Teardown of Apple’s iPhone SE Reveals Mashup of iPhone 5s, 6, and 6s Components

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On Wednesday, Chipworks posted the first teardown of Apple’s iPhone SE. As expected the teardown revealed that the handset’s logic board is a mashup of iPhone 5s, 6, and 6s components, with a few new chips thrown in to keep the platform fresh.

The report notes that even though the new 4-inch iPhone might appear to be identical to the iPhone 5s it replaces, the new internal components, including the iPhone 6s-class A9 processor, makes it a unique addition to Apple’s lineup.

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As for the A9 SoC, the firm notes its Verizon unit came with a chip bearing part number APL1022, meaning it came from Apple partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Additionally, a 1604 date code suggests the chip was produced only nine weeks ago. Apple is using system memory from SK Hynix, which appears to be the same 2 gigabyte LPDDR4 mobile DRAM from iPhone 6s.

Apple tapped NXP to bring NFC touchless payments to its low-cost iPhone. Like the iPhone 6s, iPhone SE boasts an NXP 66V10 module that incorporates the Secure Element 008 and an ear-field communications controller labeled NXP PN549. Chipworks said the SE’s InvenSense 6-axis inertial sensor also made its way from iPhone 6s.

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Dating back to 2014’s iPhone 6 is a Qualcomm MDM9625M modem and WTR1625L RF transceiver. While many parts were originally from the iPhone 6 or 6s, the touch screen controller components (Broadcom BCM5976 and Texas Instruments 343S0645) were originally used in the iPhone 5s.

Along with parts bin components, iPhone SE packs in new hardware including a Skyworks SKY77611 power amplifier module, a Texas Instruments 338S00170 power management IC, Toshiba NAND flash, an EPCOS D5255 antenna switch module and AAC Technologies’ 0DALM1 microphone, the report said. A separate as-yet-unidentified chip could be a new power management IC designed by Apple in cooperation with Dialog Semiconductor.

Apple unveiled its new entry-level handset at a special event earlier this month. The iPhone SE is thought to address fast-growing markets, Android switchers, and users who prefer smaller form factor devices. The company has not released official first weekend sales numbers, though reports indicate preorders surpassed 3.4 million units in China alone.

Additional information about the iPhone SE will come out as Chipworks continues on with its teardown and as other companies, including iFixit, get their hands on a device and conduct their own device teardowns. The iPhone SE will be available in Canada starting tomorrow, March 31.

A software engineer with a passion for creation and innovation using technology. To learn more about me, check out my personal website, which contains links to my projects. Email: nick@iphoneincanada.ca