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Teardown Finds iPhone SE and iPhone 5s Displays Interchangeable

Yesterday, Chipworks' teardown of the iPhone SE confirmed that the new device uses a potpourri of components from several past iPhones, including the iPhone 5s. iFixit has completed its own teardown of the device, and its findings show that the new device includes several components that are interchangeable with iPhone 5s parts.

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iFixit found that the iPhone SE's speaker, chassis, vibrator, SIM tray and display assembly, which includes the LCD, digitizer, front camera, earpiece speaker and proximity sensor are the same parts used in the iPhone 5s. According to iFixit's testing, the components are easily swappable and work in a "plug and play" fashion.

The non-swappable parts include the logic board, rear-facing camera, Lightning connector assembly and battery. The iPhone SE's battery comes in at 1,624 mAh, which is up from the iPhone 5s' 1,560 mAh battery. However, iFixit notes that the SE's battery comes with a different battery connector, so iPhone 5s users hoping to install a larger battery in their phones are out of luck.

The camera on the iPhone SE also comes with a different connector, using far fewer pins than the connector on the iPhone 5s' camera. Other differences include a Lightning connector that's a little different from the iPhone 5s' Lightning connector, failing iFixit's compatibility test. The power button bracket also has a contact cable "doohickey," likely for grounding.

iFixit awarded the iPhone SE a repairability score of 6 out of 10, with 10 being the easiest to repair. While the iPhone SE's similarities to the iPhone 5s make it easier to repair, it's still difficult to open because of the Pentalobe screws on the device's exterior. Like most iPhones, the Touch ID cable is also easily damaged if a user is not careful when opening the device.



Top Rated Comments

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34 months ago
It's never fails to stagger me how people can be such hypocrites. How many in this thread alone have said the 5S is the best iPhone ever made.

Now you find out that the new phone has a lot of the same internals suddenly it's junk.

The SE takes everything that was great with the 5S and gives you more. Better camera, better battery, better processor etc. People clambered for a 4" iPhone and now you have one with the same processing power as the flagships you complain.

Reusing parts is not only common sense but it makes financial sense and is good for the environment when we do live with limited resources.

Instead of deriding Apple lets applaud their sensibility
Rating: 14 Votes
34 months ago
Quick, everyone act surprised!
Rating: 11 Votes
34 months ago


I would've used the term "vibration motor," but that's just me ...

Rating: 9 Votes
34 months ago
So everything that I'm reading about SE is that it's just a omelette of spare iPhone parts that Apple had laying around, possibly from customer returns, and repackaged into a "new" phone. I guess the redeeming point is the lower price point at a current technology level. Yay or nay?
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago

So everything that I'm reading about SE is that it's just a omelette of spare iPhone parts that Apple had laying around, possibly from customer returns, and repackaged into a "new" phone. I guess the redeeming point is the lower price point at a current technology level. Yay or nay?


So, you truly believe that the SE is basically a phone just made out of spare parts just laying around from customer returns?

The intelligence of some here continues to amaze me.
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago

So this should mean you could swap the chassis and get the beautiful polished chamfers with all the new tech. That's pretty cool.
If this thing ran iOS 6, I'd already have one.

iOS 6 was the best OS ever. I held on as long as I could but eventually caved and had to get ios7
Rating: 5 Votes
34 months ago
I would never try to repair any Apple product myself, pay far too much for it to risk that. And with the great service Apple provide, don't see the reason for that too.
Rating: 3 Votes
34 months ago

So everything that I'm reading about SE is that it's just a omelette of spare iPhone parts that Apple had laying around, possibly from customer returns, and repackaged into a "new" phone. I guess the redeeming point is the lower price point at a current technology level. Yay or nay?


To quote Mac 128 ('https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/22742104'):

"And why the hell would they spend the money to R&D a new iPhone 6 series design 6 months before the 6s becomes last years model?

How is it a Frankenstein phone? Nothing about its exterior appearance is freakish, it's still the same elegant design as it was created with, and the internals are all the latest iPhone components, with the exception of basically the screen which is an excellent screen to begin with, and already engineered for the device.

Add to that they managed to actually drop the price $250 over the only other phone to have most of these features, because they didn't re-engineer this from the ground up.

You're criticizing Apple for lack of innovation, when none was called for here. If Apple had released the SE for $549, then you could criticize all you want, but they didn't. This wasn't the 5c, which was the same phone crammed into a plastic shell and sold for the same price it would have been if they'd left it in a much more desirable metal case and bumped it down just like the 5s which followed. It was an updated 5s introduced at a price less than what the 5s was already selling for!

There will be a new 7 series 4" phone which will cost $200 more than the SE, which will be engineered from scratch. But trying to diminish what this SE represents for both Apple and the customer is pathetic."
Rating: 2 Votes
34 months ago
I don't know how many people just fly off with cynicism. It's a small iPhone, which a lot of people like. It's not the absolute best, but it doesn't cost as much either. Yes, the screen has less definition, but that makes its battery life better and lowers the price about $16. This has a fantastic processor, same as the 6s. The smaller screen really zips around. It's $399! I predict it will sell really a lot. If you want the premium, the best phone that can be built this summer, with the technology they've worked on several years, it will cost a little more. That's the business method. It's a great little phone if that is what you want. Buy that and put it on the T-mobile plan, that's a cheap unlimited-data phone. Don't like it? Not for you.
Rating: 2 Votes
34 months ago

You are kidding right? Customer returns?
Car manufacturers, appliance manufacturers and a host of other industries reuse designs.
It's common. Why invent something new when off the shelf will work just fine? Also it's off your own shelf so you get lower prices through economies of scale.


I agree 100%. Most of the mouth-breathers complaining here about Apple using parts from the 5S have no idea that the latest model car (pick any car model) is probably using many of the same parts from previous models... like seat belts, latches, gas/brake pedals, locks, etc. etc. etc.

They're probably keeping themselves awake at night thinking: "I can't believe my car has the same radiator hose as last year's model - it's a crime against humanity! I must complain on some car forum!!!
Rating: 2 Votes

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