iPhone prototype teardown reveals unique, tiny logic board

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The prototype iPhone that found its way outside of Apple's grasp was disassembled, revealing a tightly packed interior with much smaller components, allowing the device to be thinner than its predecessor while also making space for a much larger battery.



The teardown by Gizmodo found that the main logic board of the prototype iPhone was about one-third the size of the board that controls the current-generation iPhone 3GS. "Basically, the guts have shrunk drastically," author Jason Chen wrote.



Those smaller components allowed Apple to cram a battery that is 19 percent larger than the current iPhone's power supply into the prototype device. And while the discovered hardware was thinner, it also reportedly weighed 3 grams more than the current-generation handset, thanks to the larger battery.



Taking the device apart proved to be difficult, with between 40 and 50 screws inside the prototype iPhone. Chen also dispelled a rumor that the battery on the handset is user-removable -- the tightly packed case must be disassembled to access the battery.



"Everything fits in here like an intricately-designed jigsaw puzzle," the report said. "This is definitely laid out like a final product. To think that there's more room left for any components for this case is unreasonable. Unless Apple decides now to go with a larger case so they can fit more things in there, this is the most that we're going to see this summer."



As to whether the device sports a custom-built Apple processor, like the iPad's A4 CPU, that remains a mystery. The main logic board was encased in metal and could not be removed without breaking the device, and did not feature markings to indicate where its components originated.













Gizmodo shocked the tech world and gained a great deal of mainstream publicity when the Gawker Media-owned website revealed on Monday that it had obtained a prototype iPhone. The new hardware featured a forward-facing camera, high-resolution 960x640 pixel display, camera flash and a secondary mic for noise cancellation.



Its design is also a significant change for the iPhone, which has looked largely the same since the device was first unveiled in 2007. Apple changed the back of the device to be completely flat, with a material said to be made either of glass or plastic to improve reception.







The device was allegedly found at a bar in Redwood City, Calif., where an Apple software engineer reportedly left it by mistake. It was wrapped in a casing that disguised it as an iPhone 3GS.



Gawker Media paid $5,000 to an unknown party to receive the device. After it was disassembled and revealed to millions of Internet readers, Gizmodo reportedly returned the device to Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    iPhone prototype teardown foreshadows longer battery life



    The larger battery will be negated by a faster processor. I think the battery life will stay about the same.
  • Reply 2 of 87
    min_tmin_t Posts: 74member
    Is Gizmodo not in the fire now that they've posted more of Apples trade secrets after being informed of ownership?
  • Reply 3 of 87
    bobrkbobrk Posts: 36member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple changed the back of the device to be completely flat, with a material said to be made either of glass plastic to improve reception.



    "either of glass plastic?"



    There was some talk that it was ceramic, based on previous patents applied for by Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 87
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    Wait, wait. Apple Insider just posted an article a while back saying that Gizmodo basically stole Apple's iPhone and they could face prosecution.



    Yet, AI STILL keeps linking to Gizmodo and using their pictures. If Gizmodo is so damn bad, stop linking their isht!
  • Reply 5 of 87
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,132member
    I think we'll see improved battery life.



    If we get a OLED screen and improved components (read, more energy efficient) then battery life could very well improve.



    I'm wondering what they run the A4 at in the phone. 800Mhz tops???
  • Reply 6 of 87
    dr.nodr.no Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post


    The larger battery will be negated by a faster processor. I think the battery life will stay about the same.



    Or the flash - for the camera.



    Basically some kind of flash will drain battery life, it just won't come from Adobe.
  • Reply 7 of 87
    dr.nodr.no Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Wait, wait. Apple Insider just posted an article a while back saying that Gizmodo basically stole Apple's iPhone and they could face prosecution.



    Yet, AI STILL keeps linking to Gizmodo and using their pictures. If Gizmodo is so damn bad, stop linking their isht!



    BAD GIZMODO! (link link link) YOU'RE SO BAD GIZMODO! (link link link link) oh BOY Gizmodo are you gonna get SUED (link link linkity link link - thread thread thead - linkbait linkbait linkbait).
  • Reply 8 of 87
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Could be bigger than Mitchell Gant stealing Firefox
  • Reply 9 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.No View Post


    BAD GIZMODO! (link link link) YOU'RE SO BAD GIZMODO! (link link link link) oh BOY Gizmodo are you gonna get SUED (link link linkity link link - thread thread thead - linkbait linkbait linkbait).



