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Teardown Finds iPhone SE and iPhone 5s Displays Interchangeable

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.


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.

Article Link: Teardown Finds iPhone SE and iPhone 5s Displays Interchangeable
 

Andres Cantu

macrumors 68030
May 31, 2015
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How does this explain the iPod touch 5th generation having the same FaceTime HD camera as the iPhone 5 (smaller pixels than the iPhone 5s's) yet the iPod touch 6th generation having the one from the iPhone 6 (which has a larger f/2.2 aperture) if both iPod touches also have the same screen?

My guess is that Apple didn't have enough f/2.2 1.2MP FaceTime HD cameras for the SE, since the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad mini 4, and iPad Air 2 all use it. Would have been nice for it to get the second-best camera rather than the third. Still a great phone, though :)
 

mayerkim87

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2015
5
6
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?
 

Indian Devil

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2014
121
37
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?
Yup for $400 I think it's a great buy in the USA, unfortunately in India they are selling it for a nearly $625 which is way too much as iPhone 6 is available for about $100 less and 6s for just about $50 more.
 
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Alphazoid

macrumors 6502a
Dec 5, 2014
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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?

Pretty much and thats why they can price it lower. Since its basically a reassembly/repackage from the parts shelf.
 

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
6,665
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There & Back Again
Man alive Apple are cleaning up on the R&D they did on the old models. Keep the production costs down and the profits up.

So the next SE model will be a 6 with 7 insides?
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,528
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Australia
Theoretically... if you swapped the logic board, rear-facing camera, Lightning connector assembly and battery from the 5S into the SE, you'd end up with an SE?

I wonder about the normal 5 - if you could upgrade it to an SE by swapping parts.. hmmm
 
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Traverse

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Mar 11, 2013
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I played around with the SE today and my friend's 5S. I'm very tempted by the SE, but I can tell a difference between the SE screen and my iPhone 6. The increased contrast and "Retina HD" make a difference. Whether that's big enough to sway an SE purchase is to be determined.
 

ChristianVirtual

macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
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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?
That's good for the environment; better then put it in a landfill
 

Junior117

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2015
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Toronto, Canada
Theoretically... if you swapped the logic board, rear-facing camera, Lightning connector assembly and battery from the 5S into the SE, you'd end up with an SE?

I wonder about the normal 5 - if you could upgrade it to an SE by swapping parts.. hmmm
You may have a point (unless the Touch ID hole is a different size compared to the regular home button's hole, in which case, unless you want to manually change the hole to the correct size, then we have a problem).
 

einsteinbqat

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2012
321
256
Canada
Ooooooooooh! So that is what that Liam robot is for!

Disassemble iPhones sent back to Apple and putting them back together into that iPhone SE. So the SE is like a Frankenstein iPhone…
 
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mj1108

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2007
615
376
California
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.

Well, there's the reason the SE is so inexpensive.
 

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,300
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Australia, Perth
Niffty..... so all u gotta do if find someone with a iPhone 5s in most cases..
Just like Apple to use a different battery connector.... logic board and camera, but who's complaining when about 90% of the phone can be replaced from a donor...

Unless u need to constantly replace your logic board, but then i'd be worry about other issues.
 

RDeckard

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2013
187
564
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.
 
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citysnaps

macrumors 604
Oct 10, 2011
6,683
11,370
San Francisco
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?

Breathtaking. I don't know where to begin. Other than you know nothing about high volume manufacturing. Here's a hint: Selling 20+ million SE phones would not be unreasonable. And likely several million in the first week.
 

cerote

macrumors 6502a
Mar 2, 2009
837
268
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?

That's probably why they made a machine to take apart phones and seperate parts. All those broken newer phones can be turned into parts for SE models.

Not saying that's all they are obviously but it helps a ton.
 

AliMacs

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2014
496
810
Many kept saying I was wrong that the iPhone SE display was never the same as the iPhone 5S - somehow it's magically a new part. I tell those now in doubt to eat some shet please.
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Well, there's the reason the SE is so inexpensive.

Contrary to belief here in MAcrumors forums - it's not cheap at all. It's $100 too expensive.
 
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