Apple iPhone SE teardown reveals mashup of iPhone 5 & 6 series chips, few new parts

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
The first teardown of Apple's iPhone SE was posted to the Web on Wednesday, and as expected the handset's logic board is an amalgamation of parts mostly borrowed from iPhone 5s and iPhone 6/6s, with a few new chips thrown in to keep the platform fresh.




In its report, silicon experts Chipworks said the new 4-inch iPhone might appear identical to the iPhone 5s it replaces, but a bevy of new chips, not the least of which being an iPhone 6s-class A9 processor, makes it a unique addition Apple's lineup. Indeed, the PCB looks like a parts bin dive

As for the A9 SoC, the firm notes its Verizon unit came with a chip bearing part number APL1022, meaning it came from Apple partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Additionally, a 1604 date code suggests the chip was produced only nine weeks ago. Apple is using system memory from SK Hynix, which appears to be the same 2 gigabyte LPDDR4 mobile DRAM from iPhone 6s.


Apple's A9 SoC (left) and NXP's secure NFC module.


Apple tapped NXP to bring NFC touchless payments to its low-cost iPhone. Like the iPhone 6s, iPhone SE boasts an NXP 66V10 module that incorporates the Secure Element 008 and an ear-field communications controller labeled NXP PN549. Chipworks said the SE's InvenSense 6-axis inertial sensor also made its way from iPhone 6s.

Dating back to 2014's iPhone 6 is a Qualcomm MDM9625M modem and WTR1625L RF transceiver.

Along with parts bin components, iPhone SE packs in new hardware including a Skyworks SKY77611 power amplifier module, a Texas Instruments 338S00170 power management IC, Toshiba NAND flash, an EPCOS D5255 antenna switch module and AAC Technologies' 0DALM1 microphone, the report said. A separate as-yet-unidentified chip could be a new power management IC designed by Apple in cooperation with Dialog Semiconductor.

Apple took the wraps off its new entry-level handset at a special event earlier this month. The iPhone SE is thought to address burgeoning markets, Android switchers and users who prefer smaller form factor devices. The company has not released official first weekend sales numbers, though reports indicate preorders surpassed 3.4 million units in China alone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    Super looking forward to my 64 GB SE arriving. So happy to be going back to the 4" form factor I far prefer. I find the 4.7" form factor uncomfortably wide in the hand and slightly too heavy. I've noticed this odd pattern of women liking larger phones over guys. Or perhaps is just what I see near me.

    I much preferred the pocket-ability of my 5 and the seated position comfort while in pocket. Interestingly one-handed use is not one of the reasons I prefer a 4" iPhone. I never used any iPhone one-handed that I can recall. I just prefer an inconspicuous smartphone that gets out of the way as much as possibly. A more seamless experience is afforded to me by a smaller phone I find.
    edited March 2016 mcarlingbaconstangmoreckxiamenbill[Deleted User]
  • Reply 2 of 24
    So excited for my 64 gig SE I'll be picking up tomorrow :D
    mcarlingmoreckxiamenbill
  • Reply 3 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,812member
    We don’t need Chipworks or iFixit anymore. Just let Liam take it apart from now on.
    digital_guychiabigpicsxiamenbillmagman1979brakken
  • Reply 4 of 24
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    ireland said:
    I've noticed this odd pattern of women liking larger phones over guys.
    Typically, women have handbags and long fingers.
    baconstangCash907Defiantbigpics
  • Reply 5 of 24
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member
    Why are you saying Apple's parts come from a "parts bin"? This term is used for antiquated parts, usually from garbage PCs, but never from Apple products. Using this term, then saying it's also using parts from the iPhone 6s makes it sound like the 6s is also using old parts. Just because Apple is using some parts from the 5s doesn't mean those parts aren't any good. I see the iPhone SE as a smaller 6s, not a reloaded 5s. Give it its due instead of making fun of it.
    moreckbrakken
  • Reply 6 of 24
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member
    mcarling said:
    ireland said:
    I've noticed this odd pattern of women liking larger phones over guys.
    Typically, women have handbags and long fingers.
    I have long fingers too and I'm not a woman. You might have been a little more accurate if you said slender fingers or added long finger nails but even these comments would have been sexist instead of (possibly) sarcastic because both men and women of all ages have various size hands, fingers, and even finger nails. As for only women having handbags, I've seen a lot of men using larger phones and small tablets, putting those devices in all sorts of carrying devices (pockets, briefcases, backpacks, side bags). 
    [Deleted User]brakken
  • Reply 7 of 24
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,400member
    The fact it includes new chips not in the 5s, 6, or 6s is very exciting.
    morecknolamacguy
  • Reply 8 of 24
    mcarling said:
    ireland said:
    I've noticed this odd pattern of women liking larger phones over guys.
    Typically, women have handbags and long fingers.
    This, but for the handbags. I don't know if long fingers is exactly a feminine trait, though so not sure where you're going with that.
    But I have noticed this trend as well. 90% of the 6/6S Plus owners I know personally are women, and their phones generally go into their purses and clutches instead of pockets like most men. 
    baconstangchiaireland
  • Reply 9 of 24

