This Guy Says He Built His Own iPhone From Scratch Using Spare Parts

Video: The walled garden Apple uses to meticulously control every element of the iPhone can really suck. It prohibits you from replacing the battery, adding third-party storage, or using an iPhone to tinker around and build new, weird projects.

Image: Gizmodo

The creator of the YouTube channel Strange Parts is determined to tear down that wall. He spent weeks slogging around Shenzhen, China buying parts for the iPhone in an attempt to build his own from the ground up. The result is actually pretty impressive.

Before we dive too deep into this video, however, we should note that there's a chance this guy is messing with us and bent the truth. The video has been filmed in several chunks and some of the trickier parts look like they'd be really hard to pull off. That said, having been to the electronics mall in Shenzhen, it isn't that hard to believe he'd be able to find all the parts (and cases) so easily.

The video starts with the pretty basic task of buying a cool case and quickly jumps to some more interesting projects, like finding a specialised laser-etching machine and other industrial machinery used to piece the iPhone together. Through this video, you get an intimate look at all of the different pieces of the phone, like its back light, LCD screen (that ships with Force Touch technology sandwiched in the middle), and the buttons (which are more complicated than they look).

If you don't have 23 minutes to spare, we'd recommend skipping straight to the seven-minute mark where he explains the three primary components of the display, or the 20-minute mark where he finalises the project with a missing part. Any gadget geek will enjoy it -- and you should come away with a better sense of what makes your iPhone work so smoothly.



    Meh, if it was possible for one dude to do then there'd be a grey industry doing it.

      It is possible but at the prices an individual or smaller business would pay for parts it'd cost way more than buying the real deal.

    This is surprisingly easy to do. Ive built a number of complete iPhones/iPads around a working mboard. Just buying parts off eBay from china/aus.

      What's the cost compared to buying one factory fresh?

        Well, that would of course depend on the model of iPhone/pad. But the biggest problem is the logicboard (motherboard), thats the most expensive part I would guess (its essentially the whole device, cpu, memory,transceiver). I don't think (opinion only, not sure) it would be worth it if you had to buy the logicboard, Ive never had to buy that component, Ive always built around completely smashed up devices that were lucky enough to have an MB that survived. It has the IME etc built into it also so it has to be registered. But if you ever get a logic board spare, don't throw it you would be able to build a device for half the cost of a new one.

          valid argument if you place zero value on your time. Good luck with that.

            For sure. Thats always the biggest labour cost. If you had to pay someone to do it, then its a very different cost model ;)

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