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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Former software engineer Scotty Allen wanted to find out if it was possible to build an iPhone entirely from spare parts, so he decided to visit Shenzhen, China to see if he could collect all the requisite pieces.

As it turns out, it is indeed possible to build an iPhone from scratch using a hodgepodge of parts, as Allen demonstrates in the video below.


He built a like-new 16GB iPhone 6s using components that were purchased in the cell phone parts markets of Huaqiangbei, China. The finished iPhone 6s is fully functional and comes complete with a working Touch ID Home button because the logic board and the Home button were purchased together.

Allen didn't save any money building an iPhone from the ground up -- on reddit, he says he spent "well over $1,000," but that ended up including extra parts, components that broke, or tools that were unnecessary. He thinks approximately $300 worth of parts actually went into the iPhone.

Because iPhone 7 parts were still difficult to find when he embarked on the project, Allen chose to build a previous-generation iPhone 6s. While most of the parts weren't too difficult to obtain, he says it was hard to get his hands on a logic board. He also had help from many of the vendors who sold the parts during the assembly process.

Allen outlines his experience building the iPhone in the video above, but additional details on sourcing the components and the assembly process can be found on his blog.

Article Link: This Functional iPhone 6s Was Built Entirely From Spare Parts Bought in China
 

Loucifer

macrumors member
Feb 16, 2012
48
27
London



Former software engineer Scotty Allen wanted to find out if it was possible to build an iPhone entirely from spare parts, so he decided to visit Shenzhen, China to see if he could collect all the requisite pieces.

As it turns out, it is indeed possible to build an iPhone from scratch using a hodgepodge of parts, as Allen demonstrates in the video below.


He built a like-new 16GB iPhone 6s using components that were purchased in the cell phone parts markets of Huaqiangbei, China. The finished iPhone 6s is fully functional and comes complete with a working Touch ID Home button because the logic board and the Home button were purchased together.

Allen didn't save any money building an iPhone from the ground up -- on reddit, he says he spent "well over $1,000," but that ended up including extra parts, components that broke, or tools that were unnecessary. He thinks approximately $300 worth of parts actually went into the iPhone.

Because iPhone 7 parts were still difficult to find when he embarked on the project, Allen chose to build a previous-generation iPhone 6s. While most of the parts weren't too difficult to obtain, he says it was hard to get his hands on a logic board. He also had help from many of the vendors who sold the parts during the assembly process.

Allen outlines his experience building the iPhone in the video above, but additional details on sourcing the components and the assembly process can be found on his blog.

Article Link: This Functional iPhone 6s Was Built Entirely From Spare Parts Bought in China
I was wondering where my stolen iPhone6s had ended up
 
Comment

Patches_McMatt

macrumors newbie
Apr 12, 2017
1
1
$300 for an iPhone 6S 16gb? That's ridiculous. I only spent $329 for my 6S+ 64gb brand new when it came out.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,835
14,920
In between a rock and a hard place
Why is it surprising he can make a working unit out of spare parts ? If i bought all the spare parts for a BMW X5, i could build a working car as well. No ?
You missed the entire point and spirit of him building the iPhone. Going from having no experience to sourcing the products and the tools to multiple trials and errors to finally accomplishing his goal is testimony to the inner tinkerer's spirit that some possess. But to answer your question... no. I don't think you could build the X5 if you purchased all the spare parts. I think you could pay someone to build it for you. You building it? Seems unlikely.
 
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MR-LIZARD

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2012
101
154
UK
Nicely produced video, but I don't really get it.

He bought a working logic board as soldering and reballing the various chips was too difficult and costly. No arguement with that. It's not trivial. However, there's 90% of the work done for you. The rest just clips to the logic board and you whack it in a case.

Check out an iFixit guide and some teardowns. Hit up Ali Express or some online repair shops and order all the components. You don't even have to visit Shenzhen.

It's like me going to IKEA and buying all the different components to make a PAX wardrobe and then saying "Wow, I assembled a wardrobe as per the instructions! Who knew that would be possible?"

It's not really advancing anything new.
 
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Oblivious.Robot

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2014
766
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I was going to skim through the 20min video, but I'm glad I didn't as I enjoyed it, it was very well put so to speak :D
 
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m.x

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
163
573
Why is it surprising he can make a working unit out of spare parts ? If i bought all the spare parts for a BMW X5, i could build a working car as well. No ?

I think the price difference between buying and building it by yourself is interesting. I remember 2-3 years ago, Volkswagen and other car makers were accused of selling spare parts in China for ridiculous prices, which they denied. A German economic magazine then built a VW Golf only from official spare parts and they ended up with paying around $120.000 for a car that's sold for like a tenth or so. Was really interesting!
 
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nsayer

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2003
1,078
548
Silicon Valley
Why is it surprising he can make a working unit out of spare parts ? If i bought all the spare parts for a BMW X5, i could build a working car as well. No ?

I bet not.

You'd at the very least need to buy a whole bunch of tools (just like the iPhone guy did), but I posit that the cost of all of the tools needed to build an automobile from parts would dwarf the cost of the parts. Not to mention the cost of shipping some of the heavier components, like the engine and the body panels (not heavy, but bulky).
 
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riverfreak

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
1,454
1,661
Over the Reignbough
Awesome video. I love the spirit of it. What a great project to interact with the locals, practice language, have a scavenger hunt, etc. Would have been cooler if he had stitched together some sort of frankenphone housed inside a ceramic Mao sculpture but whatever.

And a great look at the electronics markets of Shenzhen if you've never been.
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,694
I bet not.

You'd at the very least need to buy a whole bunch of tools (just like the iPhone guy did), but I posit that the cost of all of the tools needed to build an automobile from parts would dwarf the cost of the parts. Not to mention the cost of shipping some of the heavier components, like the engine and the body panels (not heavy, but bulky).

You can build a classic Mustang from parts for about $30K, people do it in their garage. No special tools are necessary. An engine hoist is probably the most specific tool you need. It's a bit easier with a lift, but you can get by without it.

Another thing to look at is that a number of Toyota Tacomas, due to excessive rust, had the entire frame replaced under warranty, which is basically dismantling and rebuilding the car. It's about 50 hours of labor at the dealership.
 
Comment

mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,228
293
Saint Augustine, FL
Nicely produced video, but I don't really get it.

He bought a working logic board as soldering and reballing the various chips was too difficult and costly. No arguement with that. It's not trivial. However, there's 90% of the work done for you. The rest just clips to the logic board and you whack it in a case.

Check out an iFixit guide and some teardowns. Hit up Ali Express or some online repair shops and order all the components. You don't even have to visit Shenzhen.

It's like me going to IKEA and buying all the different components to make a PAX wardrobe and then saying "Wow, I assembled a wardrobe as per the instructions! Who knew that would be possible?"

It's not really advancing anything new.

It wasn't the product, it was the journey.
 
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