We all at some point have a dream of owning luxurious gadgets especially like the famous Apple iPhone. Have you ever thought about making an iPhone yourself instead of buying an iPhone? Probably not! But only a nerd can understand (Yes I am a nerd!!) how thrilling even the thought of making your gadget is. It is cost efficient as making it would cost less than buying an iPhone but the learning process and testing your geek quotient in technology is the most exciting part. Honestly, making or as a techie would call it ‘assembling’ a smartphone doesn’t require any special skill apart from a will to risk your hard earned money on a project that you don’t even whether it will be successful or not.
While assembling a smartphone, the most important thing to keep in mind is the patience along with a thorough knowledge about the components required to complete the smartphone and obviously your assembling/disassembling skill. Even a simple mistake might cost you a fortune because all components are too delicate and require complete attention. Okay!! Done with horrifying you guys, now let me tell the story of how I made my own iPhone.
Why Apple iPhone 6S?
I know the first question that you may ask will be “Why an Apple iPhone 6S?”. I have an answer or that! I always wanted to do that and also planned it in June 2017. The urge to buy an iPhone always comes down as I was not willing to spend a hefty price on a phone. So, I decided to make my iPhone instead of buying one. I pulled my sock up and grabbed my computer to start my research about the components and the whole process. Then the question arose – which iPhone model should I select that will be powerful, cheap and with components widely available at the same time. I always hated the smaller iphone such as iPhone 5 and also the big ones namely iPhone 6S plus. So naturally I was left with few options – either iPhone 6, iPhone 6S or iPhone 7. At that period, iPhone 7 & 7 Plus was the latest Apple smartphone available in the market, but at the same time getting components might also put a hole in my pocket. On the other hand, iPhone 6 build cost was much cheaper but it was too old to use it as my daily driver. So, iPhone 6s was the ideal gadget and it also has a headphone jack. I named this gadget as #RoseBlack6S as I have used Rose Gold colour for housing and black for fingerprint sensor and the display as well.
If I go on to list down the components used to make this iPhone then even a page won’t be enough, but I can surely list down the major components that will help you kickstart the project. Below are the list of components.
- Display module with a touch panel
- Apple iPhone 6S motherboard with its original fingerprint scanner
- Lithium-ion Battery
- Back housing (I opted for a Rose Gold housing)
- Front and Rear camera
- Lighting port, headphone port, speaker module
- Taptic engine (vibrator)
- Screws (Almost a total of 64 that too of iPhone 5s)
- iPhone assembling toolkit (includes screwdriver, suction cup, pry tool)
Let’s put it together –
The list of components are very much important to get started with to build the Apple iPhone 6S. All the components were purchased from different stores around the globe including Mumbai’s local market. Components like motherboard are available only as second hand ones because there are no one other than Apple that manufacturers a working motherboard. And Apple doesn’t sell their motherboards, so it becomes very difficult to get hold of a motherboard. The only possible way to get it is from the smashed iPhone or resellers who deals with the iPhone motherboards. If you search on eBay US, you can find a bunch of sellers selling iPhone motherboards at a reasonable cost. I ordered mine and got it shipped to India.
Please note: It might cost you some additional amount if it gets stuck in customs.
All other components are pretty much available in India, so I ordered the remaining components online. The components arrived within a month of purchase. (Components purchased from U.S and China usually takes a month)
For my iPhone 6S, I was unable to find the screws in our local market and in the end I had to settled with iPhone 5S screws which were 95% same. This was also because I was sure that the Apple didn’t change their screw set for quite a while.
I received all the components except the aluminium back plates that holds the fingerprint scanner, display and the front camera plus earpiece. I went to my local market and searched for more than two hours and was on the verge of giving up when a repair cost helped me by giving those plates from a dead iPhone 6S. Even though he charged me with a premium money, I was happy that the last piece of puzzle has been found and owned.
Now the only process left is the assembling of the iPhone 6S. On the internet, you can find a lot of videos and articles regarding assembling and disassembling of an iPhone 6S. I quickly went to the set of videos and followed the same steps. It took me approximately 6 hours to put them in one piece. In between I got stuck because Apple implemented different size of screw at every random location. This was probably the first phone that has around 64 screws in total just to keep the components together. But before sealing the device, it’s better to test everything including display, touch, fingerprint sensor, speaker, vibration and the network. This is the best time to analyse and fix if there is any issue because after sealing the device, it will be very difficult to disassemble it then.
Once I was done assembling it, it was finally time to boot the device. The most precious moment was to see an Apple logo glowing on the screen which is the first sign of life and after checking its functions I can proudly say that “I successfully made my iPhone”.