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iPhone teardown reveals better-than-iPod construction (photos)

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
A disassembly of the iPhone immediately after its public launch has revealed small, but useful, information about the Apple handset's assembly.

Technicians at iFixit have dissected the device from front to back, explaining its construction and already identifying specific parts.

Opening the casing is a "little bit tricky," the company says. The black trim at the back of the phone is a plate that both creates a clear signal and detaches cleanly from the rest of the case. Completely removing the back panel, however, requires disconnecting the headphone jack's cable.

Inside, the battery is said to be "huge" relative to the size of the phone, and is a 3.7-volt lithium-ion polymer battery. The pack is soldered to the phone's logic board but is removable. Rear panels hold both the SIM card slot and the headphone connector. There is very little at the front of the logic board: the screen, speaker, and touch sensor connectors are the only real protrusions.

The logic board is also currently a source of mystery. It splits into two sections, but the largest portion -- which contains the flash memory, processor, and other chips -- is currently difficult to view without damaging the board proper.

Construction as a whole is particularly tight. A full 16 screws, including 10 just along the edge alone, hold the phone's components in place -- "unlike many iPods," the technicians say. An iPod nano, for reference, uses only three. Even the antenna wires are glued to the phone at strategic points despite the scarcity of room, indicating that the iPhone's creator leaves very little to chance.

"One has to imagine that Apple was extra-paranoid about reliability on this phone," iFixit says. "They've certainly learned their lessons from the iPod."

iPhone teardown photos provided by iFixIt







iPhone teardown photos provided by iFixIt







iPhone teardown photos provided by iFixIt







iPhone teardown photos provided by iFixIt







iPhone teardown photos provided by iFixIt







iPhone teardown photos provided by iFixIt

post #2 of 34
Interesting... but what a way to kill an iPhone...

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #3 of 34
YOU MONSTER! HOW COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING!
post #4 of 34
Looks like they bent the back panel. Hope there is a better way to get into the thing if the batteries die as fast as the 1st gen ipods.

Otherwise apple is going to piss off a shit load of people.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sthiede View Post

YOU MONSTER! HOW COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING!

I want to shout BLASPHEMY! but those pictures are really cool. and it's only a phone.

that i don't have.
post #6 of 34
The hardware is way cool but it is the OS and software that makes iPhone what it is and that OS and software can be updated, upgraded and added to as easily as our Macs. We have only seen the start of what is to come I am sure.
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #7 of 34
TS couldn't take theirs apart without ruining it, it looks like 'ibeakit' didn't.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #8 of 34
It doesn't make any sense to me at all why they would solder the battery wires to the logic board. That isn't any more reliable that using a connector. If the battery were to move around a bit, then at least you'd be able to plug the battery back in with the connector. With solder the wires would just come loose.
post #9 of 34
just got my today, dam how many did they have it stock when i got in line the must have been 1000+ people there, got my and when back 2 hors later and still pak as hell and the are saying they have more in stock
post #10 of 34
I can't get one and this guys are breaking it!!!! >:/ loved the pics though. Anybody else notice there's no mention of the display? afraid they may break it?

As for the bent back case, they can just sell the battery with a brand new case!!!!
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

It doesn't make any sense to me at all why they would solder the battery wires to the logic board. That isn't any more reliable that using a connector. If the battery were to move around a bit, then at least you'd be able to plug the battery back in with the connector. With solder the wires would just come loose.

It looks to me that there is enough wire to flex.
post #12 of 34
What's up with the clock battery at the bottom corner of the inside case?
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojciechowski View Post

Looks like they bent the back panel. Hope there is a better way to get into the thing if the batteries die as fast as the 1st gen ipods.

Otherwise apple is going to piss off a shit load of people.

Particularly those who are stupid enough not to read the manual/terms and never heard of Apple's Support and Service policies.
post #14 of 34
I understand the interest in disassembling an iPhone, but why on earth would you do it with an 8GB model? Save yourself $100 and get the 4GB
post #15 of 34
How difficult would it be to upgrade the flash memory?
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

TS couldn't take theirs apart without ruining it, it looks like 'ibeakit' didn't.

