Here, the iPhone 4, released 11 years ago, is the most “hot” product

iPhone 4, BlackBerry P9981, the original MacBook Air…

Apart from "eating ashes" in drawers and cabinets, what else can be done with these products that are behind the times but are at the same time classic?

Making specimens may be a good answer. The screen, back cover, screws, A4 processor and other parts are removed one by one, and then embedded in the photo frame to form a "print".

It smells like cyberpunk.

After being disassembled and framed into a photo frame, the old mobile phone has become an interesting home furnishing, and it is also another form of display of old memories. With the pursuit of this type of product by digital enthusiasts, it has gradually become a new category. Business, and even spawned new careers.

Dismantling and mounting of old objects, from artistic expression to souvenirs


An iPhone 12 broke during a couple's quarrel, and both the back cover and the screen were badly damaged. Conventionally, such severely broken products often enter the e-waste recycling industry chain because they cannot be repaired.

But this time is something special. In order to commemorate this relationship, the man finally sent the broken iPhone 12 to Chen Xingyi, the old decorator. After disassembly, cleaning, and re-fixing and assembling, he transformed it into a rather beautiful one. Characteristic and ornamental cell phone specimens.

▲ It looks pretty broken.

After completion, Chen Xingyi will take pictures of the finished product and deliver them to customers, so that people can share it on social media such as Moments, Weibo, etc. It can be described as a "one-stop" service.

And for similar custom dismantling orders, Chen Xingyi can receive dozens of them every month, most of which are "outdated" classic products like iPhone 4 and BlackBerry, and a few are accidentally damaged like iPhone 12 New product.

The entire disassembly and customization process is not short. Generally speaking, it is necessary to go through the process of confirming the customization requirements, designing the board, and confirming the preview to the final production.

▲Picture from: Core 77

If it is a small product like the iPhone 4 that has a mature solution, it can be disassembled, cleaned and mounted in about 3 days. However, the production time for Android phones, old computers, cameras, etc. will increase greatly, and complex products will even reach half. Months.

A friend of mine around me bought a similar disassembly and mounting service. In his opinion:

Although it is of commemorative significance, this phone is already an "outdated product." I can no longer use it in my daily life. Rather than eating ashes in the drawer, it is better to give it a better home.

It’s worth mentioning that this niche hobby costs a lot. According to Chen Xingyi’s introduction, the self-delivery production price of a mature solution like the iPhone 4 is about 598 yuan, which is also a relatively common starting price in the circle.

The difficulty of product dismantling, the difficulty of creative realization, and the overall dismantling work in the customized service will all affect the price of the customized service.

▲ A specimen of the original MacBook Air with the classic ad slogan "The world's thinnest laptop in 2008"

Compared with niche hobbies such as hand-made collections, the mounting of old objects is more important for personal customization and creative expression. The price of good designs is indeed not low, while hand-made ones pay more attention to IP, product craftsmanship, and sophistication. Advantage.

The mounting of old objects can be traced back to the visual expression art of installation artists, such as Canadian artist Todd McLellan, who often collects all kinds of used electronic products and disassembles them into specimens one after another, which looks like "prints." .

At the same time, the dismantling and reorganization of electronic products has also become a creative way for artists to express their attitudes. In 2018, artist Benjamin Von Wong and his team used nearly 2 tons of electronic waste to make sculptures to express "waste electronic products should be Recycle".

With the development of short video-related technologies and ecology, various dismantling product videos have emerged one after another. More and more dismantling bloggers have appeared on YouTube, Station B, and Douyin. The threshold for dismantling electronic products has been greatly reduced. NS.

This creative form is becoming more and more common, and even gave birth to a new profession-old object mounters, who relied on dismantling waste electronic products and re-designing related parts into photo frames to make specimens for profit.

Disassembling and mounting is not only a journey of "resurrecting the dead" of the old product, but also finds new emotional sustenance for people.

Behind the installation of old objects, there are moving stories one after another

Contrary to the mainstream mobile phone industry, non-iPhone product customization services are more likely to sell at high prices in the old object mounting circle.

If the product you want to send is a niche product such as HTC Drem and BlackBerry P9983, the service price will rise to 898 yuan. If a large-scale product such as a computer is accompanied by a complex idea, it is common to be as large as several thousand yuan.

The process and materials are more like basic requirements.

Alloy and solid wood are common frame materials, and plastic frames are easy to break during transportation. Custom glue is also the same. If beginners use the common 502 glue, the parts will easily fall during transportation, and different parts should use different glues.

The technical proficiency of the assembler will also affect the stability and the quality of the finished layout, otherwise it is prone to skew.

