ABI Research Teardown: iPhone 4S has New RF Front End, Altered Qualcomm Modem, and a Throttled Apps Processor

New York, New York - October 18, 2011

​The iPhone 4S is built with many of the same components found in prior iPhone designs, but the similarities have caused many companies to incorrectly report cost and component market share. A slight change to the Qualcomm-supplied modem has resulted in a new front-end configuration.  All of the power amplifiers (PAs) are multi-mode, thus counting components does not reveal much. The Avago PA, for instance, covers six bands (four GSM/EDGE bands and two WCDMA bands) and the TriQuint PA covers both CDMA and WCDMA for US PCS band.

The application processor is one item that most get right- Apple A5. But it is not the 1GHz part found in the popular tablet. The iPhone 4S version runs at 800MHz, just like the A4 found in the iPhone 4. Apple is running the same processor in the tablets and handsets, but downshifting the handsets by 20%. The slower processor does not mean lower performance, however. The smaller screen combined with faster memory gives the iPhone 4S a slight advantage, all while drawing less than two-thirds the power needed for the iPad 2.

 Key iPhone 4S facts include:

•    Slight modification to the popular Qualcomm MDM6x00 modem platform

•    New RF front-end configuration utilizing all multi-mode PAs

•    An A5 application processor running 20% slower than the A5 in the iPad 2, but similar overall performance with much less power

•    A Murata Bluetooth module supporting BT 4.0

•    Other components, such as housing and display, are very similar to the iPhone 4

•    A new OS (iOS 5) with a personable application Siri

ABI Research’s “Apple iPhone 4S Teardown” provides detailed photos, process evaluation, and part descriptions for all of the major components such as power amplifier, power management, baseband processor, RF, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, and many discretes. Tying all this information together are unique circuit board photos, performance measurements, processor benchmarks, cost information, and board area data.

It is one of hundreds of devices and components – phones, baseband processors, power management, RF modules, connectivity components, application processors, sensors, and RF and power management discretes – that are torn down and analyzed in the firm’s Mobile Device Teardown Service

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm delivering actionable research and strategic guidance to technology leaders, innovators, and decision makers around the world. Our research focuses on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces today.

ABI Research提供开创性的研究和战略指导,帮助客户了解日新月异的技术。 自1990年以来,我们已与全球数百个领先的技术品牌,尖端公司,具有远见的政府机构以及创新的贸易团体建立了合作关系。 我们帮助客户创造真实的业务成果。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific or visit www.abiresearch.com.

Contact ABI Research

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670

Related Service