I can understand why people are interested in these deconstructions, but if you're going to destroy the product (as thinksecret clearly did), why not test its durability first? Turn it on and drop it from varying heights, "spill" some liquid over it...etc, see what kind of abuse the phone can take and then take the thing apart.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

I can understand why people are interested in these deconstructions, but if you're going to destroy the product (as thinksecret clearly did), why not test its durability first? Turn it on and drop it from varying heights, "spill" some liquid over it...etc, see what kind of abuse the phone can take and then take the thing apart.

Because if they did that, they couldn't get their pre-mature ejaculation money shots online before someone else did.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A disassembly of the iPhone immediately after its public launch has revealed small, but useful, information... ]

Small information? As opposed to 'big information' presumably...
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #19 of 34
Bang goes the theory some people had that the iPhone could be upgraded to 3G via a firmware fix.

The radio stack is based on http://www.skyworksinc.com/products_....asp?pid=11365 which doesn't support 3G.
post #20 of 34
What theory? It was the deluded raving of madmen .
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post

What theory? It was the deluded raving of madmen .

It wasn't totally outlandish, just unlikely. We've already seen one stealth "hardware" upgrade but that doesn't diminish the claimed reasons that Apple put off 3G capabilities. With the n upgrade, the idea is that the drivers weren't ready, with the iPhone, the available chips supposedly weren't ready.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It wasn't totally outlandish, just unlikely. We've already seen one stealth "hardware" upgrade but that doesn't diminish the claimed reasons that Apple put off 3G capabilities. With the n upgrade, the idea is that the drivers weren't ready, with the iPhone, the available chips supposedly weren't ready.

I'm a little disappointed Apple didn't incorporate the radio stack into the main CPU which was partly why I thought the theory was at least a vague possibility.

One of the benefits of Symbian OS8 and 9 is the 'nano' kernel is fast enough for realtime and capable of running the radio stack on the same CPU as the applications instead of requiring a separate chip to keep that running and therefore it reduces the chip count and power consumption.

That's not necessarily what Nokia and SE have been doing though, instead they chose to add 3D GPU and wifi chips in their high end phones, which Apple presumably has as well as the Skyworks chip.

There's a bit of engineering to do to get that iPhone Nano going obviously if they've that high a chip count in the iPhone.
post #23 of 34
iphone pr0n already!
post #24 of 34
Its interesting that the phone contains a sim card. I was wondering about that. In Canada Fido uses sim cards that can be easily changed from one phone to another. Makes me wonder if I coul dpick up an American iPhone and just put my Fido sim card in it.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

Its interesting that the phone contains a sim card. I was wondering about that. In Canada Fido uses sim cards that can be easily changed from one phone to another. Makes me wonder if I coul dpick up an American iPhone and just put my Fido sim card in it.

I think the GSM standard requires a user accessible SIM card. The problem is, both Wall Street Journal and ThinkSecret has tried competitor SIM cards and it didn't work. I think the iPhone has to be unlocked to allow use with other carriers.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think the GSM standard requires a user accessible SIM card. The problem is, both Wall Street Journal and ThinkSecret has tried competitor SIM cards and it didn't work. I think the iPhone has to be unlocked to allow use with other carriers.

Have you guys never purchased a cell phone before with getting free or discounted phones?!?! It sure seems so...

EVERY(*) SINGLE CELL PHONE YOU GET IS LOCK TO WHOEVER YOU SIGN UP WITH.

* when its provided free or discounted... and I'm talking SPECIFICALLY about the US, not Europe or anywhere else...

This isn't something shockingly new... The chances are you just never even realized it... but its standard practice with every carrier.

Dave
Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Have you guys never purchased a cell phone before with getting free or discounted phones?!?! It sure seems so...

Of course, the iPhone is priced like an unlocked phone even though it is locked to a single carrier.

I'm glad to see that the SIM card is easily accessible, however. I knew that SIM cards are part of the GSM standard, but I wasn't sure that "user accessible" was part of the standard too. I have a feeling Apple would have happily buried the SIM card deep inside the guts of the phone if they could have.

