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iPhone 5s teardown: iFixit digs into Apple's newest phone

What's inside the new iPhone 5s? The team at iFixit are digging in.

While iPhone fanatics worldwide are still lining up for Apple's new iPhone 5s, the folks at iFixit are already taking the smartphone apart. 

There's plenty to see inside the new flagship iPhone, but of course we're most interested in the latest iteration of the iSight camera.

What's different about the new iPhone 5s camera?

iFixit sees signs of Sony in the 5s camera module, and quotes Jim Morrison, Vice President of the Technology Analysis Group at Chipworks, as stating "the DNL markings are consistent with the markings on the camera modules housing the Sony IMX145 we saw in the iPhone 4s and on the iPhone 5. The marks on the side of the module are different, but our industry insiders tell us this is Sony's again."

A closer look at the revamped camera inside the iPhone 5s.
Is this camera module a boon for iPhoneographers?
The A7 should mean faster performance on the new iPhone 5s.

As Apple has stated the pixel pitch on this camera is 1.5 µ, the sensor should not be the IMX145, but a newer variant.

iFixit has also taken a closer look at the A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s. The A7 is advertised as providing twice the performance of the 5 (and 5c)'s A6 processor.

The switch to the A7 marks the first use of a 64-bit processor in a smartphone. Based on AnandTech's review, it seems that the bulk of the A7's performance gains do not come from any advantages inherent to a 64-bit architecture, but rather from the switch from the outdated ARMv7 instruction set to the newly-designed ARMv8.

iFixit says the modern ARMv8 instruction set was designed for a 64-bit architecture. It does away with the legacy support of the last 20 years, which increases efficiency, improving performance without sacrificing battery life.

UpdateChipworks have confirmed Apple’s new A7 processor is made by Samsung. 

From Chipworks: "We have confirmed through early analysis that the device is fabricated at Samsung’s Foundry and we will confirm process type and node later today as analysis continues. That being said, we suspect we will see Samsungs 28 nm Hi K metal Gate (HKMG) being used. We have observed this same process in the Samsung Exynos Application processor used in the Galaxy S4. Our engineers will be deprocessing the Apple A7 as soon as they can to confirm this or they can provide different information."

You can learn more about what iFixit has found inside the iPhone 5s on their website.

Update: iFixit have also dug into the iPhone 5c. See what's inside the more colorful model.


Total comments: 11

Prices for the repair is not small. Here's an example in Moscow


Sure, competition has leveled the playing field, that was inevitable. But here's why I'll upgrade.

1. I have iPhone 4, so it's time.
2. I use it for much more than the camera (I'm a professional photographer), the camera is good enough for my purposes
3. All my equipment is Apple, so it works well together. It was a conscious choice to switch to Apple years ago. I got tired of dicking with equipment to make things talk to each other, sync properly, dealing with anti-virus software, and all the other downsides of windows. It was cutting into my productivity.
4. These are tools not religion or my ego. Right now, the Apple environment works best for me. If something better comes along for the complete package, I'll switch.


Apple has the best ecosystem, no doubt.


There were a handful of people waiting in line at the Apple store in town.. they looked like idiots. Certainly line is shorter than past years.

By (unknown member) (Sep 22, 2013)

How does standing in a line make you look like an idiot??

1 upvote

Looks like many people decided to order online as evidenced by the record sales.


iFixit - because... iNoGood

Neloy Sinha

It is a departure from the convention. Many die hard @ fans will like it.But as long as newer updates from other smart phones are coming @ is not safe & it's monopoly or base will be eroded.

1 upvote

Yup, the iPhone is no longer the wet dream of hardcore geeks - as opposed to, say, 2010, when iPhone 4 was the best generic phone out there, unless you needed absolutely the best camera (N8) or other goodies (e.g., call recording) only Symbian could offer.

1 upvote
By (unknown member) (Sep 22, 2013)

Apple doesn't have a "monopoly" with any of its products or services. Never has. They dominated and won the music player market with the iPod and the same with iTunes but there are plenty of alternatives.

1 upvote
By (unknown member) (Sep 22, 2013)

"when iPhone 4 was the best generic phone out there"

You are using the word "generic" incorrectly.

1 upvote
Total comments: 11
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