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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Interesting... but what a way to kill an iPhone...
  • Reply 2 of 34
    sthiedesthiede Posts: 307member
    YOU MONSTER! HOW COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING!
  • Reply 3 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.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    josa92josa92 Posts: 193member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,758member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    TS couldn't take theirs apart without ruining it, it looks like 'ibeakit' didn't.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    fraklincfraklinc Posts: 244member
    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
  • Reply 9 of 34
    kisinkisin Posts: 14member
    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!!!!
  • Reply 10 of 34
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    What's up with the clock battery at the bottom corner of the inside case?
  • Reply 12 of 34
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    mrparetmrparet Posts: 18member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 34
    How difficult would it be to upgrade the flash memory?
  • Reply 15 of 34
    nerudaneruda Posts: 440member
    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.
  • Reply 16 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.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    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...
  • Reply 18 of 34
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    What theory? It was the deluded raving of madmen .
  • Reply 20 of 34
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
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