Ever wonder if you could make in iPhone completely from scratch? Well, for the majority of us, the quick and simple answer is that you either can’t. Or don’t want to. Whether you’re lacking the time, skills, knowledge, funds, willpower, or all of the above, it’s just not an average endeavor. Luckily for us, one brave man attempted it and succeeded to tell the tale- though at some cost to his wallet.
Scotty Allen, a former Silicon Valley software engineer, started his blog and passion project called Strange Parts to explore the hidden side of modern technology. In this latest adventure, he spent about 2 months finding all the parts and making the phone. He had a slight advantage, granted he lives part-time in Huaqiangbei, China, where it’s easy to locate tech parts. He explains in a YouTube comment that he spent about $300 in parts, but spent an additional $1000 in “extra parts, tools, and dead ends.” Allen spent another 2-3 months editing the sheer amount of footage he acquired during the process.
The most interesting part of this video might be the parallel Allen draws between China and Blade Runner: “I realized there’s amazing places like this all over the world. Places where smart people are bending technology to their needs and will, as well as those of the ever-hungry global economy. And entire cities, communities and cultures are changing dramatically.”
Maybe we shouldn’t focus on the fact that a real, usable iPhone was created from scratch (and it was cool!). But perhaps we could give more narrative to the cities in which infrastructure can drive a hidden market in technology- completely alien to the squeaky clean tech culture in America.