It is not necessary to visit the Foxconn factory to see the assembled “from scratch” iPhone. On the black market in China, you can find all the necessary accessories and tools. You can also order the Assembly of a homemade Apple smartphone, which will cost much cheaper than the original model.
Brian merchant, author of “One device: the secret history of the iPhone”, spent several months in Shenzhen, studying the local electronics manufacturing. He spent a lot of time in the markets where you can buy different components for the iPhone. Enthusiast at first could not understand how they are organized and who is buying all these parts.
The merchant tells how he bought an iPhone 4s from local sellers for only 350 RMB (about $50). The working device was assembled from scratch with components sourced from different vendors.
According to the American, he had never seen so many iPhone in one place: either in the shop or at the concert or at the Consumer Electronic Show.
On the black market you can find not only original details, but also cover for iPhone “in 24-carat gold” Limited Edition 1/250 for only $10. The merchant found a seller who has collected his iPhone 4s. He got the necessary components, and then 15 minutes made working smartphone.
Merchant not the first who managed to get a working iPhone from parts. In April, the American engineer Scotty Allen, who was on a trip to Shanghai, collected a fully functional iPhone 6s 16 GB of memory from components bought in the markets of electronics. Smartphone cost him $300 – less than half is the original smartphone.