This is the second article that detailed the internal structure of the "iPhone 3G." Based on the first story, in which we torn down the iPhone 3G, we compared it with the previous model, iPhone 2G. We found Apple's measures to enhance the workability and reduce the mounting area and cost in various areas.
The "iPhone 3G," a third-generation (3G) mobile phone of Apple Inc, was released July 11, 2008, in 22 countries. Nikkei Electronics broke down an iPhone 3G released in Japan with the help of engineers from a Japanese parts manufacturer. We compared its components with those of the iPhone 2G, which was released in the US June 29, 2007, for analysis.
The appearance of the iPhone 3G is almost identical to that of the 2G model. However, its inside, including the parts layout, is totally different. We could see that assembly workability was improved and some measures were taken to reduce the mounting area as well as parts costs.
On the other hand, the electrical circuit seems to have been designed in line with the previous model, judging from the fact that most of the parts mounted on the main board are supplied by the manufacturers of the 2G model parts.
Parts laid out with considerations for workability
The outside dimensions of the handsets are almost the same, 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm for the iPhone 3G and 115 x 61 x 11.6mm for the 2G model. In respect to functionality, the differences are limited to some mobile phone functions such as W-CDMA/HSDPA and GPS reception functions.
However, when we disassembled the two models, we saw big differences in terms of internal layout (Fig 1). The iPhone 2G had its main parts laid out on both sides of a metal frame in the central area of the chassis. The main board and the connector for external connection are positioned far from each other, and a flexible substrate for connecting them was wound inside the chassis.
In contrast, the parts were simply accumulated on the chassis cover in the iPhone 3G. It has one main board and the flexible substrate for connecting other modules is short. It is clear that the assembly workability was enhanced.
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