Whenever a new iOS device is launched, we anxiously await those brave souls who tear them down and look at the innards. While Chipworks was the first to publish a teardown of the iPhone SE, repair site iFixit has come out with a more detailed analysis that shows components taken from the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6s.
Kinda like Taco Bell—same ingredients, new menu item. Let’s open it up and spill the beans!- iFixit
Any iPhone teardown begins with getting the case open, and iFixit notes that this process is identical to opening up an iPhone 5s. Same dimensions, same pentalobe screws, and even the same display unit, as they quickly discovered. The iPhone SE also has what iFixit refers to as “the familiar Touch ID cable booby trap.” Pulling the display up too far before disconnecting the Touch ID cable risks damage to the cord.
According to iFixit, the display unit on the iPhone SE is the exact same component used in the iPhone 5s, making replacement parts already available. Most of the components, in fact, are shared by other iPhone models.
One component that’s markedly different is the battery, which comes in at 1,624 mAh. The connector for the battery is slightly different between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 5s, meaning you won’t be able to “supercharge” your older handset with the newer battery.
The iPhone SE shares its rear-facing camera with the iPhone 6s, but the front-facing FaceTime component is the same 1.2-megapixel unit as found on the iPhone 5s. Other parts taken from the iPhone 5s include the speaker, vibration motor, and SIM tray. Still other components, like the Lightning connector, see minor modifications that make them incompatible with the iPhone 5s.
It’s interesting to see the mashup of components from various handset models coming together in the iPhone SE. The teardown wizards at iFixit have given the iPhone SE a repairability rating of 6/10, slightly worse than the 7/10 rating scored by the iPhone 6s. The greatest risk is tearing that Touch ID cable when you first open up the device.