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iFixit's iPhone 5s Teardown Reveals Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, 'Invisible' M7 Chip

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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iFixit has already taken apart the new iPhone 5s, currently on sale in Australia. It is the second significant teardown of the device, which was taken apart earlier by Australian iPhone repair firm iExperts. Unsurprisingly, there are no drastic changes from the iPhone 5 to the 5s, but there are some new internals like the Touch ID sensor that are worth examining.

In removing the front panel from the rest of the iPhone 5s, the iFixit team notes that a new cable that runs from the Touch ID sensor to the Lightning port assembly, meaning that extreme care must be taken when removing the screen to avoid damaging the cable.

iFixit did express some concern over the amount of glue used to attach the battery -- a 3.8V - 5.92Wh - 1560mAh unit, slightly larger than the iPhone 5's 3.8V 1440mAh battery -- to the casing, noting that the dramatic increase in glue compared to the iPhone 5 could make it exceptionally difficult to replace the battery. The company also wondered if the sapphire home button was enough to protect the sensitive CMOS Touch ID sensor over time.

Looking at the logic board, iFixit could not find a standalone M7 motion coprocessor chip, dubbing it "invisible". The team believes the M7 may be special silicon built into the A7 chip itself.
Also of note was the striking lack of a discrete M7 co-processor. Perhaps the "M" stands for "magical," because it's not there, folks. The mythical M7 is most likely a combination of motion-oriented components, and not an actual dedicated chip (as Apple implied during last week's product announcement). Chock it up to savvy marketing.
Apple's iterative design has allowed it to streamline and optimize internal construction of the 5s, including the loss of extemporaneous antenna interconnect cables "leaving one less thing to break or get disconnected".

Overall, iFixit gave the iPhone 5s a repairability score of 6 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair), which is one point fewer than the iPhone 5's 7 out of 10. Compared to the iPhone 5, the 5s battery no longer has a convenient pull tab for removal and the Touch ID cable could be ripped out of its socket during front panel removal.

Article Link: iFixit's iPhone 5s Teardown Reveals Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, 'Invisible' M7 Chip
 

SkyBell

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2006
6,567
142
Texas, unfortunately.
So... have iPhones become easier to repair with sucessive models? :confused: I remember them being very "repair un-friendly" around the 3G/3GS era if I'm not mistaken...
 
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pezj

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2012
93
13
Would Applecare allow a $79 replacement on the teardown phone?
 
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fullauto

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2012
892
301
Brisbane
"the 5s battery no longer has a convenient pull tab for removal and the Touch ID cable could be ripped out of its socket during front panel removal"

:)
 
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mbh

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2002
400
73
I don't think Apple has to worry about fingertips wearing out sapphire crystal.
 
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fullauto

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2012
892
301
Brisbane
Would be interesting to see what a clear home button would have looked like on the 5S.. I guess it wasn't appealing and they colour coded..
 
Comment

Jibbajabba

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2011
1,017
2
iPhones are know for great battery life so no harm in having issues to remove it when needed.



.... Oh wait ....
 
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Swift

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2003
1,763
922
Los Angeles
Fascinating

But iFixit is really obsessed with its hobbyist's view. You can't replace the battery? They'll swap one out if you come up with a dud that fails earlier than the mean. It's not made to open up, period! Too many seams on Jony's case. If you want the fourteen pound phone with a car battery and a dynamo, that's somewhere else. I mean, it might be arrogant, whatever; but they don't, and NEVER HAVE, made a hobbyists' PC with all-removable and customizable thoughts. That's was a large market in the PC industry. More and more Android devices are closing up too. I think if you have an early, failed battery, and there's no sign of tampering or voiding of warranties, they'll give you a new one. If batteries of a certain batch start failing at 6 months, they want to know about it.
 
Comment

Swift

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2003
1,763
922
Los Angeles
Here's an idea

Why not an iPhone with a translucent back? Worked for the iMac. It would be interesting, as a work of art. Of course, Apple would permanently seal the back.
 
Comment

junctionscu

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2011
22
0
M7

Interesting, so the "M7" is a subsystem on the A7? This may have been addressed elsewhere, but does the M7 offer new functionality that wasn't there before beyond extended battery life?

Essentially the rest of the A7 is turned off except for the sensors as a way to save battery (M7 part of the A7 processes the sensor input and doesn't wake the rest of the A7 unless it's needed)? Anything benefit beyond battery? Strange they would call this out as a separate feature or chip.
 
Comment

booksacool1

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2004
292
1
Australia
But iFixit is really obsessed with its hobbyist's view. You can't replace the battery? They'll swap one out if you come up with a dud that fails earlier than the mean. It's not made to open up, period! Too many seams on Jony's case. If you want the fourteen pound phone with a car battery and a dynamo, that's somewhere else. I mean, it might be arrogant, whatever; but they don't, and NEVER HAVE, made a hobbyists' PC with all-removable and customizable thoughts. That's was a large market in the PC industry. More and more Android devices are closing up too. I think if you have an early, failed battery, and there's no sign of tampering or voiding of warranties, they'll give you a new one. If batteries of a certain batch start failing at 6 months, they want to know about it.

Mate you're COMPLETELY missing the point. iFixit is scoring the self (hobbyist) repairability. Hence the hobbyist perspective. Its a fricken hobbyist website.

Sure Apple may replace the battery/phone if it fails early. But what do you do when the phone is out of warranty? What do you do if the warranty is void?

I honestly cannot count how many times iFixit has helped me repair a phone.
 
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