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Man Builds His Own iPhone From Recycled Parts He Found in China

A man from California recently went on a mission to assemble his own fully functioning iPhone out of recycled parts from Chinese markets and the result was pretty impressive.

For his project, software engineer-turned-adventurer, Scotty Allen spent months foraging through the electronics markets in Shenzhen to buy re-usable parts and construct his phone, Daily Mail reports.

The former Google employee documented his project via his blog and YouTube channel, covering how he bought parts such as a $5 battery, casing, logic board and other iPhone components from the markets and assembled them into a working unit.

“I’ve been fascinated by the cell phone parts markets in Shenzhen, China for a while,” Allen wrote in his blog. “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.”

According to Allen, a friend’s idea inspired him to undertake his mission.

“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,” he explained. “Well, I sat on it for nine months, and then I dove in.”

Allen first got himself a recycled Apple logic board complete with components such as a processor, flash storage, Wi-Fi, LTE chips, and a built-in Touch ID sensor.

With the help of very accommodating phone repair booth technicians, he was able to salvage a broken screen which they tore and reassembled to make it like new.

To complete Allen’s iPhone 6s, he used a rose-gold back casing and a $5 battery.

Although Allen spent almost $1,000 on parts overall, he actually used only around $300 to create his own iPhone 6s. It is quite a feat, considering a new one costs around at least $600. Allen thinks anyone can accomplish what he did, saying assembling an iPhone as easy as assembling a desktop computer. 

Allen’s project has since gone viral, amassing almost 2.5 million views on YouTube in just two days.

Watch his project come to fruition here:


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