The iPhone 7 is still young to the market, but China has fallen fast out of love. The days when a shiny jet black model fetched a markup price of 24 thousand RMB ($3560 USD) on the black market are long gone, and the nifty methods that the Chinese have devised to “upgrade” their iPhone6s, shows half-hearted enthusiasm for the phone, which has scarcely anything new to offer besides a sleek black option and marginally altered design.

The way some see it, why pay $700 for a new phone when you already have an iPhone6 with almost the same specs?  These are some budget-friendly solutions Chinese users are resorting to.

  1. Change the rear panel

This is one of the more time consuming options to reincarnate an iPhone6 into the latest model. In the place of a second lens, these cases only have a hole, to our dismay, but otherwise, the end result is enough to fool the untrained eye. For those who have trouble taking apart the casing and installing an iPhone7 replica,considerate shop owners have provided an hour-long video course to guide you along the task.

“Though the official iPhone 7 has not yet launched, we already have a similar casing here. We don’t what the lettering will be like yet, but after the launch we’ll know what to engrave” said the narrator, who runs a Taobao shop. His weibo provides close-up images of a modified jet black iPhone6, though he advises that the make over will be costly.


A search for “6改7” on Taobao yields a multitude of services offered by handymen in Shenzhen,with the dual lens convincing to varying degrees. They are inclined to charge 50% more for the jet black version, after all, what’s to flaunt if you can’t tell the difference from an iPhone6?

Rear panel replacement, alter the iPhone6 into a 7. Notice the dual lens in this case
  1. Get a look-alike phone case
Change your iPhone6 to 7 instantaneously

If you don’t think its worth the time and risk shipping off your phone to Shenzhen for a makeover, the next best option is pop on a phone case with all the identical markings of a 7. Though this solution is a lot less convincing, without making much of an effort to mimic the dual lens of the latest generation, and a highly unattractive hole for your Apple logo to peek out (we wouldn’t want to cover that up).


Are you the kind to go the extra mile? If you’re going to try to pass for an iPhone7, you’d better do something about that gaping earphone jack. Don’t fret, Chinese netizens have it all thought out: some netizens have devised a dust plug, fitting seamlessly so you can say goodbye to your earphone jack for good.

  1. Still too much?

If you’re really going for the minimalist approach, then iPhone7 stickers is the thing for you. “This is it. Don’t choose to wait, change your iPhone6 to an iPhone 7 NOW”, these stickers purport. Again, they can only work so much magic when it comes to the lens, but at least these stickers have nailed the engravings and the logo.

How to affix an iPhone7 identity to an old phone

Based in Beijing, April Ma writes on tech trends and covers startups that may (or may not) be the next BATs. Reach her at or Mafangjing (Wechat).