Developer Scotty Allen used to be an engineer in Silicon Valley, but now he’s spending his time traveling “the worlds” inducing things. Allen is currently investing his time in Shenzhen, China, where he made his own like-new iPhone by buying the proportions in the markets of Huaqiangbei, where all kinds of cellphone proportions are available over-the-counter. Allen wrote about and extensively filmed the process, and he’s a pleasure to watch.
He was inspired to make an entire iPhone when he was at a barbecue joint in China with people who are interested in electronics like he is, when someone told, “I wonder if you could build your own phone.” When he set out on his quest, he wasn’t sure if merchants would even sell him proportions. Eventually, albeit with a few hiccups, he was able to build a altogether functional iPhone.
Allen chose to make an iPhone 6S rather than the more-recent iPhone 7 for two reasons first, he already owned a 6S so it would make for an easier comparing. More important, however, iPhone 7 proportions are harder to come by in the markets. Allen suspects this is simply because the iPhone 7 just came out in September of 2016, and since proportions tend to come from recycled or shattered phones, the market for them hasn’t expanded that much yet.
To induce the iPhone, Allen used four basic proportions: screen, shell, battery, and logic board. Allen used to say the phone itself had proportions worth about $300. For comparing, an iPhone 6S from Apple beginning at $549.
For the screen, Allen bought a shattered screen and had it disassembled and reassembled with new proportions. Allen wasn’t able to solder his own logic board, as TouchID will not work if you swap out the sensor, so he simply bought a completed board, with a sensor. He also said the battery was easy to discover and as inexpensive as$ 5 USD.
He bought a rose-colored back that had an Apple logo, “but zero laser markers inside or outside, so Im pretty sure its not from a used phone, ” and discovered several custom unofficial laser-marked Apple backs. Allen’s adventures took him to a dozens of stores and even a cellphone mend school. Allen said he imagines anyone who watches his video and “ve had enough” patience can do it as well.
I never genuinely belief much about what happens when I get rid of a phone, ” Allen said in the video. “I suppose a lot of them end up here, taken apart for proportions or referred back into nice operating phones.” You can read more at Allen’s blog, Strange Parts.