Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Engineer builds an iPhone 6s with $300 of parts – video

Scotty Allen is described by some as a hacker, but it there’s much more than that to him. To quote from his web site:
“I’ve always been an adventurer, maker, & hacker. From riding a $120 bike through Laos & Cambodia, to building & racing land yachts, to planting coral underwater in Borneo, I’ve always sought out the weird, wonderful, & out-of-the-way thing to do.”
“I used to be a software engineer in Silicon Valley, at places like Google & a few other prominent startups. I even started my own. But now I travel the world full time, seeking out the novel & the obscure.”

Some things he found out along the way

● investigated building his own logic board from bare board & chips – “a rabbit hole” – “way over my head” – “not impossible, it’s possible, but very difficult”

● other problem with building a logic board is that the logic board is uniquely paired with the TouchID sensor by Apple – for TouchID to work, logic board & TouchID sensor must be a matched pair – this is a security measure to prevent attackers from gaining unauthorised access by replacing the TouchID sensor

● similar to building a desktop computer, but much, much smaller & thus, much more difficult

Parts list
● case
● logic board & matched TouchID sensor

● screen – glass + digitiser + LCD + backlight + clear adhesive – had it built by people who had the equipment

● back camera
● front camera
● bottom cable assembly, including lightning dock & headphone jack
● battery
● speakers
● brackets
● lots of tiny screws
● cables

Other resources:

● Cost: “I’ve spent over $1000 at this point, but a lot of it was duplicate parts I didn’t end up using & tools I didn’t end up needing. I’d estimate the cost of the actual parts that went into the phone at around $300, maybe a bit more (I wasn’t keeping perfect track).”

● Parts: obtained from the markets of Huaqiangbei Futian, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China1

● Time: project took two months, including time outside of China (when no progress was made), working out what was required, & procuring parts

Popular Science – “This hacker built his own iPhone using parts from Chinese electronics markets” http://www.popsci.com/how-hacker-in-china-built-his-own-iphone-from-scratch?dom=rss-default&src=syn

1 Wikipedia: “Huaqiangbei”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huaqiangbei
/ hacker built his own iPhone using parts from Chinese electronics markets project took roughly two months about $300 in parts to complete Scotty Allen first got the idea make his own iPhone over beers with fellow gadget enthusiasts American hacker engineer lives part-time in Shenzhen China electronics markets experimental spirit fostered inhabitants breadth of available parts build his own iPhone 6S from the ground up not actually that hard biggest barrier is language what drove him sense of curiosity about Shenzhen’s bustling cell phone markets project learn more about them took about one to two months and cost roughly $300 in parts extra cash skilled help along the way Allen created 16 GB Rose Gold iPhone 6S runs iOS 9 compares parts Frankenphone genuine Apple parts scavenged from iPhones been recycled phone’s logic board corresponding TouchID sensor must match specific logic board camera Apple-made parts less sure about provenance metal shell that houses the phone made by another manufacturer I made my own iPhone accomplishment It looks just like the original phone operating system came with the logic board volume buttons didn’t click tiny piece of metal solved that problem software engineer former Google employee nomad availability multitude of cell phone parts electronics geek project highlights globalization of the electronics industry Apple assembles cell phones Asia sold all over the world accompanying spare-parts marketplace engineer build his own iPhone Apple Store video project website what happens when I get rid of a phone recycle donate taken apart for parts turned back into nice working phones /