I don't like locked phones, and I think it would be a good idea to wait for the second generation of iPhone, especially to see if 3G comes along. Maybe by then (though I'm not holding my breath) unlocked iPhones will be sold (if not in the US, in Europe).

Then again, I'm feeling major gadget lust anyway, and I'm not sure I'll manage to hold out.
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojciechowski View Post

Looks like they bent the back panel. Hope there is a better way to get into the thing if the batteries die as fast as the 1st gen ipods.

Otherwise apple is going to piss off a shit load of people.


Some people couldn't come up with a non-negative comment if their lives depended upon it, I guess. Winners see the glass as half-full. Losers see the glass as half-empty. It's the human condition.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

I can understand why people are interested in these deconstructions, but if you're going to destroy the product (as thinksecret clearly did), why not test its durability first? Turn it on and drop it from varying heights, "spill" some liquid over it...etc, see what kind of abuse the phone can take and then take the thing apart.

The iPhone seems pretty rugged. Can't wait for all of this to make its way into a 6g ipod

http://www.pcworld.com/video/id,545-...,0/video.html#
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Have you guys never purchased a cell phone before with getting free or discounted phones?!?! It sure seems so...

EVERY(*) SINGLE CELL PHONE YOU GET IS LOCK TO WHOEVER YOU SIGN UP WITH.

* when its provided free or discounted... and I'm talking SPECIFICALLY about the US, not Europe or anywhere else...

This isn't something shockingly new... The chances are you just never even realized it... but its standard practice with every carrier.

Dave

If you really wanted to, you could have your carrier unlock your phone; with ATT, you need to have an account in good standing for at least 90 days and customer service should be able to unlock it.

Some people do that if they are going overseas, but I guess if you really liked your locked phone, you could put it on a different carrier too.
post #31 of 34
Wow, it doesn't seem like folks really know what they are getting.
How can folks be getting so hyped up about this thing when they don't
even seem to know what it does/doesn't do?

For one thing...
Even if you unlock the phone, it will NOT function as intended on another
carrier. I know this is NOT the norm for most cell phones.
Everyone seems to have forgotten Jobs introduction of the phone where
he specifically stated that they had to work with the carrier to get the voicemail
feature and one of the other features to work as he wanted. This means
that Cingular had to do something on their end different for the iPhone.

Also...
Why worry about messing up the case to change the battery?
Most folks aren't going to change out a battery that is literally soldered
to the main board of the phone. If I hear anybody raving about the design
on this thing, I think I'll be sick. Say hello to please send us your phone
and for $100 plus shipping we will change your battery for you.

By the way...
Is that magic glue? How does the glue make it more reliable?
I'll bet you that the glue was to handle issues making the phone.
The connectors were probably being pulled off in assembly. Look at
the fit for the antenna. This is definitely not a production friendly design.
They push folks on the line to get the product out. With the tight fit of
that case, they were probably getting a bunch that were ready to package
but didn't work. (Yanked connectors, or damaged antenna cables)

Oh well...
I'll be expecting rave reviews and a few design awards anyway....

Regards,
Ocriss
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Some people couldn't come up with a non-negative comment if their lives depended upon it, I guess. Winners see the glass as half-full. Losers see the glass as half-empty. It's the human condition.

Yeah, really. Everybody should be more positive like this guy:

http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech...hives/764.html

http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech...hives/848.html

http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech...hives/890.html
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

It doesn't make any sense to me at all why they would solder the battery wires to the logic board. That isn't any more reliable that using a connector. If the battery were to move around a bit, then at least you'd be able to plug the battery back in with the connector. With solder the wires would just come loose.

Yeah it stinks that the wires are soldered to the mother board but this site i found looks like they will be able to do it for you with an longer lasting iPhone battery</a> replacement:

http://www.ipodjuice.com/iphone-batt...t-products.htm

- Laura
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Of course, the iPhone is priced like an unlocked phone even though it is locked to a single carrier.

Just to argue the point - its not priced like an unlocked phone. Just priced like an unsubsidized phone. I bought a Cingular 8525 for $600 at a Cingular store because it was unsubsidized. They tell you right there - $450 for it if you get a new contract; $600 with just buying it.
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