iPhone 5 gets the teardown treatment

The iPhone 5 represents one of the biggest changes to the look and size of the iPhone yet. But what about its innards? A teardown is under way.

The iPhone 5 opened up.
The iPhone 5 opened up. iFixit

Just what's lurking inside Apple's latest iPhone?

There's not a whole lot of mystery given that Apple's own promotional video for the device shows a cutaway of the battery, circuitry and other parts.

That hasn't stopped iFixit from taking a brand new device -- fresh from a just-opened Australian store -- and breaking it down to the component level.

In years past this practice was, perhaps, a bit more interesting, in part because Apple did not list its suppliers. That changed with this year's annual Supplier Responsibility Report, which included a standalone list of some 156 companies Apple did business with in 2011.

This year's findings? The device still uses Apple's non-standard pentalobe screws, which remain unchanged. iFixit also notes that the screen could be easier to change than with previous models since you open it up from the front. More findings will arrive in the coming hours, the site promises, since as the company did with the third-generation iPad in March , it's a "live" teardown.

Read CNET's iPhone 5 review right here

This is iFixit's second Apple-related teardown of the week. Two days ago the site posted a disassembly of Apple's EarPods headphones , which debuted last Wednesday alongside the iPhone 5.

Despite iFixit traveling to Australia to get first dibs on an iPhone 5 to crack open, this actually isn't the first teardown of the device. German site iPhone Garage gots its hands on one of the devices ahead of its general sale and posted numerous disassembly photos.

Apple's latest iPhone goes on sale Friday, which has already arrived in Australia, and soon other countries. A virtual teardown of the device earlier this week by IHS iSuppli estimated the bill of materials at $199 for the entry-level, 16GB model, the same number it retails for at its carrier-subsidized price. Apple's last model, the iPhone 4S, was originally less expensive at $188.

Read the full CNET Review

Apple iPhone 5

The Bottom Line: The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings. It's absolutely the best iPhone to date, and it easily secures its place in the top tier of the smartphone universe. / Read full review

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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