New teardown reveals iPhone SE contains display identical to iPhone 5s, larger battery

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
Following Chipworks' teardown of Apple's new iPhone SE, iFixit on Thursday posted a comprehensive dismantling that shows the next-gen 4-inch iPhone's display is identical to its iPhone 5s predecessor, among other interesting finds.


Source: iFixit


According to the report, Apple appears to be using more off-the-shelf components than expected in its 4-inch form factor revamp. In particular, iFixit installed an iPhone 5s display into iPhone SE, finding the older model panel fits and functions perfectly in Apple's new device. Also interchangeable with iPhone 5s are the iPhone SE's loudspeaker, SIM card tray and vibration motor.

Overall, iPhone SE is largely similar to its iPhone 5s forebear, an unsurprising development considering the device is merely an iPhone 5 series shell stuffed with refreshed components. As noted in yesterday's Chipworks teardown, iPhone SE's internal design, including the logic board, is identical to 2014's iPhone release.

While the phone's aesthetics haven't changed, iFixit did uncover a few upgrades from the years-old model, the most prominent being a battery capacity upgrade from 1,560mAh to 1,624mAh. The battery connector on the SE differs from that of the 5s, meaning the new cell can't be used as a plug-and-play upgrade.

As previously announced, the rear-facing 12-megapixel iSight camera is a vast improvement over the 8MP shooter on iPhone 5s. Interestingly, while the specifications match those of the iSight module on iPhone 6s, the parts appears to be slightly modified and are therefore not interchangeable.

Other minor differences include a modified Lightning connector assembly, the inclusion of silicone seals around certain logic board connections and the Apple logo insert first introduced with iPhone 6. As noted by Chipworks, the biggest logic board additions are Apple's A9 SoC and an NXP 66V10 module for facilitating touchless Apple Pay transactions.

Apple unveiled iPhone SE as a new budget entry earlier this month. With a starting price of $399, the device is aimed at burgeoning markets, Android switchers and iPhone faithful who prefer smaller form factor devices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,145moderator
    Tesla has 115,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.  At $35,000 each, that comes to $4 billion.  Equivalent to 10 million 16GB iPhone SE's.  I bet Apple sells 30 million, or more, SE's before the first Model 3 rolls off the production line, expected in late 2017.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    They get huge economies of scale with the A9 processor and reusing older hardware. I suspect once A8 processors run short they will update the AppleTV to A9 too (with 4K) and continue the "trickle down" effect of cost savings as older hardware becomes cheaper to manufacturer or is simply in stock.
    brakkenredgeminipacornchip
  • Reply 3 of 15
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    Tesla has 115,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.  At $35,000 each, that comes to $4 billion.  Equivalent to 10 million 16GB iPhone SE's.  I bet Apple sells 30 million, or more, SE's before the first Model 3 rolls off the production line, expected in late 2017.
    I am one of them. Put my $1000 down at 7:30PM. Damn car looks cool. $35K - $7.5K Fed Credit - $2.5K Cal Credit = $25K....over time, it saves $$$ vs gasoline car too. 
  • Reply 4 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Tesla has 115,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.  At $35,000 each, that comes to $4 billion.  Equivalent to 10 million 16GB iPhone SE's.  I bet Apple sells 30 million, or more, SE's before the first Model 3 rolls off the production line, expected in late 2017.
    Why the comparison? One's a 4" iPhone the other a car. Besides, it's a battery powered car, lots of its customers will be enthusiasts and early adopters—it's the only luxury battery powered car worth buying. And is that how you measure how good a product is? Financials? Seems like a low yard-stick. By that measure Coke is the best drink there is, but Coke is terrible for humans to drink.
    edited April 2016 gatorguy
  • Reply 5 of 15
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,738member
    The battery doesn't seem to be that much bigger (1624 VS 1560), yet the extra battery life that I've been reading about seems to be quite significant. 

