What's inside the iPhone 5 and what companies won the component wars

09/21/2012 12:10 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

ifixit is out with its tear-down of Apple’s iPhone 5 (See the whole tear-down at http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone-5-Teardown/10525/1 )

Be the first on your block to get the inside dope on the insides of the iPhone (and to know what kind of screws Apple used.) My scan of the tear-down suggests that the big component winners are Qualcomm (QCOM), which supplied the new 4G LTE modem, and Broadcom (BRCM), which supplied the controller for the touch screen.

The tear-down raises an interesting question on the sourcing of the phone’s A6 processor. While the slide of the processor during Apple’s presentation clearly showed a Samsung chip, the processor in the tear-down phone came from Elpida Memory, a Japanese chipmaker now in bankruptcy that is the subject of a bruising battle between Micron Technology (MU), which has proposed buying the company for $2.5 billion and bondholders who argue that the company is worth $3.78 billion. How many A6 processors from each source? Ahh, that’s the number that counts. And that is so far unknown.

(By the way the ifixit.com teardown has a complete tool list and step-by-step instructions just in case you want to take apart your own iPhone 5.)
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