/>
X

Tearing down the iPhone 4S (photos)

Bill Detwiler cracks open the Apple iPhone 4S and finds a design nearly identical to that of the iPhone 4, but also significant hardware updates.
|
bill-detwiler.png
|
6315664.jpg
1 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

On October 12, 2011, Apple released the iPhone 4S. Although its exterior is nearly identical to the iPhone 4 (released in June 2010), the iPhone 4S pack a lot of new hardware.

We've published teardown galleries of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3G S, iPhone 3G, and original iPhone. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the 2011 model. Follow along as I crack open the Apple iPhone 4S.

For a more in-depth review of the iPhone 4S' internal hardware, check out my article, "Apple iPhone 4S Teardown: Old design, new hardware."

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315665.jpg
2 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The iPhone 4S is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models. It comes in black or white.

In the U.S., the iPhone 4S is available from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. When purchased with a two-year contract, the 16GB model costs $199, the 32GB model costs $299, and the 64GB model costs $399.

I bought AT&T's version of the white, 16GB iPhone 4S (sans contract) from a local Best Buy Mobile location for $699.99 (plus tax).

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315666.jpg
3 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Our the Apple iPhone 4S has an Apple A5 1GHz dual-core processor with 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 16GB of storage, 8MP rear-facing camera, VGA-quality front-facing camera, and 3.5" Retina display (960x640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi).

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315667.jpg
4 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Included with the iPhone 4S are a USB power adapter, 30-pin dock connector to USB cable, earphones (with remote and mic), and product documentation (not shown).

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315668.jpg
5 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The iPhone 4S has the same dimensions as the iPhone 4. It measures 4.5" (H) x 2.31" (W) x 0.37" (D). At 4.9 ounces, the iPhone 4S weighs 0.1 ounces more than the iPhone 4.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315669.jpg
6 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Apple iPhone 4S teardown: Back.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315670.jpg
7 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S side-by-side.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315671.jpg
8 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

When the iPhone 4S (AT&T) and iPhone 4 (AT&T) are placed on top of each other, you can seen the differences in the antennas (indicated by the black lines along the phones' metal edges). According to Apple, the iPhone 4S has two different antennas, which the phone can choose between to find the best cellular signal.

Depending on which carrier you choose, the iPhone 4S can support the following cellular bands:

  • UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315672.jpg
9 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The iPhone 4S has two tamper-resistant pentalobe screws along the bottom edge. I used a special screwdrive to remove them.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315673.jpg
10 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

With the screws removed, you can slide the back cover up.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315674.jpg
11 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the back cover.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315675.jpg
12 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Back cover.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315676.jpg
13 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Like its exterior, the iPhone 4S' internal hardware layout is nearly identical to that of the iPhone 4.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315677.jpg
14 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Inside the iPhone 4S, Apple used a lot of tiny screws. I used a Phillips #000 screwdirver to remove them.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315678.jpg
15 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Disconnecting the battery.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315679.jpg
16 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the battery.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315680.jpg
17 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

3.7V 5.3Whr Battery (APN: 616-580

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315681.jpg
18 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing one of the many connector covers.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315682.jpg
19 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

A large ribbon cable connected the Home button and other components along the bottom of the iPhone to the main PCB.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315683.jpg
20 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the speaker assembly screws.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315684.jpg
21 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the speaker assembly.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315685.jpg
22 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Speakers.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315686.jpg
23 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the upper connector cover plate screws.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315687.jpg
24 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

There are sevaral connectors and cover plates located at the top of the iPhone 4S. I removed all the screws holding them in place.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315688.jpg
25 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the largest upper plate cover.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315689.jpg
26 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Disconnecting the rear-facing camera.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315690.jpg
27 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the rear-facing camera.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315691.jpg
28 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

8MP rear-facing camera.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315692.jpg
29 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Upper section with camera removed.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315693.jpg
30 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The upper portion of the iPhone 4S' main PCB is covered with cable connectors. I disconnected all of them with a thin metal blade.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315694.jpg
31 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the main PCB screws.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315695.jpg
32 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the SIM card and holder.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315696.jpg
33 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

One of the most frustrating aspects of the iPhone 4S teardown was removing the tiny clips, spacers, and cushions located inside the phone.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315697.jpg
34 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Here's a closeup of the clip shown in the previous iPhone 4S photo.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315698.jpg
35 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

A tiny black sticker covers one of the screws that hold the main PCB in place.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315699.jpg
36 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the hidden PCB screw.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315700.jpg
37 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the PCB.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315701.jpg
38 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

With the main PCB removed, we get a clearer look at the iPhone 4S' other internal components. Unfortunatley, most of them are glued to the metal frame. To avoid damaging them, I left them in place.

