An iPhone 5s rehashed on the outside but substantially improved under the hood. An iPhone 6s in 5s clothing. The iPhone 6s mini. Those all seemed like valid characterizations of the iPhone SE at a first glance, and taking a closer look at the new 4-incher’s internals confirms its myriad of 5s and 6s similarities.
One thing the SE isn’t however is a 5s clone. There are plenty of post-2013-manufactured components on the table, starting with an SK Hynix 2GB LPDDR4 memory chip the teardown specialists over at Chipworks believe is the same the iPhone 6s uses.
The iPhone SE clearly borrows the A9 processor from its 4.7 and 5.5-inch cousins, as it does with the NXP 66V10 NFC controller, InvenSense 6-axis inertial sensor, Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE modem, WTR1625L RF transceiver, and Cirrus Logic-designed audio IC solutions.
All in all, that’s sure a lot of 6s guts, though the SE also employs a few older parts. Case in point, a Broadcom BCM5897 touch screen controller first utilized on the 5s and a matching Texas Instruments 343S0645 digitizer IC.
Wrapping it up, you have a handful of components never before seen on an iPhone, including a Skyworks power amplifier module, 19nm-based Toshiba NAND flash, TI power management IC, EPCOS antenna switch module, and AAC Technologies microphone.
Bottom line, this is a mixture of old and new, traditionalism and modernism that Apple apparently experiments with an eye on production cost reductions. It remains to be seen if iFans will be willing to spend $400 and up for “more of the same”, which is what you’re at least partly getting here.