- Australian YouTuber Hugh Jeffreys completely restored an AppleiPhone 8 he purchased in terrible condition on eBay for about $US200.
- He had to buy some extra parts, like a new glass panel for the display, a new housing, and a new battery.
- Still, Jeffreys ended up with a 256GB iPhone 8 for much less than a brand new model from Apple, or even an Apple refurbished model.
Perhaps it’s my recent obsession with watching car restoration videos on YouTube, but I found Australian YouTuber Hugh Jeffreys’ restoration of a damaged iPhone 8 very satisfying.
Apart from satisfaction, it was also amazing that an iPhone in such bad shape could be cheaply purchased on eBay and restored to look brand new, and even customised with an exterior colour that the iPhone 8 doesn’t even come in.
What Jeffreys essentially ended up with is an iPhone 8 with 256GB of storage that cost him under $US400 and a little bit of time. That’s not a bad proposition when a brand new 256GB iPhone 8 costs $US750 US. Even if you bought a 256GB iPhone 8 from Apple’s refurbished store, it would cost you $US630.
Check out what Jeffreys did and watch his video below:
This is what he started off with. A black iPhone 8 with a cracked back and cracked screen.
The iPhone still worked, but it would shut off when it ran off battery power. It only stayed on when connected to power.
The inside of the iPhone was full of dust and dirt, as the display was previously replaced but the water and dust resistant gaskets weren’t re-added.
So he set about taking absolutely everything apart.
Jeffreys then replaced all the parts from the original iPhone to the new aftermarket Product Red iPhone housing for $US60 AUS (about $US43 US) from eBay, which he says has good quality aluminium and glass, but he ran into issues with the screw threads.
He used the same display from the old iPhone and replaced the cracked glass panel while making sure to keep the original Touch ID home button, which can’t be replaced easily.
Touch ID home buttons are exclusively paired with the iPhone they came with. A new Touch ID home button wouldn’t work with the parts from the original iPhone 8 Jeffreys bought from eBay. Only Apple can replace a Touch ID home button, as it has the software that’s needed to pair the new Touch ID home button to an iPhone.
Jeffreys then added the water and dust resistant gaskets that were missing in the original repaired iPhone.
And after assembling everything together, he ended up with this:
The cost of the iPhone 8 from eBay and other parts he needed, like the housing and glass panel, came to a total of $US390 AUS, which is about $278 USD.
Jeffreys did need to use specific tools from iFixit that cost $US60 and weren’t factored into the cost of restoring the iPhone. He also used a handy magnetic mat to keep all the screws and parts organised, which cost $US20.
Assuming that most of us don’t own a specialty toolkit from iFixit or a magnetic mat, the total cost of restoring the iPhone 8 is closer to $US358. That’s still just under $US400 less than a brand new 256GB iPhone 8.
Buying a cheap damaged iPhone from eBay and restoring it seems like a great idea if you want an iPhone for much less than Apple sells it. But taking apart an iPhone and putting it back together is a pretty involved process – and not every damaged phone is damaged in the same way, so it could require more extensive repairs.
The bottom line: If you’re planning on trying it out yourself for the first time, expect lots of trial and error, and potentially a totally non-functional iPhone.
Check out Jeffreys’ video below, where he goes into more detail about the process of restoring the busted iPhone 8 he bought from eBay.
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