iPhone 5 Teardown

The iPhone 5 is a smartphone that was designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the 6th generation iPhone, succeeding both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. It was formally unveiled as part of a press event on September 12, 2012, and subsequently released on September 21, 2012. The iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to be announced in September, and setting a trend for subsequent iPhone releases, the first iPhone to be completely developed under the guidance of Tim Cook and the last iPhone to be overseen by Steve Jobs.

Here’s my teardown time lapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzUFn1ksF-4

The iPhone 5 featured major design changes in comparison to its predecessor. These included an aluminum-based body which was thinner and lighter than previous models, a taller screen with a nearly 16:9 aspect ratio, the Apple A6 system-on-chipLTE support, and Lightning, a new compact dock connector which replaced the 30-pin design used by previous iPhone models. This was the second Apple phone to include its new Sony-made 8 MP camera, which was first introduced on the iPhone 4S.

The iPhone 5 has the joint second-shortest lifespan of any iPhone ever produced with only twelve months in production.

Parts List:

There are a TON of components on this phone..

Here’s an example of how many are on the logic board alone:

  • Qualcomm PM8018 RF power management IC
  • Hynix H2JTDG2MBR 128 Gb (16 GB) NAND flash
  • Apple 338S1131 dialog power management IC*
  • Apple 338S1117 Cirrus Logic Class D Amplifiers. The die inside is a Cirrus Logic device (second image) but it does not look like the audio codec.
  • STMicroelectronics L3G4200D (AGD5/2235/G8SBI ) low-power three-axis gyroscope—same as seen in the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and other leading smart phones
  • Murata 339S0171 (based on Broadcom BCM4334) Wi-Fi module
  • Skyworks 77352-15 GSM/GPRS/EDGE power amplifier module
  • SWUA 147 228 RF antenna switch module
  • TriQuint 666083-1229 WCDMA / HSUPA power amplifier / duplexer module for the UMTS band
  • Avago AFEM-7813 dual-band LTE B1/B3 PA+FBAR duplexer module
  • Skyworks 77491-158 CDMA power amplifier module
  • Avago A5613 ACPM-5613 LTE band 13 power amplifier

Materials & Processes:

The back of iPhone 5 is made of anodized 6000 series aluminum which was machined to its dimensions using a CNC mill. Then the Aluminum is textured and polished. Finally finished of with a diamond blade cut on the chamfers for a mirror-like finish.

After this process, an image is taken of the housing and is matched to the closest fitting piece out 725 cuts.

The computer chips are made up of silicon, and plastic, and the metal wires used to create the layers of circuits are made of copper or aluminum. Silicon is obtained from either silica sand or from quartz.

The lens cover is made of sapphire. This is because sapphire is thinner and more durable than the cover glass on your iPhone 4/4S and because keeping optics in pristine condition is crucial for camera performance.

Finally, my thoughts:

The iPhone 5, in terms of form, is the best looking and feeling iPhone of all time. The chamfered edges and finish feel amazing in hand. When they switched to curved edges on the iPhone 6and broke away from the squared off edges and chamfers us in the iPhone 5, I dropped my phone waaay more. I think Apple really hit the nail on the head with the manufacturing processes for surface finish, fit, and materials.

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