Review: iPhone Dummy Display Phone โ€“ Oddly awesome - Macenstein

Review: iPhone Dummy Display Phone – Oddly awesome

Guess what showed up in the mail today? WRONG! It’s the iPhone Dummy Display Phone from USB Fever.

Above: The dummy iPhone (right) looks more real than my ColorWare painted iPhone (left).

Costing 1/10th the price of an actual working iPhone, and providing 1/50th the functionality, the iPhone Dummy Display Phone is oddly awesome.

Above: OMG it even has a serial number! I apparently got the 8GB dummy.

Aside from not working, there is really no discernible way for the casual (and even not-so-casual) observer to spot the difference between the dummy and the real thing. It has the exact dimensions and weight as the genuine iPhone. I have no idea how, but it is actually made from the iPhone’s OEM parts (it would seem anything is possible in Asia). Every detail is there, from the working volume, hold, and home buttons (“working” in this case meaning you can press them) to the Apple logo on the back. It even has a serial number, for crying out loud!

Above: Even my headphones fit correctly.

I’m not sure how accurate it is, but on my digital postage scale, the dummy weighed in at 5 ounces even. While the real iPhone lists itself as weighing 4.8 ounces, my iPhone clocked in at 5.1 ounces (although it has been painted), so I think USB Fever has pretty much nailed the weight, despite not having any of the iPhone’s real innards.

Above: Comparing to my ColorWare painted iPhone.

Aside from giving to an iPhone-obsessed toddler to play with instead of “Daddy’s iPhone”, there are only a few legitimate reasons I can think of that you might want one of these (such as if you are an iPhone case accessory maker looking to test your product or perhaps you have a retail display need for an iPhone but do not want to risk losing a real item), but it’s a whole lot more fun to imagine the illegitimate reasons to have this. eBay scammers, television prop departments, and kids who want to make YouTube videos of iPhones being smashed to hell will be lining up for this bad boy.

Above: Logo – check. Camera lens – check.

I am personally looking forward to switching my friend’s iPhone with this one (slipping it inside his case) and seeing how long it takes him to freak out and call Apple support wondering why his iPhone died. It should be awesome.

Minor differences

This is an amazing duplicate of the 1st gen iPhone, and the attention to detail is pretty remarkable. It feels very solid, and there are only a couple small noticeable differences between the real iPhone and the dummy.

Above: The SIM card tray is just a placeholder, but it can be pulled out, which is cool.

First, there is no dock, and no headphones/cables included (not that you would expect there to be, but just throwing it out there). Second, while the SIM card holder actually is removable, the full tray is not there, just a fake plug (but who is going to try to remove it?). Also, the Ringer On/Off switch does not move, although all other buttons feel and react as on a regular iPhone. Finally, the screen looks just slightly different than a real iPhone’s when turned off. There’s a very slight “texture” to the materil under the glass on the dummy’s screen that when catching the light, (and from close up) looks a little different. But you would have to be pretty familiar with the real iPhone and inspecting the iPhone extremely close up to notice any of these.


The only real issue I can see here is that “in theory” Apple will be releasing a new iPhone in the next couple days with an allegedly slightly different form factor. If you want your dummy to be state of the art, you may want to wait and see if the Asian pirates can score parts from that model. But be warned, it took nearly a year to get this one to market.


Whether you are a prankster, a con-man, an iPhone accessory maker, or just an iPhone fan who wants to give his kids something to play with, the iPhone Dummy Display Phone can be used for countless things รขโ‚ฌโ€œ just not a phone. It looks, feels, and weighs exactly the same as the real deal, because, well, it IS the real deal, just minus the working parts.

iPhone Dummy Display Phone

Cost: $39.99

Pros: Exact physical replica of the iPhone, made from OEM parts, (almost) all buttons work

Cons: At the end of the day, you bought a non-working iPhone for $40

10 Responses to “Review: iPhone Dummy Display Phone – Oddly awesome”
  1. Michael says:

    So if the dummy is made of OEM parts, couldn’t you utilize the backing to replace the backing on your iPhone? Mine is scratched and some of the finish is worn…….just throwing it out there.

  2. CUBSWILLWIN says:

    your saying the screen looks different when turned off, does that mean it turns on? Does it do anything at all?

  3. @Cubsillwin,

    Sorry for the confusion. The Dummy does not turn on. I meant its screen looks a little different froma REAL iPhone when ITS screen is turned off.
    -The Doc

  4. ArtOfWarfare says:

    … I don’t own an iPhone but I was under the impression that it offered a lot more than 50x the functionality of a dummy. (You said it’s 1/50th as functional… are you just pulling numbers from thin air or did you actually like, calculate how many hours one would realistically spend with each thing? I can’t see anyone spending more than a week with a dummy… whereas an iPhone will probably be used for 2-4 years… which would mean it’s at least 100-200x as functional… right?

  5. Mr Coco says:


    You are Soooooooooo Anal

  6. sss4r says:

    ArtOfWarfare: I don’t think functionality is measured in terms of length of duration of use but rather how many functions it can perform……..

    BTW, if you intend to stress your “friend” out so you can have a laugh (though I can’t see the humor in it at all), then I am glad I’m not your friend ๐Ÿ™‚

    And who would pay $40 for a fake iPhone? The same people who spend $20 on a 25-cent plastic case?

  7. Ruben says:


    I’m wondering if you can use the cover, the bezel, etc.. to use them in the original iPhone?

    Maybe post a disassembly video of your iPhone Dummy? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  8. Kieran says:

    Could you use the apple logo to replace the one you have on your real iphone? And could you use the backplate? What about the chrome bezel, is that usable? Please let me know thanks.

  9. Bill Hopkins says:

    Where can I buy one???

  10. Sarah says:

    So whats the point of a dummy phone? I cant buy one and use it as my phone? darn cause their quite cheap and i was hoping to buy a dummy pantche matrix and keep my old sim card and put it in the dummy phone!!!!! uh……

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