If you had a brilliant engineering mind, have you ever thought of using your brain and talent to cobble together some of the modern day consumer electronics with parts sourced from the market? That is exactly what Scotty Allen of Strange Parts did while he was holidaying in China. His objective? To construct a working iPhone 6S, and he managed to use his technological wizardry to achieve such a goal at half the price of a totally new model, now how about that?
Do take note that Allen’s path to this unique iPhone 6S (which you can call it a refurbished model, if you will) did not require any kind of soldering either chips or board. In other words, he assembled the various bits and pieces of an iPhone 6S’s innards, and then put all of them together while making sure that they work. This is definitely no mean feat, that is for sure. The various iPhone 6S parts were purchased and sourced from various shops in China, and his favorite haunts to do so were places that had refurbished or repaired parts for sale. Needless to say, majority of these parts were obtained from recycled iPhones, as a complete DIY route is said to be nigh impossible.
His biggest challenge? The logic board. The logic board is said to be the equivalent of a motherboard where PCs are concerned, and for the iPhone 6S, it needs to arrive with an accompanying Touch ID sensor. In other words, one cannot perform a Touch ID sensor swap and hope for the assembled smartphone to work for one simple reason -- security. Not only that, soldering chips on a bare board is not the easiest of tasks in the world. Hence, the challenge lay in looking for a working, refurbished logic board.
The other thing that Allen did was to look for parts of the screen and make one for yourself -- touch controller, LCD, backlight, the works. Steady hands are required in order to eliminate any possibility of air bubbles making an appearance, but if you have the logic board and screen working well, the rest are considered to be real easy.
After all, both the battery and the shell are very easy to hunt down without missing a beat. Batteries tend to be very cheap, while shells -- you can find these just about anywhere. For those who prefer to take the custom route, you’re in luck since China is the world’s factory for customized iPhone shells. Allen claimed that the final bill of cost was $300 for a iPhone 6S, assuming everything goes well with the bits and pieces, all the way from sourcing to assembly.
What do you think of this particular attempt? Would there be someone who is crazy enough to take the same route, except that he or she will work on an Android-powered device instead? Well, I suppose for all intents and purposes, the general Jane or Joe would not know how to find these parts and cobble a new iPhone together, which is why the premium price placed by Apple is somewhat justified.