Prime Real Estate: The Fight for Space in the iPhone X

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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As the launch of Apple's iPhone X approaches tomorrow, eager users are set to enjoy battery life normally reserved for Apple's Plus-size form factors in a phone more closely resembling a non-Plus variant in its dimensions. The reason for this advancement is not an energy density development, but rather a smaller printed circuit board (PCB) inside the iPhone X, according to a February report from KGI Securities.

???????,??????? pic.twitter.com/7wzrBLVsFy - Anson Chen ? (@AnsonChen) November 2, 2017

This smaller PCB is thanks to a technology referred to as substrate-like PCBs, or SLP. Depictions from the report show a PCB with more layers than a traditional iPhone PCB thanks to application processor and RF signal-chain dedicated PCBs married via an interposer, creating a layer stackup nearly twice that of a conventional iPhone PCB.


However, this doesn't come close to telling the whole story. While a new PCB stackup may offer some more flexibility in component placement, it's important to remember that the opposite side of the board from the A11 isn't empty in an iPhone 8. There are plenty of components there too -- the NFC chip, display drivers, Wi-Fi combo chips, and power management ICs have all often found their homes directly opposite the workhorse application processor.

After all, 4.7-inch iPhones and their 5.5-inch "Plus" siblings have similarly sized PCBs, with battery capacity suffering as a direct result in the smaller phones. Herein lies the real problem in trying to improve battery life in these smaller form factors.


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Article Link: Prime Real Estate: The Fight for Space in the iPhone X
 

840quadra

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Feb 1, 2005
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Twin Cities Minnesota
They must have employed some of the same tricks with the AW3 LTE, as when the watch first came out, it was relatively groundbreaking to fit the functionality of the Series-0 into the two relatively small case sizes. The fact that they have packed in more features, yet improved battery life has been quite nice.

Looking forward to seeing what future Mac Mini models will be like, if they incorporate some of this build to them. Hopefully we can still upgrade memory and storage if they went that way though!
 

ACST

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Sep 5, 2016
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I am genuinely curious if a thicker bigger battery version would sell better. Like an iPhone X Max, or whatever. I always buy a battery case for every single iPhone since the 4. It's necessary for me at this point.

What do you think?
It's already the thickest iPhone they've made in years (probably the thickest since the iPhone 4s).

Also what everyone always forgets is more battery=more weight and the iphones already aren't the most lightweight phones in the world. I wouldn't want a phone that weighs half a pound.
 
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Preclaro_tipo

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Dec 6, 2003
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West Lafayette, IN
I am genuinely curious if a thicker bigger battery version would sell better. Like an iPhone X Max, or whatever. I always buy a battery case for every single iPhone since the 4. It's necessary for me at this point.

What do you think?
As dreamy as it would be to have a huge amount of hours. I think Apple, and every other manufacturer will target the big fat middle of users...'most users'. Therefore, most people have access to power and are willing/able to plug their phone in, when driving, when working at their computer, when making dinner, or other phone downtimes. Even for the times I wish the battery was larger, most of the other times I'm glad my phone isn't bulky and heavy. When I've purchased battery pack, like I did in the iphone 4 30pin days they were nice to have, but for me, not more convenient to remember/charge my battery pack than it is to stock charging cables in the car and top up the battery when I put my phone down.
 

jayducharme

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Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
That's pretty amazing. The battery arrangement seems a bit clunky right now (sort of like in the original iPhone). I would expect that will be streamlined in future versions. Even so, stacking IC boards like that might bode well for expanding the screens of other iPhones in the future.
 

Macintoshrumors

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2016
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They must have employed some of the same tricks with the AW3 LTE, as when the watch first came out, it was relatively groundbreaking to fit the functionality of the Series-0 into the two relatively small case sizes. The fact that they have packed in more features, yet improved battery life has been quite nice.

Looking forward to seeing what future Mac Mini models will be like, if they incorporate some of this build to them. Hopefully we can still upgrade memory and storage if they went that way though!
Yeah for sure. The future looks promising and apple is on the right track as far as consistent improvement
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
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Florida Resident
I thought this was about shelf real estate on store shelves. Other phones are going to be fighting for space on the store shelf against the mighty iPhone X.