    All of that extra battery life can't just be from a slightly bigger battery I'm guessing. Is it the A9 chip that is much more efficient than the previous chip?
    pscooter63cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 15
    ajlajl Posts: 113member
    But, the "2014's iPhone release" would be the iPhone 5s?
  • Reply 7 of 15
    kevtkevt Posts: 195member
    jkichline said:
    They get huge economies of scale with the A9 processor and reusing older hardware. I suspect once A8 processors run short they will update the AppleTV to A9 too (with 4K) and continue the "trickle down" effect of cost savings as older hardware becomes cheaper to manufacturer or is simply in stock.
    An iPad Mini 5 for the Autumn?  ... few if any external changes as the body was recently updated, but an A9 chip. Better performance and significantly better battery life.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,212member
    Larger battery? But I thought Apple was determined to give us as little battery life as possible.
    cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 15
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    apple ][ said:
    The battery doesn't seem to be that much bigger (1624 VS 1560), yet the extra battery life that I've been reading about seems to be quite significant. 

    All of that extra battery life can't just be from a slightly bigger battery I'm guessing. Is it the A9 chip that is much more efficient than the previous chip?
    I'll admit I have no idea, but maybe there is also some hardware-specific software efficiency they've cooked up with the A9?
  • Reply 10 of 15
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Tesla has 115,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.  At $35,000 each, that comes to $4 billion.  Equivalent to 10 million 16GB iPhone SE's.  I bet Apple sells 30 million, or more, SE's before the first Model 3 rolls off the production line, expected in late 2017.
    It''s likely more 50M+ before its released.since the 5s sold 30M a year and this will probably sell more; thatès 25B + in revenues.

    Those pre-orders are just going to keep Tesla in business, which is good, not kill every car around.

    I find those Teslas ridiculously agressive in styling for the general public and long term reliability is yet to be known.
    When you do large scale manufacturing its like going from beta to full release.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 11 of 15
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Larger battery? But I thought Apple was determined to give us as little battery life as possible.
    Not sure what kind of hallug you're on but your wildly up and down comments on Apple is a bit much.
    Unless your sarcastic of course.
    They're one of the best in battery life; especially since they give you full power to get it while everyone else throttle.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ireland said:
    Tesla has 115,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.  At $35,000 each, that comes to $4 billion.  Equivalent to 10 million 16GB iPhone SE's.  I bet Apple sells 30 million, or more, SE's before the first Model 3 rolls off the production line, expected in late 2017.
    Why the comparison? One's a 4" iPhone the other a car. Besides, it's a battery powered car, lots of its customers will be enthusiasts and early adopters—it's the only luxury battery powered car worth buying. And is that how you measure how good a product is? Financials? Seems like a low yard-stick. By that measure Coke is the best drink there is, but Coke is terrible for humans to drink.
    Financials are fantastic if staying in business while providing an excellent product is your goal.
    You need money to make these great products.
    Tesla needs those pre-orders cause the current Tesla is certainly not insuring long term survival.


  • Reply 13 of 15
    apple ][ said:
    The battery doesn't seem to be that much bigger (1624 VS 1560), yet the extra battery life that I've been reading about seems to be quite significant. 

    All of that extra battery life can't just be from a slightly bigger battery I'm guessing. Is it the A9 chip that is much more efficient than the previous chip?
    Smaller screen is probably lit with a smaller backlight. The screen light is a significant consumer of battery power.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    Larger battery? But I thought Apple was determined to give us as little battery life as possible.
    It's more accurate to say, "the smallest & lightest part you need to meet the target battery life."

  • Reply 15 of 15
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    apple ][ said:
    The battery doesn't seem to be that much bigger (1624 VS 1560), yet the extra battery life that I've been reading about seems to be quite significant. 

    All of that extra battery life can't just be from a slightly bigger battery I'm guessing. Is it the A9 chip that is much more efficient than the previous chip?
    Smaller screen is probably lit with a smaller backlight. The screen light is a significant consumer of battery power.
    But the screen is identical according to iFixit and the article. 
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