AirPods mod replaces Lightning port with USB-C

A new AirPods mod gives them a USB-C port instead of the Lightning port that they officially ship with. The mod is fully functional and allows the AirPods to charge via a USB-C cable using a MacBook as a source, but should also work with any other USB-C charger.

The mod has been created by Ken Pillonel, the same engineering student that had put USB-C on iPhone X. The iPhone X was later listed on eBay and fetched bids north of $99k.

AirPods USB-C

AirPods with USB-C, but not by Apple

The USB-C mod works with both the first and second-generation AirPods. The process has been demonstrated in a YouTube video which includes opening up the AirPods, replacing a custom PCB, port, and more.

Ken will be open-sourcing this project to allow other users to follow. However, this is not for the faint of heart and requires advanced technical knowledge. The end result of Ken’s experiment looks incredibly neat and seems as if his AirPods shipped with a USB-C port. 

Although most iPad models including the mini, Air, and Pro, now ship with USB-C ports, Apple has been very reluctant in switching the iPhone and AirPods to the common standard. Even the recent Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse that were released with M1 Macs ship with Lightning ports.

Apple was one of the first companies to introduce USB-C ports on its MacBooks and has done so across all its Macs now, but somehow, the company has kept users watching for USB-C, which should allow them to carry just one cable to charge all their devices.

Check out the full video below by Ken Pillonel:

Although it does not seem like Apple would switch from Lightning to USB-C on its remaining devices anytime soon, new legislation introduced in the EU could force manufacturers to sell their devices with standard USB-C ports. While this would be good for consumers who are fed up with carrying multiple cables, there are concerns that it could back manufacturers from introducing newer and improved standards in the future. The legislation is expected to impact Apple the most as all other Android OEMs already ship their devices with USB-C.

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