Engineer who made USB-C iPhone now makes AirPods Pro repair possible

Pillonel noticed that millions watch his videos, but very few actually attempt them. He wants to help people by making replacement parts available.
Ameya Paleja
Ken Pillonel repairing Airpods Pro.
Ken Pillonel repairing Airpods Pro.

Exploring the Simulation/YouTube 

Users of Apple's AirPods are well aware that the product they purchased is pretty much disposable. Once the rechargeable battery on the device gives way, there is no way to replace them; you need to buy new AirPods, unless you are ready to do the hard work yourself, with a little help, of course.

Ken Pillonel is no stranger to toying with Apple products. As an engineering student, he built the world's first iPhone with a USB-C port and has previously shown us how the batteries in the AirPods can be replaced if you can 3D-print a new case.

The best part of Pillonel's mods is that everything is published in GitHub repositories, and one only needs to spend some time going through the notes to get the desired changes.

The case of AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro, Apple's mid-level in-ear headphones, were launched in 2019, following the success of the original AirPods Generation 1 and 2. However, even after years of development work between their release, their repair scores remained the same, 0 out of 10.

The charging cases of these devices are practically unopenable without destroying them, and the company seems to have made no effort to make even battery replacements easier. When Pillonel tried to remove the cover of the charging case for the AirPods Pro, he found that it was easier than its predecessors but still could not be completed without damaging them.

Attempting to open the case can also damage the Lightning port, which is used to charge the batteries, and therefore, Pillonel designed a USB-C replacement part that can be fitted into the case without much hassle.

Pillonel's tinkering with Apple products is mainly aimed at making them repairable and compatible with other devices and chargers. Even as other consumer electronics companies came together to use the USB-C ports, Apple, until the EU ruling, had remained adamant about using its proprietary Lightning port on its iPhone.

However, what Pillonel realized through his videos is that although they garnered a lot of views, users were hesitant to actually attempt them. Even after putting all the necessary details in a repository, it wasn't easy for everybody to build the circuits themselves. That's why he is now making it easier to attempt repairs by supplying the USB-C flex through his own shop.

Engineer who made USB-C iPhone now makes AirPods Pro repair possible
The USB-C flex that can be bought online now

Pillonel expects that by making the replacement parts easily available, he will encourage more people to repair their devices than discard them. He is well aware that the pricing is a bit steep for now, but the parts are also handmade by him. Plus, you are also helping him support his YouTube channel.

Wait a few months more, and the prices could come down. But they could possibly be machine-made circuits, not from the master of Applemods himself.