I want to build my own smartphone

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jackintosh7

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Mar 22, 2013
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Hello everyone! As you can see from the title of the post I would like to build my own smartphone. I know it sounds kinda crazy but I think it would be cool to do. I'm 13 years old and I have already built myself a computer so I know a great deal of information on computers, components, software, ect. The phone I want to build would run android, because its open source. The processor that I want to use is ether a snapdragon or Tegra processor I dont care what version or how fast it is, I just want it to work. My first problem is where can I buy a mobile processor like this? My second problem is the motherboard, where can I buy a mobile motherboard? I know Foxconn builds Apple's but I dont think I can ask them to make me a custom board. As you can see my main problem is finding the components, because there isn't a lagre market for people building their own phones its hard to find parts. It's not like newegg sells phone motherboards. So if you guys have any suggestions, names of companies, links, ect please let me know It would be very helpful!
 

ipwn3r456

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It's probably near impossible to build your own smartphone. It's not just that simple that you need the motherboard, and the processor. There are much more things you need to worry about as well. storage chip, accelerometer, compass, two cameras, radio chip (incorporating GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular), USB controller chip, Micro-USB port, LCD panel, capacitive touchscreen, battery, slider, keyboard, case, etc.... Most of the suppliers are from china. And I don't think you live in China. Even if you live in China, you probably have to contact all the suppliers in china (possibly over 100) to get the individual parts of a smartphone. So, forget about building your own cell phone, just buy one...
 

ipwn3r456

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Mar 21, 2012
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It's probably near impossible to build your own smartphone. It's not just that simple that you need the motherboard, and the processor. There are much more things you need to worry about as well. storage chip, accelerometer, compass, two cameras, radio chip (incorporating GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular), USB controller chip, Micro-USB port, LCD panel, capacitive touchscreen, battery, slider, keyboard, case, etc.... Most of the suppliers are from china. And I don't think you live in China. Even if you live in China, you probably have to contact all the suppliers in china (possibly over 100) to get the individual parts of a smartphone. So, forget about building your own cell phone, just buy one...
 

blueme

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This is currently very possible although not in the way you specified it;

There are a lot of Chinese (and not only) websites where you can customize your phone. Like what processor, camera (how many Mpx), storage, RAM and so on.
 

Apanzee

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Lol, we're not killing anyone's dream, it just literally cannot be done.

Companies like Foxconn in China build circuit boards and components per manufacturer request, and design them specifically how they want them made. This means that a mainboard from one phone won't work with hardware intended for another and vice versa.

It may be possible to customize things such as the battery. For example in a Google Nexus the battery is internal, but can be exchanged for one with a higher mA/h rating by opening the device.

As was mentioned, there are companies that will custom build devices for you per your request. These companies work hand in hand with suppliers like Foxconn and others who manufacture the parts.

It isn't like building a PC where there's only so many types of CPU sockets, and just about everything else connects via PCIe or SATA. Phones are tiny and intricate, and they are put together with solder. Building one yourself would be almost impossible.
 
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