UBM TechInsights got its hands on a new iPhone 4S when they hit stores Friday (Oct. 14) and immediately began a preliminary teardown analysis.
What did we find? How does the iPhone 4S differ from the original iPhone 4 released in the summer of 2010? First, is the design of a singular handset that will work across multiple carrier platforms such as GSM and CDMA. This was not a surprise, as such a capability was evident in the Verizon version of the iPhone 4. That version incorporated the first use of Qualcomm’s MDM6600—a chipset that was already capable of working across both GSM and CDMA mobile standards.
The foundation for a “world phone” was set, and UBM TechInsights' discovery of a Qualcomm MDM6610 confirmed our initial speculation that the Verizon iPhone 4 was precursor for this design change. Not only that, but it finalizes Apple’s baseband supplier switch from Infineon to Qualcomm. Qualcomm was able to secure not only the design win of the MDM6610, but also the RTR8605 RF transceiver and their PM8028 power management device.
Another major winner is Broadcom. Not only did Broadcom maintain their socket from the iPhone 4, they convinced Apple to upgrade to one of their newer devices, the BCM4330 802.11n WiFi/Bluetooth/FM Radio chipset. This is the second major design win for Broadcom who saw the same IC incorporated in the popular Samsung Galaxy S II handset. Cirrus Logic and Dialog Semiconductor also found their companies’ products upgraded within the iPhone 4S. Apple selected the CLI1560B0 audio codec, moving from the CLI1495 that was in the iPhone 4. Apple also upgraded to Dialog’s D1881A power management IC, moving from the D1815A in the previous handset.
The second biggest change from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S is one that was telegraphed on the release of the iPad 2. The selection of the Apple A5 dual-core processor should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Apple’s tendency to use their tablet format as a precursor to a new processor. As the iPad’s use of the A4 processor alluded to its use in the iPhone 4, the iPad 2 and the introduction of the A5 processor within its casing foretold its use in the iPhone 4S.
Click on image to enlarge.
Allan Yogasingam is a technical market manager for UBM TechInsights, a sister company of EE Times.
Actually, apple was copying the ideas of the chinese clone makers who copied the iphone and then improved on them.
Years ago, I owned a chinese sciphone (miphone)which had dual cameras (front & back, video conferencing and quad band world phone connectability. All of these features have been recently touted as new by apple. So you are correct in saying it a takes a couple years to catch up. You're just misinformed on who is doing the catch up.
Now if they could only follow the lead of others and allow you to replace batteries, add memory cards and have an unlocked phone ... in a couple years
Don't believe it! Out of curiosity, I bought an iPhone 4 clone in Lo Wu Shopping City for about $50 and looked at several others at the same time. It might look like an iPhone from a distance, but plastic body; resistive touch screen; no installable apps (just copied icons). The built-in apps were very bad and slow. WiFi very hard to connect to anything, and flakey browser. No GPS, no GPRS, no compass; no accelerometers or gyros (though did have portrait/landscape detection); low-res screen. It worked for 3 days before the touch-screen failed (probably a connector). After that I dismantled it - no A5, that's for sure!
I was astonished it actually worked - as just a phone, it wasn't too bad. Essentially, it was a generic phone PCB wrapped-up in an iPhone look-alike wrapper.
It even had two improvements over the iPhone - dual SIM, and replaceable battery.
Anyway, they are widely available - google for Sciphone, HiPhone etc.
I agree in part with you, but I do find packaging details ie. HOW it all goes together. I then think hmm why? Yes I like the idea or no I don't. Sure purely from an electronic perspective there's not much happening, but in the mechanical arena it can be interesting.
Teardowns don't mean much when they simply identify new components. Wow, it has an XYZ from company A and a QRS from company B. Big deal. More insight and analysis of why Apple made various component and design choices would help. But it's unlikely a company will share those secrets. That's why this type of teardown is pretty much a waste of time.
It is very obvious how the real estate changes when there is no keyboard, no open/close mechanism, just a screen, battery and short parade of chips, one chip per specialist function. See how the Location chips and presumably GPS? need their space. Cameras, connector and switches add their payload but you get a lot of functionality in a mobile device!