Can you manage with a measly 16GB on your iPhone? Are you willing to pay more for higher storage? If not you can swing by China’s Shenzhen market where it is possible to upgrade your iPhone or even iPad from 16GB to 128GB, for just $60, in 30 minutes.

Apple has made choosing an iPhone a difficult task now that there are generally two model types to pick from with every release. In fact, the potential introduction of a 4-inch model – the iPhone 5se – could bump that up to three and make the decision even harder. Then, when you’ve actually chosen your model type, there’s the additional quandary of deciding on the internal storage capacity.

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In a perfect world the majority of us would instantly opt for the top-of-the-range 128GB iPhone model of our choosing when purchasing a new device. Even if you don’t need that amount of storage, if it came with no additional cost penalties then you would be insane not to choose it. However, the world doesn’t work that way unfortunately. Apple generally charges a $100 premium for every capacity bump. Jumping from a 16GB to a 64GB costs an extra $100. Making the next step up to 128GB costs an additional $200 over the entry-level 16GB version.

However, in China’s Shenzhen market where you can buy pretty much anything your mind can dream up, the price doesn’t need to be that steep. It appears that you can walk into the market, find a suitable vendor, and purchase an on the spot capacity upgrade for your iPhone for a relatively minor financial outlay of just $60. That means you can opt for the 16GB version, but upgrade to 128GB storage for just $60, rather than paying Apple an additional $200 for that privilege. Of course, you need to be able to get to the Shenzhen market.


The process itself requires a fair bit of trust to be given to the vendor within the market. The iOS device in question – which could be an iPhone 6, iPad Air, or older – needs to be taken apart piece-by-piece by an expert to allow the new Toshiba storage chip to be embedded. The existing storage is then transferred across to the new 128GB chip, and all of this takes around 30 minutes only.

It offers huge storage benefits, costs only $60, and doesn’t come with any loss of existing data. Sounds like the perfect solution for those who can access the market locally. Oh, we should probably mention if it isn’t obvious; going through such a process will entirely void your official warranty with Apple. So yeah, there is that.

Check out the video embedded below to see what goes on in the process.

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