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

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.


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22 months ago

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.
Rating: 13 Votes
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22 months ago

Wow. Guy buys all the parts for a phone and builds a phone. Why is anyone surprised he got a phone from all these parts?

No one is surprised. We're happy for the guy who set out on an adventure and did something cool.
Rating: 10 Votes
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22 months ago
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.
Rating: 10 Votes
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22 months ago
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 ?
Rating: 9 Votes
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22 months ago
Imagine building a beautiful iPhone 4 out of iPhone 7 parts?!

Oh baby.

One can dream.
Rating: 6 Votes
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22 months ago
I watched this today and it was really quite interesting, the guy made a great video :)
Rating: 6 Votes
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22 months ago
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.
Rating: 5 Votes
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22 months ago
Wow. Guy buys all the parts for a phone and builds a phone. Why is anyone surprised he got a phone from all these parts?
Rating: 3 Votes
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22 months ago
If I sourced and built my own 6s from the streets, I'd hold onto It forever.

Made in China built by an American.

One of a kind so far :D
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
22 months ago

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.
Rating: 2 Votes
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