Silicon Valley programmer, Scotty of Strangeparts visited China recently to see if it is possible to build an Apple iPhone 6S from scratch using parts that were available to purchase from the local Chinese markets in Shenzhen.
Scotty uses both second-hand and refurbished components to build his fully functional and working iPhone 6S from scratch for about $300.
Yes, you can buy one for this price but the process of actually putting it all together yourself, if you have that much free time and spare money to travel to China that is.
I built a like-new(but really refurbished) iPhone 6S 16GB entirely from parts I bought in the public cell phone parts markets in Huaqiangbei. And it works!
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. Well, I sat on it for nine months, and then I dove in.