    rob53 said:
    mcarling said:
    Typically, women have handbags and long fingers.
    I have long fingers too and I'm not a woman. You might have been a little more accurate if you said slender fingers or added long finger nails but even these comments would have been sexist instead of (possibly) sarcastic because both men and women of all ages have various size hands, fingers, and even finger nails. As for only women having handbags, I've seen a lot of men using larger phones and small tablets, putting those devices in all sorts of carrying devices (pockets, briefcases, backpacks, side bags). 
    Calm down, Rob, I doubt he meant any harm by his comment. 
    irelanddouglas baileyentropysnolamacguy
  • Reply 10 of 24
    rob53 said:
    Why are you saying Apple's parts come from a "parts bin"? This term is used for antiquated parts, usually from garbage PCs, but never from Apple products. Using this term, then saying it's also using parts from the iPhone 6s makes it sound like the 6s is also using old parts. Just because Apple is using some parts from the 5s doesn't mean those parts aren't any good. I see the iPhone SE as a smaller 6s, not a reloaded 5s. Give it its due instead of making fun of it.
    You'd be surprised at how the smartphone industry tech-heads and analysts are looking at Apple's iPhone SE. To them it's basically an older iPhone with all recycled parts. Supposedly the iPhone SE can only produce yawns from the tech-heads who are looking for some smartphone that's totally whiz-bang, spanking brand new with no parts that's every been used before in the history of smartphones. This is the type of mentality Apple has to go up against. Every product that Apple sells must be some ultra-unique product with technology from the future. Supposedly, that's the only way Apple can meet its innovation quota of the month. Sure, these type of thinkers are idiots but they somehow believe they know everything about selling products better than Apple does. Every product Apple puts out must make the tech-heads wet their pants with excitement. It's hard to believe we're dealing with adults who even have an inkling about production costs. The iPhone SE will be a very practical smartphone for those who use it and it should sell quite well if not in huge numbers. Apple will certainly make money from the product and that's what a company is required to do. If people can't appreciate a good product than that's too bad for them.
    nolamacguycommand_f
  • Reply 11 of 24
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    rob53 said:
    Why are you saying Apple's parts come from a "parts bin"? This term is used for antiquated parts, usually from garbage PCs, but never from Apple products. Using this term, then saying it's also using parts from the iPhone 6s makes it sound like the 6s is also using old parts. Just because Apple is using some parts from the 5s doesn't mean those parts aren't any good. I see the iPhone SE as a smaller 6s, not a reloaded 5s. Give it its due instead of making fun of it.
    What they are saying is that they are stocked parts for other devices. Keep in mind that apple is building millions upon millions of these devices and have very large bins full of parts. It says nothing to the age or quality of the parts. A bin is in a container in the US more than any other meaning. It is in no way a derogatory term. It would be proceeded by "bargain" or "surplus" something similar i your use of it. 
    nostrathomas
  • Reply 12 of 24
    moreckmoreck Posts: 187member
    I'm still curious about the battery size, as several reviews have praised the SE's battery life. I wonder if it's solely due to chips being more power-efficient or not.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    T-minus 11 hours, 23 minutes...
    (Possibly 12 hours, 23 mins, if the AT&T store does not have the one I want in stock...)
  • Reply 14 of 24
    beltsbearbeltsbear Posts: 314member
    rob53 said:
    Why are you saying Apple's parts come from a "parts bin"? This term is used for antiquated parts, usually from garbage PCs, but never from Apple products. Using this term, then saying it's also using parts from the iPhone 6s makes it sound like the 6s is also using old parts. Just because Apple is using some parts from the 5s doesn't mean those parts aren't any good. I see the iPhone SE as a smaller 6s, not a reloaded 5s. Give it its due instead of making fun of it.
    In the auto biz it is not.  When Ford uses the engine of the Mustang in the Ranger or the HVAC controls of one SUV in another vehicle the auto magazines refer to it as reaching into the 'Ford parts bin'.  It is not a negative connotation unless the part itself is dated.  In the case of the A9, certainly not a bad thing to pull that from the 'parts bin'.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 15 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    ireland said:
    Super looking forward to my 64 GB SE arriving. So happy to be going back to the 4" form factor I far prefer. I find the 4.7" form factor uncomfortably wide in the hand and slightly too heavy. I've noticed this odd pattern of women liking larger phones over guys. Or perhaps is just what I see near me.

