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Here’s how an ex-Googler built his own Apple iPhone 6s using spare parts from China

Scotty Allen is an engineer who spent two months and $300 to build an iPhone 6s from scratch.

DIY iPhone 6s

Sure Apple iPhones still are a luxury to own for a lot of people out there, but for Scotty Allen, an American engineer who likes to call himself a ‘nomad’, if you can build an iPhone, why buy it? Allen, spent a few months in China to build his own iPhone 6s from components he purchased from one of the many repair markets in the country. But did the built-from-scratch iPhone really work? Hell yes!

To build the ‘like-new’ Apple iPhone 6s, Allen scouted the spare parts market of Shenzhen, China. His curiosity led to a bill of over $1,000 (Rs 64,400 approximately), which essentially means that the expenditure was quite a lot as compared to an iPhone 6s sold in an Apple store in Hong Kong. However, Allen reveals that this cost included duplicate parts and tools which he did not use. The cost of actual parts is estimated to be around $300 (Rs 19,300 approximately), which is half the cost of a new iPhone purchased from the store.

Apple’s products not only cost a premium to build, but the entire process of building in itself requires specialized skill set. But according to what Allen says, a couple of screwdrivers and a pair of tweezers is all that you need for the main assembly. Having said that, the sticky part — and also the most important — remains the display assembly. For his own iPhone 6s model, Allen did admit that putting together the screen needs a lot of bulky and expensive speciality tool set to do the lamination.

Two months of research, purchase, and assembling gave Allen his own iPhone 6s in Rose Gold, running iOS 9 with 16GB of internal storage. However, the toil is unlikely to be wasted anytime soon as Allen is now capable of putting together a functional model in no more than two days of time, costing him just $300. ALSO READ: Apple gets permit to test self-driving cars in California

Finishing the DIY iPhone 6s isn’t the only thing which consumed the former Googler’s time. Allen invested two more months editing all the videos he had shot to tell his story of building an iPhone 6s by himself. You can watch Allen’s “How I made my own iPhone – in China” on the Strange Parts YouTube channel.

China, which is considered the largest iPhone market in the world, has been turning its back at Apple. Over the last one year, Apple has seen its position in the Chinese market slumping with local manufacturers such as Xiaomi and OPPO taking precedence. However, with curious minds as that of Allen’s, a lot of electronics hackers would now be interested in exploring how Apple’s iPhone manufacturing and assembling could be experimented with. In addition to that, it also throws light on how the electronics recycling businesses work in developing economies. While a brand new iPhone purchased from an Apple Store could cost you around $550 (Rs 35,400 approximately), the refurbished model — that also functions as good as the original — would cost you almost half of it.  At the end, it is all about whether you are ready to barter the brand for the product or vice-versa.

  • Published Date: April 17, 2017 12:01 PM IST