Apple iPhone 4S Teardown: 4 Findings

The latest in a series of iPhone teardowns shows that the iPhone 4S has a different battery than the iPhone 4 and a quiet vibrator motor.

iFixit's iPhone teardowns seem to happen earlier every year. This time, the hardware repair group has cracked open an iPhone 4S one day ahead of its October 14 launch date.

Here are the highlights from iFixit's iPhone 4S teardown:

Same Defenses

The iPhone 4S has the same design as its predecessor, including the same defenses to keep people from cracking the handset open. If you want to get inside the iPhone 4S--say to replace the battery--you'll be up against the same pentalobe screws that protected the iPhone 4.

Juicier Battery

Apple describes the iPhone 4S battery in real-world terms: An extra hour of talk time over the iPhone 4, but an hour less of Wi-Fi browser time. If it's hard numbers you are after, the iPhone 4S has a 5.3 Whr battery, which is 0.05 more than the iPhone 4. The new battery is a different shape from the one in the iPhone 4, so no swapping is allowed.

1 GHz A5, 512 MB DDR2

At the very least, iFixit's teardown confirms the specs that Apple prefers not to talk about. Specifically, the dual-core A5 processor is 1 GHz (AnandTech had reported 800 MHz in benchmarks, likely from underclocking), and RAM is 512 MB DDR2--same as the last iPhone. Fear not; the iPhone 4S feels light and snappy, even without the 1GB of RAM found in some Android handsets.

Vibrator Motor: Less Annoying

Apparently, the AT&T iPhone 4 had a different vibrator motor than its Verizon Wireless counterpart. AT&T's version had a rotational electric motor with counterweight, whereas the Verizon iPhone used a linear oscillating motor, which iFixit describes as "quieter, softer, and all-around less annoying." The iPhone 4S, thankfully, uses the linear oscillating motor. That alone makes it worth the upgrade, right?

Follow Jared on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Appleconsumer electronicssmartphonesiPhoneiphone 4PhonesiPhone 4S

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?