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

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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