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Teardown of Apple's iPhone 4S reveals larger battery, new baseband chip

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Before it's even officially released to the public, Apple's new iPhone 4S has been disassembled to unveil its slightly larger battery, as well as updated internal components like a new baseband chip and the dual-core A5 processor.

iFixit on Thursday conducted their standard teardown of Apple's latest gear, and this time their prying eyes turned to the iPhone 4S. The disassembly process navigated "largely familiar waters" with the new handset, which carries largely the same design as the iPhone 4 first released in 2010.

But inside, the solutions provider found a slightly larger battery with an extra .05WHrs. Because of a modified connector, the new battery likely cannot be placed into a previous-generation iPhone 4.

Along with advancements made with other components including the new A5 processor, the slightly improved battery capacity in the iPhone 4S offers an extra hour of talk time on 3G networks when compared to the iPhone 4.

Removing the logic board and EMI shields reveals the custom-built A5 processor, along with an assortment of other chips. The A5 CPU has a marking of E4E4, denoting its LPDDR2 die total 512MB of RAM, confirming earlier reports on the amount of memory found in the dual-core chip.



The teardown also revealed a new Qualcomm MDM6610 baseband chipset. That's a slightly modified version of the "world mode" MDM6600 Qualcomm baseband that Apple used in the CDMA iPhone 4 released earlier this year.



Though it included a world mode baseband capable of supporting both CDMA and GSM networks, that model of the iPhone 4 was CDMA only. In contrast, the new iPhone 4S is a true world phone, which will allow both GSM and CDMA customers to roam on GSM networks worldwide.

iFixit's peek inside also revealed that while most of the iPhone 4S resembles the design of the CDMA iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S does have the same mounting tabs on its display assemblies as the GSM iPhone 4. The CDMA iPhone 4 had a different design for its display assembly mounting tab locations.



But the iPhone 4S does retain the same linear oscillating vibrator that was found in the CDMA iPhone 4. That replaces the rotational electric motor with counterweight that was found in the GSM iPhone 4.

"This vibrator motor is quieter, softer, and all-around less annoying than its counter-weighted predecessor," they noted.



Other tidbits from the teardown:
Apple has once again employed pentalobe screws to hold the iPhone 4S together.
A triangular sticker located on the logic board serves as a liquid indicator.
Chips on the logic board, in addition to the A5, are the QUalcomm RTR8605 Multi-band/mode RF Transciever, Skyworks 77464-20, Avago ACPM-7181 Power Amplifier, TriQuint TQM9M9030 Multi-Mode Quad-Band Power Amplifier Module, and TriQuint TQM66052.
The NAND flash memory is Toshiba THGVX1G7D2GLA08 16GB 24nm MLC.
post #2 of 19
Nothing but sugary sweetness inside!
post #3 of 19
Lithium Ion and not Lithium Polymer... Was this always the case with iPhones? I always thought iDevices used Lipo batteries?
post #4 of 19
Does anyone know if there is a Samsung component in the iPhone 4S? I can't see one amongst the listed items.
post #5 of 19
I believe Samsung manufactures the A5 application processor. They might also make the DRAM.
post #6 of 19
now that's a brand new lAAAArge battery in there... )
And the RAM is also a brand new one... :/
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post #7 of 19
Has anyone heard whether the lens opening for the new camera is larger in diameter? Also, is the flash opening any different in size? If they are the same size, then my extra Zagg film cover will work on the new 4S just fine (was planning on cutting it a little larger before installing it on the back, if, in fact, the new camera sports a larger lens mounting hole, or the flash is larger also.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Does anyone know if there is a Samsung component in the iPhone 4S? I can't see one amongst the listed items.

I think the A5 processor is still being manufactured by Samsung.
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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"This vibrator motor is quieter, softer, and all-around less annoying than its counter-weighted predecessor," they noted.

I don't understand why a softer vibrator motor is better.

I have a 3GS and sometimes can't feel the vibration at all, causing me to miss calls. Can someone who has an iPhone 4 (GSM) comment on how their vibrator feels?

Anyway, it's great to see Apple's attention to detail, even with such a trivial choice as a vibrator motor.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

I don't understand why a softer vibrator motor is better.

I have a 3GS and sometimes can't feel the vibration at all, causing me to miss calls. Can someone who has an iPhone 4 (GSM) comment on how their vibrator feels?

Anyway, it's great to see Apple's attention to detail, even with such a trivial choice as a vibrator motor.

I'll try not to let my immaturity get the best of me... (tries to keep self from snickering like a little kid)

In all seriousness, though, a "softer" motor doesn't necessarily mean a weaker one. In fact, a softer, better placed motor can actually be more efficient than a "harder", more poorly placed on. My guess is that Apple needed as much space as possible, put a smaller sized motor in there, but positioned it in a way that was better placed inside the phone.
post #11 of 19
The vibrator motor offers different vibrations, just like choosing different ring tones.
post #12 of 19
Screw ifixit. I want to see blendtec do a teardown.
post #13 of 19
Does anyone know if the 4S is using Gorilla glass on the back as well as the front?
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Has anyone heard whether the lens opening for the new camera is larger in diameter? Also, is the flash opening any different in size? If they are the same size, then my extra Zagg film cover will work on the new 4S just fine (was planning on cutting it a little larger before installing it on the back, if, in fact, the new camera sports a larger lens mounting hole, or the flash is larger also.

The camera is fine, it's the mute and volume buttons which are in a slightly different position.

They've been selling here for three hours now.
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post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"This vibrator motor is quieter, softer, and all-around less annoying than its counter-weighted predecessor," they noted.

huh? Does that mean its even less usefull than the one on the GSM 4?

I can hardly notice the vibrator as it is - I hope the above is poor phrasing and the vibrator on the 4S is more noticeable, not less
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

I have a 3GS and sometimes can't feel the vibration at all, causing me to miss calls. Can someone who has an iPhone 4 (GSM) comment on how their vibrator feels?

Worse than the 3GS

If he 4S is softer still they might as well leave the feature off

Quote:
Anyway, it's great to see Apple's attention to detail, even with such a trivial choice as a vibrator motor.

yeah but this time it seems to be making things worse, not better. I'll just have to head to the Apple store and compare 'em myself
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

huh? Does that mean its even less usefull than the one on the GSM 4?

I can hardly notice the vibrator as it is - I hope the above is poor phrasing and the vibrator on the 4S is more noticeable, not less

Yeah, I have trouble noticing the vibration, to me I don't notice a difference between my iPhone4 and iPhone4S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

The camera is fine, it's the mute and volume buttons which are in a slightly different position.

They've been selling here for three hours now.

Did u get your Telstra cupcake muah ah ha ha

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Did u get your Telstra cupcake muah ah ha ha

Nah...

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post #19 of 19
NAND flash memory is Toshiba. Hmm, no Samsung?
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