The walled garden Apple uses to meticulously control every element of the iPhone can really suck. It prohibits you from replacing the battery, adding third-party storage, or using an iPhone to tinker around and build new, weird projects.
The creator of the YouTube channel Strange Parts is determined to tear down that wall. He spent weeks slogging around Shenzhen, China buying parts for the iPhone in an attempt to build his own from the ground up. The result is actually pretty impressive.
Before we dive too deep into this video, however, we should note that there’s a chance this guy is messing with us and bent the truth. The video has been filmed in several chunks and some of the trickier parts look like they’d be really hard to pull off. That said, having been to the electronics mall in Shenzhen, it’s not that hard to believe he’d be able to find all the parts (and cases) so easily.
The video starts with the pretty basic task of buying a cool case and quickly jumps to some more interesting projects, like finding a specialized laser-etching machine and other industrial machinery used to piece the iPhone together. Through this video, you get an intimate look at all of the different pieces of the phone, like its back light, LCD screen (that ships with Force Touch technology sandwiched in the middle), and the buttons (which are more complicated than they look).
If you don’t have 23 minutes to spare, we’d recommend skipping straight to the 7-minute mark where he explains the three primary components of the display, or the 20-minute mark where he finalizes the project with a missing part. Any gadget geek will enjoy it—and you should come away with a better sense of what makes your iPhone work so smoothly.