    LOL. +1



    But what I want to know is, if they couldn't turn the screen on, how do they know what the resolution is? Are they just assuming the pixel count will be increased, or can they tell without having the screen on? Just wondering.
  • Reply 10 of 87
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Jason,



    You know you have voided the warranty, Apple will not fix it.



    SJ
  • Reply 11 of 87
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post


    LOL. +1



    But what I want to know is, if they couldn't turn the screen on, how do they know what the resolution is? Are they just assuming the pixel count will be increased, or can they tell without having the screen on? Just wondering.



    It booted into recovery mode ("Plug in USB cable"). They noticed that the image on screen of the USB cable looked uber high rez.
  • Reply 12 of 87
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post


    The larger battery will be negated by a faster processor. I think the battery life will stay about the same.



    I would agree if it was the same amount of silicon, but that is not the case.



    There are apparently fewer chips in this prototype than the current iPhone 3GS. We could be in store for some serious battery life improvements.
  • Reply 13 of 87
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    Could be bigger than Mitchell Gant stealing Firefox



    This story kind of reminds me of an incident back in the 60's where a defecting Russian pilot flew the then new and top secret Mig 21 to Germany. The Russians demanded the immediate return of the Mig. It was shipped back to the USSR in several crates after the CIA and USAF had completely disassembled it.



    In another incident, China returned the favor when if forced a Lockheed EP 3E to land on a island in the PRC. The Chinese disassembled the electronic surveillance equipment. The US was later allowed to ship the aircraft out of the PRC.
  • Reply 14 of 87
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    Here's something I hadn't thought of -- from iFixIt's CEO:



    Quote:

    What sucks for Apple is if they have to cut features for some reason. Of course the prototypes would have all the features they?re considering (flash, camera, etc.). But realities force feature removal at the last minute, like they did with the iPod Touch. I?m sure the iPod Touch prototypes had cameras in them.




    http://bit.ly/c8YAZc
  • Reply 15 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The prototype iPhone that found its way outside of Apple's grasp was disassembled...



    Aside form the stunning illegality of this move (taking it apart), I wonder if any of them had the brains to use gloves. You gotta figure Apple is going to fingerprint and test for DNA on every surface.
  • Reply 16 of 87
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post


    The larger battery will be negated by a faster processor. I think the battery life will stay about the same.



    Battery life will increase. That is the biggest complaint from normal people. Apple branded hardware means nothing that doesn't need to be there. Improvements in CPU energy draw and less silicon all point to a possible 2 more hours of usable, batter life.
  • Reply 17 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    ... If we get a OLED screen and improved components (read, more energy efficient) then battery life could very well improve. ...



    There is not going to be an OLED screen. For starters, they suck (they aren't as attractive or adaptable to different environments as the screens they currently use), and they are more expensive.



    Apple has, over the last year and a bit, started putting IPS LCD panels in all their devices from the iMac to the iPhone. These are by far, the very best type of screen you can get today and were previously only available in the ACD's, (considered for many years to be the best or as good as the best screen money can buy).



    OLED screens are poorer at colour reproduction, offer poorer image quality in direct sunlight, and are more expensive than the currently used screen.



    Changing to an IPS panel would be a huge improvement and quite likely. Changing to an OLED would be a huge disadvantage and simply won't happen. Companies like Microsoft like to use them because the average user (being, you know .. average), doesn't know that the colour reproduction is awful and actually *like* the over-saturated over-contrasty look. Apple on the other hand makes quality products for the discerning eye.
  • Reply 18 of 87
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    Can't wait! I was eligible to replace my 3G in January but I decided to hold off until the 4G. Definitely looking forward to a camera flash. I saw a friend take a picture with a Droid in a dark bar and was amazed how good the flash was.
  • Reply 19 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    This story kind of reminds me of an incident back in the 60's where a defecting Russian pilot flew the then new and top secret Mig 21 to Germany. The Russians demanded the immediate return of the Mig. It was shipped back to the USSR in several crates after the CIA and USAF had completely disassembled it.



    In another incident, China returned the favor when if forced a Lockheed EP 3E to land on a island in the PRC. The Chinese disassembled the electronic surveillance equipment. The US was later allowed to ship the aircraft out of the PRC.



    Your memory, and your analogies, are excellent, sir!
  • Reply 20 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stonefree View Post


    Can't wait! I was eligible to replace my 3G in January but I decided to hold off until the 4G. Definitely looking forward to a camera flash. I saw a friend take a picture with a Droid in a dark bar and was amazed how good the flash was.



    You've never seen what a flash can do with a camera before you saw what the Droid could do in a dark bar?



    Really?
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