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Breaking Down the iPhone 4

Updated on March 21, 2011
iPhone 4 is available in black or white
iPhone 4 is available in black or white

What's in an iPhone 4?

The 4th generation of the iPhone, the iPhone 4, has many upgrades over the previous models. To start with, the new A4 processor is paired with 512 MB of RAM, which is double the RAM available in the iPad and also double the RAM that was installed in the leaked iPhone 4 models that were floating around months before its release. Here are some basic stats on the iPhone 4:

  • A4 processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 32 GB hard drive (on the model I bought, highly recommended)
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • 720p HD video recording (for a phone, that's incredible)
  • iOS4 operating system pre-installed (build 8A293 before any updates)
  • 3.7 volt battery providing 7 hours of talk time on 3G and 14 hours on 2G
  • Multi-touch screen

How to take apart an iPhone 4

Before you go any further, you need to know that you could potentially void your warranty if you take apart your iPhone. Please make an anonymous call to the store where you bought your iPhone and inquire about the ramifications of attempting your own iPhone dissection. Of course, if you're reading this, chances are you already broke your iPhone and it's not covered under warranty. You drunken slob... let's get started:

  • Because you can't just simply remove the battery like most phones, power down your iPhone and have the silent switch on the side activated. 
  • Remove the two Phillips screws (#00) on the bottom of the phone. This releases the back panel, unlike previous iPhones where it released the screen.  
  • Note the size of the battery. It takes up most of the space inside an iPhone. Luckily, the decided not to solder it in to the logic board this time, so battery replacement will be simple when you can find the right battery. There is just a battery connector linking it to the phone.
  • There's a pull tab on the battery that warns you not to remove it unless you're a professional. Once again, if you're reading this right now, that warning is rather moot.
  • An EMI shield is above the batter in the area around the camera lens. There are 5 screws that need to be unscrewed to get it off. There are many connectors under this EMI shield, and the logic board is also hidden under an EMI shield to the left of the battery. 
  • In the very top corner opposite the camera lens is the vibration motor. It's actually amazing how small that thing is. The motor turns a metal half-circle, and the imbalance causes the vibration.  
  • The bottom of the iPhone is where the speaker and antennae enclosure is located. This can also be taken apart with a screwdriver. The iPhone 4 utilizes multiples antennas, and many of them are incorporated into the inside of the stainless steel case on very thin metal sheets. 

Stop-Motion Video of an iPhone 4 Disassembly

iPhone 4 Video Teardown

Need more help repairing an iPhone 4?

There are some wonderful repair guides over at IFixIt: 


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