Teardown: Is the iPhone 6s Worth Its Weight in Rose Gold?

No teardown is as highly anticipated as an iPhone teardown—so, to quell your curiosity, our teardown engineers ventured to the land down under and investigated the innards of an iPhone 6s.

Getting into the new iPhone is almost as easy as it was before—thanks to some surprise adhesive lurking beneath the display. Once inside, though, the iPhone 6s quickly distinguished itself from its predecessor. Apple’s new Taptic Engine squished the battery ever-so slightly, the display grew to accommodate additional capacitive sensors, and the A9 got a size bump from last year’s A8. While we can’t confirm the die size—the A9 package itself appears bigger (roughly 14.5 x 15 mm, up from 13.5 x 14.5 mm on the A8). Our guess at the cause of growth? The addition of the embedded M9 motion coprocessor.

iPhone 6 teardown x-ray
We even X-ray the living daylights out of the iPhone’s new Taptic Engine.

One thing that didn’t change: repairability. With an easily accessible display, straightforward access to main components, and standard amounts of adhesive, the iPhone 6s maintained a robust repairability score of 7/10.

iPhone 6s teardown highlights: 

• The rumors are true—the battery capacity is down a bit, and we suspect the reduced battery size is to accommodate the Taptic Engine. The Lithium-ion pack comes in at 3.8 V, 6.55 Whr, and 1715 mAh, a small but notable decrease from the 1810 mAh battery in last year’s iPhone 6. But Apple promises that battery life remains the same.

• The display assembly gained 15 grams compared to the iPhone 6. The additional capacitive sensors to power their new fancy 3D Touch really beefed up the display.

• Battery and screen repairs should be fairly straightforward—but unfortunately, the Touch ID cable is paired to the logic board, complicating repairs.

  • iPhone 6s Chips:
    • Apple A9 APL0898 SoC + Samsung 2 GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Qualcomm MDM9635M LTE Cat. 6 Modem (vs. the MDM9625M found in the iPhone 6)
    • InvenSense MP67B 6-axis Gyroscope and Accelerometer Combo (also found in iPhone 6)
    • Bosch Sensortec 3P7 LA 3-axis Accelerometer (likely BMA280)
    • TriQuint TQF6405 Power Amplifier Module
    • Skyworks SKY77812 Power Amplifer Module
    • Avago AFEM-8030 Power Amplifier Module
    • 57A6CVI
    • Qualcomm QFE1100 Envelope Tracking IC
    • Toshiba THGBX5G7D2KLFXG 16 GB 19 nm NAND Flash Memory
    • Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00043 Wi-Fi Module
    • NXP 66V10 NFC Controller (vs. 65V10 found in iPhone 6)
    • Apple/Dialog 338S00120 Power Management IC
    • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00105 Audio IC
    • Qualcomm PMD9635 Power Management IC
    • Skyworks SKY77357 Power Amplifier Module
    • Murata 240 Front-End Module
    • RF Micro Devices RF5150 Antenna Switch
    • NXP 1610A3
    • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S1285 Audio IC
    • Texas Instruments 65730AOP Power Management IC
    • Qualcomm WTR3925 Radio Frequency Transceive
    • 343S00014

This teardown party ain’t over yet, folks. We’re tearing down the iPhone 6s Plus, too. Follow along as we take the Plus to pieces.