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iPhone 5S Teardown Reveals Glued Battery, Lack of M7 Chip

By - Source: iFixit | B 34 comments

Here's what's inside the iPhone 5S.

Today is the first day of iPhone 5S and 5C availability but, depending on the color you wanted, you may not have been able to snag one at launch. If that's the case, you might want to avert your eyes, because the iFixit team did get one, and you know exactly what those people do when they get new toys.

 

Yes, even the iPhone 5S is not safe when it comes to iFixit's wandering tools. The phone was unceremoniously torn down last night, before most people even had a chance to buy it (the iFixit team sent someone to Australia to nab a unit). iFixit found a couple of interesting things when they dove inside the iPhone 5S. For one, the battery is now glued in place, which makes it even harder to replace yourself. For another, there wasn't actually a physical M7 co-processor. If you followed the launch event, you might remember Apple taking about the M7, which is in charge of motion data, measuring accelerometer, gyroscope and compass data continuously (Apple is eying health and fitness apps with this). However, according to iFixit, the chip doesn't exist.

"Also of note was the striking lack of a discrete M7 co-processor. Perhaps the "M" stands for "magical," because it’s not there, folks," the iFixit crew wrote. "The mythical M7 is most likely a combination of motion-oriented components, and not an actual dedicated chip (as Apple implied during last week’s product announcement). Chock it up to savvy marketing."

They also found the A7 chip (with 1 GB of RAM), a Qualcomm MDM9615M LTE Modem and WTR1605L transceiver, Hynic H2JTDG8UD3MBR NAND Flash, a Broadcom BCM5976 touchscreen controller, the same display as the iPhone 5, and an 8 MP iSight camera (with larger 1.5µ pixels) and a 1.2MP FaceTime lens up front.

Of course, one of the most interesting parts of this phone is the fingerprint sensor. Thanks to iFixit, we now know that Apple's Touch ID is basically a group of small capacitors that creates an image of the ridges on your finger. The technology was developed by AuthenTec. iFixit's concern is that the sapphire crystal covering the sensor won't protect the CMOS fingerprint sensor from degrading over time. Then again, it only really has to last a year, right?

Check out all the gory photos and the full teardown here.

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    Sorky , September 20, 2013 11:04 AM
    iPhones are just overpriced junk. I've owned two iPhones in the past and both times the battery ended up dying. I had to hire someone to take it apart and replace the battery. I've junked both and switched to Samsung Galaxy phones. Now, I can pop off the back, replace the battery, replace the back cover, and I'm good to go. Apple sucks!
  • 14 Hide
    WyomingKnott , September 20, 2013 11:22 AM
    Quote:
    Don't wipe the S too hard, these are just iphone 5's with an S drawn on with a sharpie.


    I'll wipe my S as hard as I want to.
  • 12 Hide
    edogawa , September 20, 2013 12:01 PM
    One good thing about Apple news articles is that the comments generally tend to unite in agreement that Apple can go blow itself.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Scott Evers , September 20, 2013 10:52 AM
    Don't wipe the S too hard, these are just iphone 5's with an S drawn on with a sharpie.
  • 19 Hide
    Sorky , September 20, 2013 11:04 AM
    iPhones are just overpriced junk. I've owned two iPhones in the past and both times the battery ended up dying. I had to hire someone to take it apart and replace the battery. I've junked both and switched to Samsung Galaxy phones. Now, I can pop off the back, replace the battery, replace the back cover, and I'm good to go. Apple sucks!
  • 5 Hide
    warezme , September 20, 2013 11:14 AM
    Anyone else already sick and tired of iphone 5s articles? I went to gizmodo and it was like the ENTIRE site was bought and paid for by Apple, so sad.
  • 14 Hide
    WyomingKnott , September 20, 2013 11:22 AM
    Quote:
    Don't wipe the S too hard, these are just iphone 5's with an S drawn on with a sharpie.