I also chose to leave the Retina display and touchscreen (front panel) attached to the metal frame. I actually removed all the display assembly screws, but it did not want to come loose. As with the other internal components, I left it in place to avoid potentially damaging it.

I did however, remove the vibration motor.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315702.jpg
39 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Removing the vibration motor.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315703.jpg
40 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The AT&T version of the iPhone 4 used a rotating vibration motor. The iPhone 4S uses the same linear oscillating vibrator found on the Verizon version of the iPhone 4.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315704.jpg
41 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The upper section of the iPhone 4S houses the ambient light sensor, front-facing camera, speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack, on/off button, ring/silent button, and volume up/down buttons.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315705.jpg
42 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The lower section of the iPhone 4S contains the Home button, 30-pin connector port, and microphone.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315706.jpg
43 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Main PCB - front.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315707.jpg
44 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Although most of the iPhone 4S' chips are visible with the removable EMI shields detached, several chips, such as the Toshiba NAND Flash memory module, remain hidden.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315708.jpg
45 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

1GHz A5 processor K3PE4E400B-XGC1

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

6315709.jpg
46 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

STMicro chips with markings:

  • 2128 33DH HGGBZ
  • AGD8 2132 KJ5CH

These are likely the gyroscope and three-axis accelereometer.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315710.jpg
47 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Unknown Apple chip with markings 338S0987 BOIT1132 SGP

6315711.jpg
48 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

The iPhone 4S' Qualcomm RTR8605 Multi-band RF Transceiver was also used in the HTC Thunderbolt.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315712.jpg
49 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

TriQuint TQM9M9030

6315713.jpg
50 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

TriQuint TQM66052

6315714.jpg
51 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Unknown chip with markings SP f QHB52

6315715.jpg
52 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Avago ACPM-7181 Power Amplifier

6315716.jpg
53 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Skyworks 77464-20 Power Amplifier

6315717.jpg
54 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Apple 338S0973

6315718.jpg
55 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Qualcomm MDM6610

6315719.jpg
56 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Qualcomm PM8020 power management IC

6315720.jpg
57 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Under this black sticker is a Murata SW SS1830010, which likely provides the iPhone 4S' Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315721.jpg
58 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

This photo shows the many tiny screws found inside the iPhone 4S. Although I was able to remove them all with a Phillips #000 screwdriver, they come in a variety of sizes. This makes reassembling the iPhone 4S a timeconsuming process. I wish Apple would settle on a single size for the iPhone's internal screws--as other smartphone manufacturers have.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

 

6315722.jpg
59 of 59 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Although their internal design is almost identical, the Apple iPhone 4S was a bit more difficult to dissect than the iPhone 4--mainly because the display/front panel assembly didn't want to come off.

 

 

 

Related Galleries

Sony Xperia Pro-I review: in pictures
sony-xperia-pro-i-1.jpg

Related Galleries

Sony Xperia Pro-I review: in pictures

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G review: in pics
samsung-galaxy-s21-fe-7.jpg

Related Galleries

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G review: in pics

Shokz OpenRun Pro review: in pictures
shokz-openrun-pro-13.jpg

Related Galleries

Shokz OpenRun Pro review: in pictures

Insta360 One X2 camera review: in pictures
insta360-one-x2-camera-1.jpg

Related Galleries

Insta360 One X2 camera review: in pictures

Moto Watch 100 review: in pictures
moto-watch-100-2.jpg

Related Galleries

Moto Watch 100 review: in pictures

Polar Grit X Pro Titan review: in pictures
polar-grit-x-pro-titan-1.jpg

Related Galleries

Polar Grit X Pro Titan review: in pictures

Zhiyun Smooth 5 smartphone gimbal review: in pics
zhiyun-smooth-5-2.jpg

Related Galleries

Zhiyun Smooth 5 smartphone gimbal review: in pics