Novel “funeral services” for gadgets have emerged in China. There are firms that pack up “for eternity” destroyed or obsolete electronic devices and gadgets that owners have become attached to. Many of us have old watches or phones that we can’t part with, even if they no longer work, so we can understand why there is demand for such services.
Lin Xi, a young woman in China, runs a business that turns these gadgets into decorative items that can be hung on walls, like paintings, or placed in libraries.
The firm has been in existence since 2019, in the city of Weifang in China’s Shandong province. “One day I asked myself: since I have so many electronics around, why not turn them into artworks?” the woman said.
Lin began promoting her business online, posting some examples of gadgets “turned into art”, and success came quickly. In just a few days, she received more than 200 orders, which she barely fulfilled in half a year.
The young woman takes apart the devices and frames several of their components. Text appears next to many items describing what they are: antenna, coil or 5G modem.
Among the electronics transformed by Lin Xi are an iPhone 12, a Cartier watch, a Nintendo 3DS video console and an old Motorola phone.
At first people turned to the woman’s services for real collectibles: Vertu phones, a Motorola DynaTAC (the world’s first mobile phone) or an HTC G1 (the first smartphone with an Android operating system). Later, more common models, such as the latest-generation iPhones, began to arrive.
Lin Xi is not the only player in the market. Chen Xingyi, also from China, told Apple Daily that he makes $140,000 a year from the business, and demand is so high that he works all day.