First iPhone SE Teardown Reveals Mix of iPhone 5s, 6, and 6s Components

With the iPhone SE now available in several countries, the first teardown of the device has been conducted by Chipworks. As expected, the device uses a hodgepodge of components sourced from several past iPhones, including the iPhone 5, 6, and 6s, leading Chipworks to say "this is not your typical Apple release."

There are very few new parts, but that hardly means there is no innovation. As is the genius of Apple and its fearless leader, Mr. Cook, it is the combination of all the right parts that make a successful product. Finding that just-right balance of old and new, and at such a low cost, is no easy feat.

The processor inside the iPhone SE is indeed the same A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s, and the part in the iPhone SE Chipworks took apart was labeled with an APL1022 part number from a TSMC facility. It includes SK Hynix memory, which Chipworks says is likely the same 2GB LPDDR4 DRAM module found in the iPhone 6s.

applea9chip

The date codes might actually tell a story: the decapped application processor chip is dated 1535, Aug/Sep last year, so it was sitting in inventory for a while; the memory is 1549, last December; and presumably the whole package-on-package was assembled this year at the end of January.

The NFC chip is the NXP 66V10, the same used in the iPhone 6s, and the 6-axis sensor is from InvenSense and was also used in the iPhone 6s.

The Qualcom MDM9625M modem and the accompanying transceiver were originally found in the iPhone 6, and the Audio ICs, which Chipworks thinks were designed by Cirrus Logic, came from the iPhone 6s.

While many parts were originally from the iPhone 6 or 6s, the touch screen controller components (Broadcom BCM5976 and Texas Instruments 343S0645) were originally used in the iPhone 5s.

iphonesetouchscreencontroller
There are a few new components in the iPhone SE, including a "338S00170 device," which Chipworks says is "very likely a new Apple/Dialog power management IC," along with a Skyworks SKY77611 power amplifier module, a 16GB Toshiba NAND flash module, an EPCOS D5255 antenna switch module, and an AAC Technologies microphone.

Additional information about the iPhone SE will come out as Chipworks continues on with its teardown and as other companies like iFixit conduct their own device teardowns. The iPhone SE will be available in the United States starting tomorrow, March 31.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

Porco Avatar
106 months ago
Whilst I enjoy their early work and I admire their recent efforts, sometimes it's hard to argue with a greatest hits album.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Retrofire Avatar
106 months ago
Recycling is good for the environment! ;-)
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
106 months ago
Pretty interesting little device. I think Apple is going to sell a ton of these. I know I'll be getting one for my wife soon. For once my complaints finally paid off! Been rooting for this little guy for years.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sir1963nz Avatar
106 months ago
Sill annoyed that this phone doesn't have a barometer.
I was waiting for a bottle opener, something useful.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oldmacs Avatar
106 months ago
The SE would be a huge upgrade for you at a very nice price. It's the goofballs that want to go from a 4.7" 6S to a SE that I can't understand. The 6S is definitely a manageable phone for a average to large person. Even smaller women are rocking bigger phones than me and I'm twice their size.
This is why people are all different. I've heard plenty of people got sick of waiting for a new 4 inch phone so have upgraded but don't like the larger size. My father has had an iPhone 6 for work for about a year now I think and he still dislikes the size, compared to his personal 5. The 6S is not manageable for me, and I'm average. The SE will last as long as the 6S, has the same camera, and better battery life. Things that are missing may not matter to people. Tons of people found the 5S screen perfectly fine, don't take selfies and don't use 3D touch on their iPhones even though they have it.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleInTheMud Avatar
106 months ago
Sill annoyed that this phone doesn't have a barometer.
For what use ? It's just a gimmick.

......


I love the iPhone SE - finally a phone again that fits in the hand. I was all excited as the iPhone 6 came out. Got myself the plus... Rapidly changed that to a normal 6... Still to big. Now going back to 4" :-)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)