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Iphone Hardware Apple

iPhone 5 Teardown Shows Boost To Repairability 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-it's-broke,-fix-it dept.
iFixit has posted a detailed teardown of the new iPhone 5. While the casing still uses Apple's proprietary pentalobe fasteners, the good news is that Apple has made the screen much easier to remove. Once the fasteners have been removed, the screen will lift out easily through the use of a suction cup. The screens are by far the most common parts of iPhones to break, and this change turns a complicated 38-step procedure that takes about 45 minutes at minimum into a quick, 5-10 minute job. The teardown also shows the iPhone 5 battery to be very similar to the iPhone 4S's, suggesting that the improvements to battery life come from other hardware and software changes. We get a look at the new A6 processor running the phone, which is a custom design based on ARMv7. iFixit also looks at the Lightning connector assembly; unfortunately, it includes the loudspeaker, bottom microphone, Wi-Fi antenna, and headphone jack as well, so fixing any one of those parts individually will be difficult. Whatever you think of Apple's decision to move to Lightning instead of micro-USB, it seems their switch away from the 30-pin connecter was necessitated by size constraints.

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iPhone 5 Teardown Shows Boost To Repairability

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  • by mozumder (178398) on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:20PM (#41412253)

    was trying to concentrate here..

    And since when did girls get on the internet?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And since when did girls get on the internet with their clothes on?

      I think this is what you meant.

  • by Scowler (667000) on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:26PM (#41412301)
    umm, kinda obvious fact to omit from the summary, that whole ifixit repairability score...
  • F$^%$ers (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:27PM (#41412311)

    They did something for some reason that wasn't just to screw over the sheep. Now I can't hate them as much.

  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:37PM (#41412441)

    Pentalobe fasteners are not a big deal. New and different screws, nuts and bolts are all the rage. It's been happening for, what, the last century? More? Sometimes they're actually an improvement and stick in the industry as the next great thing. The tools become available very quickly, or some of us make our own...

    • Except that no one has figured out a business case for the pentilobe other than messing with customer's heads. They could have switched out the Phillip's for Torx - that would be an improvement in a number of areas and follows an industry standard. But they had to make one of their own for some bizarre reason.

      • by pubwvj (1045960) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:53PM (#41414673)

        You're thinking about it the wrong way. The new screw in each case is a challenge, a hurdle, an intelligence test. If you haven't got what it takes to figure out how to open the device then perhaps you shouldn't.

      • by c++0xFF (1758032)

        There's one very good business case for pentalobe screws: make it so that only shops that pay a royalty can legally repair an iDevice.

        Fortunately, its possible to get pentalobe drivers anyway.

    • by Algae_94 (2017070)
      But is the pentalobe fastener an improvement? Torx would be just fine and is used across the industry in small electronic devices. They even have tamper resistant torx that have a dot in the center.

      The pentalobe connector is only used by Apple. No one else uses it. Most likely because it isn't any better. It only serves to sell new tools, or have some people that would otherwise have done their own repairs to take it to an authorized repair shop. The tamper resistant torx would have done the same.

      I s
      • by NoMaster (142776)

        No one else uses it. Most likely because it isn't any better. It only serves to sell new tools, or have some people that would otherwise have done their own repairs to take it to an authorized repair shop. The tamper resistant torx would have done the same.

        The original Torx design was invented & patented in the late 60's; the patent ran out in the mid-90's (they tried to separately patent Torx TR but couldn't). In between, people said exactly the same thing about it.

        Funny how "evil" becomes "good" as

        • by Algae_94 (2017070)
          Well, I never said it was "evil" or "good", and I probably would complain if they used Torx Plus.

          Torx may have upset people originally, but it does have advantages over Phillips screws. Torx Plus doesn't give the same sort of improvement. The Pentalobe fasteners likewise are not any better than Torx. Why not use the same fasteners everyone else does? This isn't like the new connector, which can be argued to offer more than the standard microUSB. This is a fastener.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:46PM (#41412521)

    I've had pentalobe drivers since before Jobs went back to apple and at least 15 years before the iPhone ever existed.

    Just because you aren't used to seeing them on all the crap you buy designed to be as cheap as possible.