    I'll wipe my S as hard as I want to.
  • 12 Hide
    edogawa , September 20, 2013 12:01 PM
    One good thing about Apple news articles is that the comments generally tend to unite in agreement that Apple can go blow itself.
  • 5 Hide
    stevejnb , September 20, 2013 12:02 PM
    Quote:
    Anyone else already sick and tired of iphone 5s articles? I went to gizmodo and it was like the ENTIRE site was bought and paid for by Apple, so sad.


    Meh, while I am in NO way a proponent of Apple products beyond the people who I feel they are best suited for - such as my Nana, who I set up with an iPad rather than an Android tablet when she wanted to "start using the computer and doing the e-mail" - the reality is, Apple is one of the largest players in the technology world at the moment, and they tend to release product announcements only a few times a year and all at just a few events. It stands to reason that, when those events happen, there would be a glut of media attention - even pointless fluff articles like NBC is spamming out at the moment.

    Conversely, we get a smaller but far more steady stream of Google, MS, etc information in general. We might actually get more of that, just far less concentrated so it seems like less.
  • 0 Hide
    mensajd , September 20, 2013 12:10 PM
    This appears to be the first commercial release of an ARMv8 64-bit processor. Is that not interesting news?
  • 1 Hide
    the1kingbob , September 20, 2013 12:12 PM
    Chipworks found the M7 chip made by NXP.
  • 2 Hide
    kawininjazx , September 20, 2013 12:18 PM
    Hmm...do I get the iPhone 5s now, or do I wait for the iPhone 6, 6s, 6c, 7, 7s, 7pos?
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , September 20, 2013 12:22 PM
    my understanding was the M7 was built into the A7 CPU and not a discrete chip... maybe I am wrong?
  • 1 Hide
    the1kingbob , September 20, 2013 12:29 PM
    http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/20/chipworks-apples-a7-chip-made-by-samsung-m7-co-processor-by-nxp/

    States it is its own chip, believe me I wanted to call it the magic chip but it looks to be its own chip. Ifixit made a mistake
  • 1 Hide
    Soda109 , September 20, 2013 1:10 PM
    64 bit processor with 1 gb ram. Latest load of iJunk. Going from 32 to 64 bit only makes the thing slower with the same amount of ram. 32 bit windows requires 1gb ram. 64 bit requires two. Im more excited for the galaxy s5 then this piece of junk.
  • 1 Hide
    Haserath , September 20, 2013 1:50 PM
    IFixit has found the M7 processor.
    http://ifixit.org/5311/apples-mysterious-m7-processor-uncovered/
  • 0 Hide
    Haserath , September 20, 2013 1:56 PM
    IFixit has found the M7 processor.
    http://ifixit.org/5311/apples-mysterious-m7-processor-uncovered/
  • -4 Hide
    CaedenV , September 20, 2013 1:59 PM
    Quote:
    64 bit processor with 1 gb ram. Latest load of iJunk. Going from 32 to 64 bit only makes the thing slower with the same amount of ram. 32 bit windows requires 1gb ram. 64 bit requires two. Im more excited for the galaxy s5 then this piece of junk.


    *sigh* I hate defending Apple, but you are wrong. Just plain wrong.
  • 1 Hide
    drunkenbloke , September 20, 2013 3:51 PM
    @CaedenV could you explain the point of a 64bit chip with less than 4Gig of RAM for me ? I am a bit stupid but I thought the point of moving to a 64bit architecture was to allow for a greater addressing range so a single process could use more than 2.5Gig of RAM and the system culd use more than 4Gig is there some other benefit that I have not been told about ?
  • -1 Hide
    maxxum , September 20, 2013 5:21 PM
    @drunkenbloke - That's just a benefit, not the purpose of 64bit processing/addressing. Programs will be able to move larger chunks of data across the bus. Memory requirements are another factor which programmers can address.
  • 1 Hide
    soldier44 , September 20, 2013 6:26 PM
    The Note 3 will be out next week and the 5S will be a laughable forgotten memory by then.
  • -3 Hide
    intel 4004 , September 20, 2013 9:46 PM
    I don't like Shamsung more than Apple...
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