April 15, 2017
Why buy an iPhone when you can build your own? YouTube channel Strange Parts ponders that question in a new video, which shows host Scotty Allen piecing together stray parts to concoct an iPhone 6s—and all it took was $300*. Consider this the reverse of iFixit’s surgical teardowns we’ve come to know and love.
Apparently, Allen traveled to Shenzen, China over a period of months and slowly collected the parts necessary to build the device. Allen claims he undertook the endeavor after hearing the parts could easily be found in the Shenzen area.
The video, which is over 20 minutes, shows Allen’s journey from beginning to end, from tracking down cases to finding the many different components.
One area Allen had to cheat a little is when he had to purchase a recycled logic board that came with the Touch ID sensor included. If he had found the two parts separately, Touch ID wouldn’t have worked because Apple’s Secure Enclave is tied to each individual sensor.
According to Allen, he intended to build an iPhone 7 but found it difficult to track down parts used in the device.
It’s harder than it looks
Smartphones are complex machines with dozens of different parts, so putting one together is no easy task, as Allen found out first-hand. Eventually, however, he was able to build an iPhone 6s using parts that are (mostly) readily available in China. *In the end, Allen says he spent about $1,000 on parts and tools, but many of which he didn’t need. He estimates the actual build cost about $300.
Check out the video to get a fascinating look behind what goes into an iPhone and how they’re made. While you’re at it, you might as well check out iFixit’s teardown of the iPhone 6s, which ultimately gave the device a seven out of ten on the repairability scale.