The most important thing is whether the transformation can carry the owner’s feelings for the old objects. Once a customer who broke his Achilles tendon came to Chen Xingyi and asked him to make a specimen for his favorite camera. In addition to the camera, there is also a number 23 in the main body. , That is, the basketball uniform number of his favorite star "Jordan".

▲ The sneakers worn on the day that the Achilles tendon was broken were also added to the final work. Picture from: Looking for pleasure and creation

He even added the date when he broke his Achilles tendon, which was obviously to pay tribute to the idol and to commemorate his sports life.

There are many such stories. The first PSP game console in life and the first mobile phone given by parents can be better integrated in the home environment and easy to watch when stored in the form of specimens.

▲ SONY PSP specimen

Occasionally there will be mounting requirements for non-electronic products.

▲ A framed work composed of epaulettes and medals of a veteran

Even when Chen Xing became an old object decorator, he was also affected by souvenirs. In 2019, he failed to start a milk tea shop. In order to commemorate this entrepreneurial life, he dismantled the iPhone 4 that usually answers the take-out phone and made it into a picture frame specimen. Thinking of being popular after being sent to e-commerce platforms, more and more orders over time.

A customer is an interesting story, and this may be the cuteness and fun of the profession of an old thing decorator.

Of course, if your hands-on skills are strong enough, you can actually complete the disassembly and mounting by yourself. There are even solid wood picture frames, glue materials, mature production solutions and so on on the major e-commerce platforms.

▲ E-commerce platforms can buy a large number of disassembled “accessories''

However, it should be noted that the solutions provided by most merchants are relatively simple. If you want to achieve more interesting typesetting in the photo frame, you need to have a certain design basis, and the sales product solutions are mainly the first generation iPhone to 4S.

If you are not an iPhone user, it is difficult to find a mature solution for your old mobile phone and camera. If you are not proficient, it is easy to disassemble the back cover, parts and other problems when disassembling, so the visual impression of the finished product will be greatly reduced.

Moreover, most of the disassembly and mounting are now mainly based on old mobile phones and old electronic products. Under the active control of digital manufacturers, the integration of new products is getting higher and higher, and it is becoming more and more difficult to dismantle. Take a look at iFixit in recent years. After a few years of dismantling reports, it will be known that the repair score is getting lower and lower.

It can be said that half of the boom in dismantling the mounting ring belongs to the iPhone 4, a classic Apple product. Under the mature scheme, the standardized production cost is low and the production speed is fast. Most of the demand for finished products in the circle is also mainly for the iPhone.

About 30% of consumers in Chen Xingyi's specimen store are women, most of whom are buying finished iPhone specimens for the purpose of giving them to their boyfriends as love gifts.

▲For a friend who has a headache for gifts, maybe you can copy homework

At present, the price of the first-generation iPhone with better quality is higher, and most of the finished samples of the first-generation iPhone are 80% or 90% new, and there may be minor defects such as scratches on the back cover.

This is still an emerging profession that requires multiple practice and encourages creative expression.

Mobile phone manufacturers admission

The history of dismantling and mounting of old objects is not long, but in fact, its scope of influence is not limited to ordinary consumers. As a blogger, Chen Xingyi has contacted companies through platform activities and expanded his business scope—— Enterprise customization.

Compared with the needs of ordinary consumption, the needs of enterprises are often more complicated. It takes half a month to a month to be a common phenomenon. The main application scenario of enterprise customization is the product display at the exhibition. The form of product specimens can be quite visually impactful. Better demonstrate the company's technical capabilities and design capabilities.

There are even mobile phone manufacturers that have noticed this area. Xiaomi launched an old phone retrofit service at the beginning of this year, providing multiple retrofit styles. Users can send their old Mi 4 to the official, and Xiaomi will complete the dismantling. And fixed.

Currently supported models are Xiaomi classic products such as Xiaomi 1, Xiaomi 2, Xiaomi 4, Xiaomi Note 2, and Xiaomi 6. You can customize an exclusive slogan in the upper right corner of the frame. The actual production cost is not particularly high, 199 yuan.

I happened to have friends around me who bought this service, and I will show you the buyer show. The actual product is more like a company's periphery, with limited options and customization content, although this has brought faster production and distribution speeds.

▲ Buyer show

There are gains and losses. Customized products of enterprises have better processes, higher after-sales service quality, and lower prices, but they have lost personal expression.

This may be the best destination for the art of dismantling electronic products. As a tool medium for individual expression, it should change in accordance with individual needs and ultimately form various forms.

The picture of the title and the pictures of some disassembled specimens in the text are from: @寻乐造物

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