    Pentalobe bolts are about a thousand times more reliable than Phillips heads, which are DESIGNED TO STRIP WHEN CRAPPY FACTORY WORKERS OVER TORQUE the screw/bolt during assembly.

    Every time you call pentalobe proprietary you just make your ignorance and inner fanboy obvious.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:52PM (#41412591)

      Torx fulfills that need and is far more common.

      Like you said, with phillips heads the bit jumping the grooves is a design feature not a flaw.

      Pentalobe is just a little less common, but not hard to get either.

    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:02PM (#41412713)

      I've had pentalobe drivers since before Jobs went back to apple and at least 15 years before the iPhone ever existed.

      Just because you aren't used to seeing them on all the crap you buy designed to be as cheap as possible.

      I call BS on this, everything I've googled is stating that Pentalobe is a new design that Apple came up with. It is very similar to the Torx screw, but incompatible by design. Unless you have some link to prove that pentalobe is not a new design, I'm gonna say you are shilling or mistaken.

      • by FreeFire (1957226)
        I looked at Google stuff too, and found nowhere that claimed the Pentalobular is a NEW design by Apple. Torx has a Pentalobular in various sizes; I'd presume they've been around for a while, especially since they come in sizes not used by Apple.
      • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:13PM (#41413547)

        According to this [gizbot.com] the Pentalobe is an Apple invention. I'm not gonna go do a patent search, I'll leave that to some other genius.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Pentalobe bolts are about a thousand times more reliable than Phillips heads, which are DESIGNED TO STRIP WHEN CRAPPY FACTORY WORKERS OVER TORQUE the screw/bolt during assembly.

      Uh no. Philips was invented to eliminate cam-out, which it all but does when the screwdriver is lined up perfectly with the screw. Since it doesn't actually eliminate cam-out, we got torx, which does. And since Torx is more expensive to make than philips (especially the fasteners themselves) we also got ACR, or "anti cam-out ridges". These little ridges ground into the tips of screwdrivers are usually found on tools with snazzy names including "bite" and such, and they provide the same function for the tip

  • They're making their smart phones more repairable and their MacBooks less repairable? I'm not following the line of logic.
    • Re:Sooo... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cinder6 (894572) on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:27PM (#41413005)

      It's perfectly logical: Making it easier to repair makes it cheaper (for the tech) to repair.

      1. They sell more iPhones than they do MacBooks.
      2. iPhones break more than MacBooks--there's #1, and also the fact that people carry their phones everywhere.
      3. The most common breaking point of an iPhone is the screen.
      4. Making the screen easier to remove makes it cheaper to replace.

      MacBooks don't have nearly the number of accidents, so they can lock it down a bit more in their quest for nicely fitting and ultra-thin hardware.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      The line of logic is simple: repairability is a plus since it cuts their repair costs. Repair costs a relatively larger on the phones than the computer and Apple loses money on phone warranties. That being said, they are willing to lose money for thin and light.

  • 5.4Wh - at 3.9oz. My Android phone with extended 9.7Wh battery weighs 6.5oz. Sorry, I'll take the additional battery lifetime for the weight.
  • So you need to remove fractured glass with a suction cup? Let me know how that works out for you...
  • ...wasn't one of the bugbears I've been reading about elsewhere, the proprietary connectors Apple seems to love using? This is why I won't buy Apple: until they use a standard connector, I won't go fucking near one.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      I'm sorry, there's way more rage over the cable than makes sense.

      • My mp3 player, all my external hard drives, my phone and even my camera use the SAME ONE CONNECTOR. I have ONE CABLE that does it ALL.

        WHY do Apple have such trouble sourcing sockets that seem to grow like fucking WEEDS all over China!?

  • by clonehappy (655530) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:09PM (#41415541)

    While this is most definitely great news for the DIY crowd and the independent repair shops, I don't think it was necessarily done to make things easier on us. Not trash-talking Apple at all for this move, but this is going to save them a metric shitton of money in the long run.

    Apple replaces/repairs so many devices with cracked screens that bringing the repair time down from 45 minutes to practically nothing will make the profit margins on their warranties and AppleCare coverage skyrocket. And makes those of us who do these things for fun and profit very happy. Smart business move from all standpoints.

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