It was just for fun, I just wanted to see if I could do it,” he told Engadget.
Pillonel chose the low-end Samsung Galaxy A51 for this project. It wasn’t an easy project, it turns out. Pillonel explained to Engadget: “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.”
There’s a short video on YouTube showing the device in action (it can both charge and do data transfers) and a few brief glimpses at the work that went into it, but Pillonel promises that another video will be uploaded to his channel soon with a more thorough explanation. He took a similar cadence with the USB-C iPhone.
In the unlikely event that you want such a device, though, you’re out of luck—he has no plans to sell it.
Apple has used the Lightning cable in iPhones for nearly 10 years, going back to the iPhone 5 in September 2012. When it was introduced, then-Apple-marketing-VP Phil Schiller said it would be a “connector for the next decade.”
Apple has begun using USB-C in most of its iPads, which previously used Lightning, but iPhones are still on Lightning. Tech commentators have speculated that Apple might make the switch on its phones, too. But given the recent introduction of the new vision for MagSafe, it seems just as likely that Apple will drop the port entirely in favor of wireless charging.