iPhone SE is a clever blend of old and new tech

A teardown of Apple's new iPhone SE cleverly combines old iPhone 5S tech with brand new components to create a completely new device.

iPhone SE is a clever blend of old and new tech
iFixit

You don't expect a brand new iPhone to share many similarities with older devices, but a teardown of the new iPhone SE by repair specialists iFixit shows that the new iPhone SE shares a lot of parts with earlier iPhones.

And there are a lot of components that are interchangeable with the iPhone 5S. The speaker, vibrator, SIM tray, and the entire display assembly, including the LCD, digitizer, front camera, earpiece speaker, and proximity sensor are all identical. Apple no doubt reused these parts to reduce R&D costs, which in turn keeps the cost of the device down.

This means that there are, in fact, few new parts. The logic board, rear-facing camera, Lightning connector assembly, and battery are all new parts.

The battery is particularly interesting. The iPhone SE comes with a 3.82 V and 6.21 Whr battery, which offers slightly more juice than the 5.92 Whr pack found in the iPhone 5S, despite the two batteries being identical in physical size.

Chip-wise the iPhone SE has some new components and a lot of components that have been found in earlier iPhones:

  • Apple A9 APL1022 SoC + SK Hynix 2 GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE Modem (also found in the iPhone 6/6 Plus)
  • Qualcomm WTR1625L RF Transceiver (also found in the iPhone 6/6 Plus)
  • Qualcomm QFE1100 Envelope Tracking IC (also found in the 6s/6s Plus, and 6/6 Plus)
  • Skyworks SKY77611 Quad-band Power Amplifier Module
  • Toshiba THGBX5G7D2KLDXG 16 GB NAND Flash
  • NXP 66V10 NFC Controller and 1610A3 Charging IC (also found in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus)
  • Skyworks SKY77826 Ultra low-band Power Amplifier Duplexer
  • SKY77357 2G/EDGE Power Amplifier Module
  • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00105 and 338S1285 Audio ICs (also found in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus)
  • Qualcomm WFR1620 Receive-only Transceiver (also found in the iPhone 6/6 Plus)
  • Avago ACPM-8020 Mid-band Power Amplifier Duplexer (also found in the iPhone 6 Plus)
  • Quorvo (TriQuint) TQF6410 Low-band Power Amplifier Duplexer (also found in the iPhone 6 Plus)
  • TDK EPCOS D5255 Diversity Receive Module
  • Qualcomm PM8019 PMIC (also found in the iPhone 6/6 Plus)
  • Quorvo (RF Micro Devices) RF5159 Antenna Switch Module (also found in the iPhone 6/6 Plus)
  • InvenSense EMS-A 6-axis Gyroscope and Accelerometer Combo
  • Broadcom BCM5976 Touchscreen Controller (first seen in iPhone 5)

As far as repairability goes, there's good news in that the display and battery are easily accessible and removed, but bad news in that the Touch ID ribbon cable is easily ripped, and Apple still uses Pentalobe screws to hold the device together.

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