A special Lightning connector for debugging has been found embedded inside the Ethernet port of the latest Apple TV 4K model, according to reports this past weekend.
The discovery was made by Kevin Bradley.
“None of us looked THAT closely to the hardware of AppleTV 4K and the magic locked in the Ethernet port until fairly recently,” he wrote on Twitter.
To be sure, the hidden connector located at the back of the Ethernet port is seven contacts that can be fanned out, not a straight Lightning port, with the solder joints corresponding to the Lightning protocol. The port is clearly there for debugging purposes, Irish developer Steven Troughton-Smith speculated. It lacks V-bus to supply charge to, say, your Siri Remote.
It could theoretically be used for jailbreaking by allowing access to the device’s firmware, which in turn might lead to a jailbreak, people have speculated.
But Bradley cautions:
Just because we know it’s Lightning doesn’t mean anything past that. Just because we find a way in doesn’t mean anything will DEFINITELY be released due to what we discover. The barrier for entry might be way too high.
Prior Apple TVs have had micro-USB or USB ports for diagnostics and restoring the firmware.
The previous Apple TV HD model featured a USB-C port for those purposes, but that has changed with the latest Apple TV 4K which dropped external USB ports in favor of wireless diagnostics, with the hidden Lightning connector acting as a failsafe feature in case Wi-Fi fails.
What say you, could the hidden port lead to jailbreak capabilities for the Apple TV 4K?
Let us know what you think in the comments down below.