Scott Allen used to be an engineer in Silicon Valley but now spends his time travelling the world with the hopes of finding something amazing to build.
The former software engineer has set Shenzhen, China as his new obsession. He has spent a lot of time there in the past year-and-a-half and also embarked on his latest project of building his very own iPhone 6s clone using parts bought entirely from cell phone parts markets in Huaqiangbei.
Allen has now written a detailed account of his built and also uploaded a video of his entire project.
The Silicon Valley veteran started off by locating components for the iPhone 6s which seemed an easier option over the newer version due to wider availability of parts.
“A lot of the parts come from recycled or broken phones, and so it would make sense that there just isn’t that much supply yet. I also think there’s probably really high demand for iPhone 7 parts, so what parts are available may get traded before they make it out into display cases,” he said.
Allen was able to locate a refurbished logic board including a cryptographically paired touch ID sensor. Next, he bought a broken screen from a phone repair booth and had them completely disassemble and then reassemble it with new parts, other than the digitizer.
Batteries were easy to locate, Allen says, adding that they also came in cheap, at only $5 a pop. Finally, he got an aluminium casing in rose gold which happened to have no laser marking, suggesting that it was not from a used iPhone.
All in all the entire project cost Allen $300 in part, which comes in $249 cheaper than a brand new iPhone 6S. However, the cost doesn’t take into account the time and energy that went into locating all the parts and assembling them.
Allen also notes that although the refurbished iPhone had $300 in parts, he did spend well over $1000 on the entire project, lots of which was on parts and tools he didn’t end up needing.
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