Apple TV 4K hides a lightning connector in its Ethernet port

What you need to know

  • A Lightning connector has been discovered hiding in the ethernet port of Apple's 4K TV.
  • It was probably added by Apple for debugging and diagnostics.
  • There's a very slim chance it could pave the way for jailbreaking.

Reports on Twitter have revealed that Apple's 4K TV features a hidden Lightning connector, stealthily concealed inside of the Ethernet port on the back of the device.

The discovery was originally made by @nitoTV, who posted a photo the Lightning port's ping configuration as found inside the device:

The find was backed up by @littlesteve, who revealed he was searching for a logic analyzer earlier this week for this very purpose.

As 9to5Mac notes, the Apple 4K TV marked the end of external usb ports on the Apple TV, with this model featuring only an Ethernet and an HDMI connector. The port was likely added by Apple to aid with servicing and diagnostic tests, howver in the hands of the jailbreak community, there is a small chance that it could lead to expanded jailbreak capabilities for the Apple TV 4K. According to @nitoTV:

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.

So whilst there's no guarantee the discovery may take us anywhere, this is still a cool bit of news. Perhaps one of the most surprising things is that iFixit missed this feature during its teardown of the device back in 2017.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9