iPhone 4 teardown: What's inside Apple's new phone

We already know the iPhone 4 has a 5-megapixel camera, but there's a lot more to reveal about Apple's latest gadget.
  • Ian Paul (PC World (US online))
  • 23 June, 2010 23:23
Inside the iPhone 4. Image: Ifixit.com.

Inside the iPhone 4. Image: Ifixit.com.

The online do-it-yourself guide iFixit has just posted a 26-step dissection of the iPhone 4 that reveals some interesting facts about Apple's latest gadget.

You already know the new iPhone has a 5-megapixel camera capable of 720p video capture, a display with 960x640 resolution, longer talk time, and a three-axis gyroscope. But here's a look at some of the behind-the-scenes highlights iFixit uncovered.

More RAM, faster processor

Apple has bumped the RAM in the iPhone 4 to 512MB, up from the 256 MB found in the iPhone 3G and the iPad. Similar to the iPad, the iPhone 4 is powered by Apple's A4 processor, which iFixit says uses a 1-GHz ARM Cortex A8 core. Critics noted shortly after Apple introduced the iPhone that Samsung uses the same ARM-based processors as Apple in its mobile devices. IFixit reiterates this, saying Samsung's Wave S8500 smartphone uses the same Cortex A8 core as the iPhone 4.

The Real Storage Capacity

As is the case with most computers, you don't get what you pay for when it comes to storage. After you take away the reserved memory the iPhone needs for its own software, a 32GB iPhone 4 actually has 28.77GB of storage, according to iFixit.


As Apple revealed during the iPhone 4 launch, this device features one big battery. This 3.7V 420 mAh Li-Polymer internal battery take up a significant chunk of the iPhone's innards.

Genius Stainless Steel

IFixit describes the iPhone 4's integrated UMTS, GSM, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas into the stainless steel inner frame as a "work of genius." The new frame should help improve the phone's overall reception.

To help improve signal quality even more, the iPhone 4 is also designed to use whichever network band has the least interference at any given time. The Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS antennas are all produced by Broadcom.

The stainless steel frame should also make the phone more stable, but iFixit says the jury is still out about whether or not the new frame will actually make the new iPhone sturdier (PCWorld's own iPhone 4 stress test video is coming soon).

iPhone 4 : Now With More Gorilla

The iPhone 4 uses aluminosilcate glass that is twenty times stiffer and thirty times stronger than plastic. Ifixit reports this iPhone 4 component is made from Corning's Gorilla Glass and is highly resistant to wear. Corning says Gorilla Glass is "better able to survive the real-world events that most commonly cause glass failure."

On the downside, the glass, digitizer, and LCD panel are all glued together so if you happen to break your iPhone 4's glass expect to pay big bucks to have it repaired.

Check out iFixit's teardown to find out for more interesting facts about the new iPhone 4--like why the right side of the device is considerably warmer than the rest of the phone. IFixit also spills the beans about the iPhone 4's improved audio chamber and the device's dual-mic approach for better noise cancellation.

If you want more iPhone 4 information check out PCWorld's iPhone 4 review, a visual tour of the device, as well as a report on some of the other early iPhone 4 reviews from around the Web.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).