    I much preferred the pocket-ability of my 5 and the seated position comfort while in pocket. Interestingly one-handed use is not one of the reasons I prefer a 4" iPhone. I never used any iPhone one-handed that I can recall. I just prefer an inconspicuous smartphone that gets out of the way as much as possibly. A more seamless experience is afforded to me by a smaller phone I find.
    Haven't ordered one yet but your thoughts Eco mine.
    ireland
  • Reply 16 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    beltsbear said:
    rob53 said:
    Why are you saying Apple's parts come from a "parts bin"? This term is used for antiquated parts, usually from garbage PCs, but never from Apple products. Using this term, then saying it's also using parts from the iPhone 6s makes it sound like the 6s is also using old parts. Just because Apple is using some parts from the 5s doesn't mean those parts aren't any good. I see the iPhone SE as a smaller 6s, not a reloaded 5s. Give it its due instead of making fun of it.
    In the auto biz it is not.  When Ford uses the engine of the Mustang in the Ranger or the HVAC controls of one SUV in another vehicle the auto magazines refer to it as reaching into the 'Ford parts bin'.  It is not a negative connotation unless the part itself is dated.  In the case of the A9, certainly not a bad thing to pull that from the 'parts bin'.
    I think the overall tone of the article is the problem.  
    brakken
  • Reply 17 of 24
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    wizard69 said:
    ireland said:
    Super looking forward to my 64 GB SE arriving. So happy to be going back to the 4" form factor I far prefer. I find the 4.7" form factor uncomfortably wide in the hand and slightly too heavy. I've noticed this odd pattern of women liking larger phones over guys. Or perhaps is just what I see near me.

    I much preferred the pocket-ability of my 5 and the seated position comfort while in pocket. Interestingly one-handed use is not one of the reasons I prefer a 4" iPhone. I never used any iPhone one-handed that I can recall. I just prefer an inconspicuous smartphone that gets out of the way as much as possibly. A more seamless experience is afforded to me by a smaller phone I find.
    Haven't ordered one yet but your thoughts Eco mine.
    Interesting.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,362member
    mcarling said:
    Typically, women have handbags and long fingers.
    This, but for the handbags. I don't know if long fingers is exactly a feminine trait, though so not sure where you're going with that.
    But I have noticed this trend as well. 90% of the 6/6S Plus owners I know personally are women, and their phones generally go into their purses and clutches instead of pockets like most men. 
    Some of my friends and acquaintances are often stuffing their phones into their bras.  Too bad the phones don't appreciate how lucky they are.... ;)
  • Reply 19 of 24
    command_fcommand_f Posts: 289member
    rob53 said:
    Why are you saying Apple's parts come from a "parts bin"? This term is used for antiquated parts, usually from garbage PCs, but never from Apple products. -snip-
    You'd be surprised at how the smartphone industry tech-heads and analysts are looking at Apple's iPhone SE. To them it's basically an older iPhone with all recycled parts. -snip-
    Yes, I am surprised. Mind you, I didn't think that "parts bin" had negative connotations. iOS is parts bin, A9 is parts bin but they're not exactly out of date. I see iPhone SE as the 4 inch iPhone 6s, it's just a few months after its bigger siblings. What else would a 4 inch member of the family be? it's got to be thicker to maintain battery volume (space) so the cuboid shape is an asset, we assume that 3D touch doesn't fit in the smaller package and a few other minor things didn't make the cut either. I'll take it (well I will when it's delivered, ordered but not yet arrived to replace my beloved 5s).
  • Reply 20 of 24
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 677member
    rob53 said:
    mcarling said:
    Typically, women have handbags and long fingers.
    I have long fingers too and I'm not a woman. You might have been a little more accurate if you said slender fingers or added long finger nails but even these comments would have been sexist instead of (possibly) sarcastic because both men and women of all ages have various size hands, fingers, and even finger nails. As for only women having handbags, I've seen a lot of men using larger phones and small tablets, putting those devices in all sorts of carrying devices (pockets, briefcases, backpacks, side bags). 
    Seems bigotry and sexism is still alive and well, much to my complete disgust. 
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