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Engineer builds iPhone 6s using spare parts bought from Chinese markets

Apple’s iPhones have a reputation for being pricey pieces of kit. With the iPhone 8 expected to cost around $1000, they can be a heavy investment for most people. So why not make one yourself? That’s what software engineer Scotty Allen decided to do, and the result was surprising.

The former Silicon Valley worker was in China when one of his friends asked if it was possible to build a complete smartphone from all the parts on sale in the markets. After nine months of traveling to and from the country, he decided to take up the challenge.

Allen chose to build an iPhone 6s because he already owns one of the handsets and wanted to use it for reference, though in the end he never needed to open it up. But the main reason he avoided making an iPhone 7 was due to the scarcity of parts on sale.

The engineer visited the markets of Shenzen to source his components. He explains in the 24-minute video that the four pieces he requires are the shell, the screen, the battery, and the logic board. But not all the parts were easy to come by.

“I keep asking people about this, and people keep saying things like “there should be more after Spring Festival” (which has come and gone) or “there should be more in a month or two””

In the end, Allen spent “well over” $1000 on his project, but points out that a lot of this money was on tools and components he never ended up using. The final cost of the phone itself was around $300 and it looks almost indistinguishable from one bought in an Apple store.

Make sure to check out the video above, and you can read more details in Allen’s blog.

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