Inside the iPhone 4--courtesy of Steve Jobs
The iPhone 4 got a pre-emptive teardown on Monday, courtesy of CEO Steve Jobs at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.
Though a precommercial version of the iPhone 4 was notoriously taken apart by Gizmodo--and no doubt other meticulous teardowns will follow--there's nothing like an official peek inside by Jobs to set the record straight.
So, what's going on inside? Not surprisingly, one of the key goals is to pack more features and functionality into a smaller space: at 9.3mm thick, the device will be 24 percent thinner than its predecessor. And to make this point, an Apple video released Monday shows an animation of the Apple A4 chip package shrinking to accommodate a wider battery. This thin-and-wide battery motif can be seen across a number of larger Apple products, including the MacBook Air and the iPad.
And what about that A4 chip? Like the iPad, the A4 uses an ARM central processing unit, or CPU, designed by Intrinsity and manufactured by Samsung . The extra horsepower of the A4--compared with its slower cousin in the iPhone 3GS--and the accompanying graphics engine will help push around all of the additional pixels in the screen's high-density 940x640-pixel "Retina Display"--which has, incredibly, four times more pixels than previous iPhone models and boasts a 800:1 contrast ratio. The A4 will also be more adept at multitasking and video processing than prior Apple silicon.
Other notable internal features itemized in the photo include a Micro-SIM (not to be confused with Micro-SD), like the iPad, and 16GB or 32GB of Flash memory.
Apple is also touting the stainless-steel enclosure and glass, which protects its precious internals. "A new grade of stainless steel that after machining is incredibly strong," Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple, said in the video cited above. "The steel frame functions as the antenna and primary structure, giving us more internal volume," he said. The screen's glass is "comparable in strength to sapphire crystal (and) about thirty times harder than plastic," according to Ive. Note that the glass is also used on the back of the iPhone 4, a testimony to its strength.
Additional notes: There is no data on the rated speed of the A4 processor in the iPhone 4 (yet). The A4 in the iPad is specified at 1GHz by Apple. Memory (non-Flash) is not specified either, though reports have speculated about capacities.
Updated at 11:50 p.m. PDT throughout.