Watch a man build his own iPhone 6s from spare parts bought on the street

You can buy pretty much everything in China, provided you know exactly where to look – and youtuber Scotty Allen wanted to prove that. So he decided to go on a quest to build his own iPhone 6s entirely from spare parts bought from Chinese street vendors.  The end result was – spoiler alert – a like-new device at a cost of about $300, so you might say that the journey was... a 6s.*

Clocking at almost 24 minutes, the video starts entering documentary territory, but is nonetheless a fascinating look into the country's blooming business of unauthorized selling of spare parts. Pretty much everything you'd need to make your own iPhone, from screws to screen digitizers, can be found out in the public markets. Booths with hand-drawn logos of companies like Samsung, Xiaomi, and, of course, Apple, are nestled against each other, selling what turns out to be genuine hardware, albeit sourced from dubious supply chains.

The biggest hurdle in the process was apparently the logic board, which contains a multitude of small separate chips. Ultimately, the man gives up on assembling one of his own due to having trouble soldering everything correctly, as well as simply finding every chip needed to complete the board. Instead, he opts to buy a used one instead, which, curiously enough, is under warranty.

However, don't get too excited about going to China and assembling your own iPhone just yet – while the parts themselves were calculated to cost about $300, this doesn't include all the tools used and broken parts that didn't make it into the device: in fact, the youtuber says he spent "well over $1,000" in the course of the journey. Still, this video is an interesting look at how big the phone industry is in China and what effect it has on everyday life there.

*Joke shamelessly stolen from the video's YouTube comment section

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7 inches
    1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A9 APL0898, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1715 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x



13. kakudiego

Posts: 123; Member since: May 21, 2014

$300 os the real price for a iPhone!

10. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

Always wondered if someone could literally manufacture a specific phone themselves from only using spare parts for that specific phone. Great video.

9. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Did what factory workers do/did not forever ago. Woot.

7. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Nice one :)

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and apple will brick that guy's phone with their new update..

5. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Won't IMEI be tracked if these parts were from stolen phones or blacklisted ones?


Posts: 2819; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Would even use it if i got it for free!

2. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

0:56 US guy: I want an iPhone 6s. Chinese woman: Sex?

4. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

If 'massage parlours' are tolerated there.

8. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Stuff like that doesn't actually happen lol.


Posts: 657; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

It does happen, just make sure you ask them to show their private parts first. A real police officer would never oblige to this, and any charges would easily be thrown out for entrapment.

1. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

I was expecting this to be a Chinese guy. Anyway and kind of with this, surprised nobody has yet created a 'Frankenphone' mod which makes the battery user-replaceable. Many hardcore (and maybe softcore) users would pay a few hundred for such a thing (including a spare battery of course). Wonder what will come first, such a battery mod or mainstream physical gamepad adaptor (also in the interest of many)?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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