As soon as the iPhone 5 went on sale, iFixit had a version of the phone in its hands and was working with the folks from Chipworks to disassemble the device and identify all the internal goodies. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Apple delivered another exceptional handset that is refreshingly easy to repair.
After removing the external pentalobe screws, iFixit was able to easily remove the display assembly with a suction cup because the iPhone 5 is opened front to back. This contrasts starkly with the iPhone 4/4S display, which iFixit says took 38 steps to remove. iPhone owners who are prone to dropping their phone should take comfort knowing that the resulting shattered glass front should be inexpensive and simple to fix.
Inside the iPhone 5 are a cellular power amplifiers from Avago, Skyworks and Triquint, a Sony-manufactured 1440mAh battery, 1GB of Elpida DDR2 SDRAM (not Samsung in this particular handset), Qualcomm MDM9615M LTE modem, and a Broadcom BCM5976 touchscreen controller, which is also used in the MacBook Air to control the trackpad. The full list of components is available in the iFixit teardown analysis.
In the end, iFixit gave the iPhone a 7 of out 10 score for its repairability. The repair company deducted points for Apple’s use of pentalobe screws and its one-piece display assembly that requires you to replace the front glass, digitizer, and LCD all at once. iFixit also noticed that some of the smaller components are soldered onto a ribbon cable, which bumps up the repair price.