iFixIt iPhone 4S Teardown

iFixit has posted a detailed and exhaustively illustrated teardown of the new iPhone 4S. iFixit’s Director of Technical Communication Miroslav Djuric says with the help of an iFixit user hailing from Germany, Markus Weiher, the iFixit team successfully dismantled Apple’s latest creation. Not even Siri’s incessant urgings and warnings were enough to deter the team from dissecting it.

“Opening the 4S was no more (nor less) challenging than the iPhone 4,”says Djuric. “We’re always pleased to find a limited amount of adhesive in our patients, and easily removable rear panels are always a plus. However, the same pesky proprietary screws are present, and it’s never a joy to encounter fused (read: expensive to replace) displays. All things considered, the new iPhone isn’t any easier or harder to repair than last year’s model, so it gets the same 6 out of 10 repair score as the previous-gen iPhone 4.”

Djuric notes that there is an extra .05 watt-hours in the battery over the iPhone 4, and according to Apple, you get an extra hour of talk time on 3G, but 100 hours less standby time.

In the iFixit fashion, they removed the EMI shields for your viewing pleasure. The logic board bares its electronic soul with the foillowing components:
* Apple A5 dual-core processor with 512 MB RAM
* Toshiba THGVX1G7D2GLA08 16 GB NAND flash memory
* Qualcomm MDM6610 baseband chipset
* Qualcomm PM8028 power management IC
* Qualcomm RTR8605 Multi-band/mode RF transceiver
* Murata SW SS1830010. We suspect that this package contains the Broadcom chip that reportedly provides Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity, just like in some of the past teardowns.
* Skyworks 77464-20 load-insensitive power amplifier (LIPA) module developed for WCDMA applications
* Avago ACPM-7181 power amplifier
* TriQuint TQM9M9030 multi-mode quad-band power amplifier module
* TriQuint TQM66052 (possibly a PA-duplexer module)
* Mysterious Apple chip with markings 338S0987 B0FL1129 SGP

Photo Courtesy iFixIt

Some snippets:

They note that Apple boasts 73% more light with “next-generation backside illumination” for better low-light performance with the iPhone 4S’s new megapixel camera roughly 33% faster and able to snap multiple photos less than a second apart as well as record HD video at 1080p and 30 fps.

They report that the iPhone 4S logic board bears a close resemblance to its stateside CDMA iPhone 4 counterpart, but the display assembly appears to be the same as the one found in the GSM version.

t appears that Apple elected to go with the linear oscillating vibrator that was found in the Verizon iPhone 4, as opposed to the rotational electric motor with counterweight in the AT&T version. This vibrator motor is quieter, softer, and all-around less annoying than its counter-weighted predecessor.

Djuric says thry noticed several white and red liquid indicator strips placed throughout the phone. So don’t let your friends pee on it! (No, seriously: http://bit.ly/iPhone_3GS_pee)

Photo Courtesy iFixIt

The iPhone 4S’s Apple A5 chip is revealed to be a 1 GHz Dual-core processor with 512 MB of Samsung DDR2 RAM or Elpida DDR2 RAM, and there’s Toshiba THGVX1G7D2GLA08 16 GB 24 nm MLC NAND flash memory as well as the same 960 x 640 pixel Retina display that debuted in the iPhone 4 last year.

Photo Courtesy iFixIt

iFixIt gives the iPhone 4S a Repairability Score of 6 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair), with very little changed from the iPhone 4 in terms of repairability, noting that the iPhone 4S is still held together primarily with screws and limited adhesive, and with the rear panel and battery both easy to remove and replace (provided you have the right kit and/or correct screwdriver), but the LCD and glass — a carryover from the previous generation iPhone 4 — are fused together, making cracked glass repair more costly, and lots of smaller components are soldered to one ribbon cable, increasing the cost of repairing just one component.

Incidentally, if you’re at all a tinkerer with your computers and iDevices, iFixIt’s hardware teardowns and free illustrated teardown guides are an amazingly helpful resource.

For the full iPhone 4S teardown report visit here:


iFixIt’s iPhone 4S video review is here:




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