In the past we have gotten hints at what kind of features Apple’s iPhones could get based on leaked photos of components that are sometimes posted by companies that deal with spare parts. Sometimes these companies would even sell you said components, which means that in theory you could piece together your own iPhone which is what Scotty Allen at Strange Parts did (via 9to5Mac).
According to Allen, “I’ve been fascinated by the cell phone parts markets in Shenzhen, China for a while. I’d walked through them a bunch of times, but I still didn’t understand basic things, like how they were organized or who was buying all these parts and what they were doing with them. So when someone mentioned they wondered if you could build a working smartphone from parts in the markets, I jumped at the chance to really dive in and understand how everything works.”
Allen focused on the main components of the phone, such as the logic board, display, battery, and back casing, and discovered that he could pretty much buy everything he needed at Shenzhen’s markets. He did run into some issues when he tried to solder the logic board himself, which saw him buying a recycled logic board instead.
At the end of the day, Allen estimates that he might have spent over $1,000 on parts but that’s because he bought some parts he did not end up needing, but he claims that the parts that were used would have set him back around $300 which is considerably cheaper than buying a new iPhone. We’re not sure if this was worth the time and effort just to save money on an iPhone, but if anything it did seem like it was a fun project.