Skip to main content

iFixit publishes iPhones 4S tear-down

While thousands of people across the world wait patiently for their shiny new iPhone 4S to arrive, the guys over at iFixit have already got one - and have torn it to pieces.

Once again, the company is first out with a comprehensive tear-down that reveals some of the secrets behind that oh-so-familiar iPhone 4-like casing - including the processor, memory, and numerous clever little tweaks.

Using little more than a teeny-tiny Phillips screwdriver, a plastic spudger, and the same pentalobe security screwdriver required to get the original iPhone 4 apart, the guys at iFixit have bared the device's innards for the world to see.

The first discovery is something that helps with the iPhone 4S's slightly improved battery life: a non-user replaceable battery which offers an extra 0.05Wh over that found in the iPhone 4. "Sadly, it appears that the connectors are different shapes," iFixit notes - meaning there's no way to use the higher-powered battery in an existing iPhone 4.

As usual, Apple has hidden a liquid-ingress indicator inside the phone, designed to alert service personnel to handsets that have 'just suddenly stopped working' after being submerged in the toilet. It's what is revealed under the logic board that's of most interest, however: the A5 processor.

The dual-core processor, which is believed to be clocked to 800MHz instead of the 1GHz default speed of the same chip in the iPad 2, comes complete with 512MB of RAM - a somewhat paltry figure compared to rival handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S II, which boasts a whopping 1GB.

Interestingly, Apple is still using Samsung RAM for some of its devices - despite a very public falling-out over the 'inspiration' for Samsung's Galaxy series. While the German handset features Samsung RAM, however, the Australian equivalent uses chips from Elpida.

In addition, iFixit found a Qualcomm RF transceiver, power amplifiers from Skywords, Avago, and TriQuit, plus a "mysterious Apple chip" bearing the markings "338S0987 B0FL1129 SGP." The handset's NAND flash storage, it is noted, comes courtesy Toshiba.

iFixit's full tear-down (opens in new tab) is full of snippets like this, and while much of the information contained therein is only of use to highly-unauthorised service personnel, it's well worth a read if you want to see what Apple's been up to with its latest generation phone. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.