A former Silicon Valley software engineer turned adventurer has managed to do what many would assume to be impossible – build a working iPhone entirely out of spare parts. Scotty Allen decided to undertake this task while spending time in the cell phone markets in Shenzen, China.
Allen chose to recreate the iPhone 6S for his project, firstly because he already owned one and secondly because parts for the iPhone 7 are harder to come by. His assembled iPhone is made up of four basic components namely the battery, logic board, shell, and screen.
He started out with the shell, heading to an electronics shop in Shenzen that sold it by the bundle. He intended to make a space gray iPhone at first, but decided against this when he couldn’t find a logic board with a black Touch ID button. The rose gold back he eventually bought had an Apple logo and no laser markings, which probably means it’s not from a used phone.
Allen says the logic board he used was refurbished/repaired and thinks it came from a real iPhone made by Apple. The fact that it was authentic is vital since it came with a Touch ID sensor. Fingerprint scanning won’t work if the sensor gets swapped out and doesn’t match the processor since the two are cryptographically paired.
Allen apparently wanted to build his own logic board from scratch, but this turned out to be much harder than anticipated. A similar thing happened when it came to his Frankenstein iPhone’s screen. Assembling it proved nigh impossible because of the bulky equipment and hard-to-find bare lcd/digitizer.
He ended up incorporating a broken screen which he got from a phone repair booth. All-in-all, Allen claims he spent around $1000 overall, including tools and parts he never ended up using. The actual components which ended up in the finished product cost about $300.