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.
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Allan Yogasingam is a technical market manager for UBM TechInsights, a sister company of EE Times.
Using qualcomm chip set to consolidate the model is a smart move. Not only does it reduce the number of product to manage but also provides an upper hand against competitors. Now, iPhone 4S becomes a world phone.
I have heard that the antenna location has been moved to the upper corners. I am hoping I will see coverage of antenna design in this article. Any further information is welcomed.