iPhone

Cracking Open the Apple iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G disassembled

Apple's iPhone 3G arrived on Friday with a bevy of new enterprise-ready features, including Exchange support, business-grade security, and third-party applications powered by an SDK. As with the first iPhone, we waited in line, bought our phone, signed an AT&T contract, and promptly began to crack open the case. Come along as we disassemble the Apple iPhone 3G.

Also, we always disassembled our gadgets with the intent to reassemble them. The iPhone 3G was no exception. It worked when we put it back together.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

88 comments
Gont
Gont

Hi there, As the subject says, my iphone won't work anymore. When I plug it, the phone not boot. A friend tell me that I can try the reset process ( top and middle button pressed few seconds ), but the top button not work since one year. I would to know if there is an issue to get back its memory (address book, photo, ...). Any suggestion ? Thx in advance, Gont

dongarry
dongarry

There are some of us who are interested in how to safely crack the 3G for whatever the reason. Keep up the good work.

petreapostol03
petreapostol03

Impressive display. The rest of it Made in China?

anilpai
anilpai

why did you crack it? ;-)

sundar.s
sundar.s

There is no TI chip! There is no Qualcomm chip!! Oh.. I forgot this is a GSM-EDGE iPhone. I was trying to identify an OMAP, and a MSM chips with failure. :o) Now the components make more sense. Still there are too many unidentified Apple chips. When are you planning to rip open an iPhone 3G CDMA phone? http://sunnyeves.blogspot.com

steverussell2
steverussell2

still take the blackberry internatinal over the iphone any day of the week. I can turn tethering with verizon off and on as much as I want during the monthly time frame. Without tethering Iphone is worthless. Just my 2 cents. I hear the phone service is at best weak.Iphone a small compter. I like keyboard on blackberrry. Each to his own. Some techies will always want to take a new phone apart. Just part of the nature of the techie.

conscript
conscript

hi my name is adonis and i was wondering if you can teach me more about iphone 3g. on how to unlock iphone 3g to use in other country sim's cause im using other sim which is from other country and it doesent work to my iphone, i have been jailbreak my iphone in 2.2 firmware and intall the yellow snow unlock application into my iphone. it works but my problem is i cant use call an i cant use text but i have a load on that phone, i only this he says when i try to call is the sim is not supported in this phone. can you help me,. you can email me at adonis_mejia08@yahoo.com i hope you can help me thanks,.

essence27
essence27

Is the iPHONE 3G screen identical to the iPOD touch screen? I mean can an iPOD touch screen be swapped with an iPHONE screen and vice versa? Thanks

zarino_tong
zarino_tong

Will TR consider to crack the HTC Touch HD?

Danielchahn
Danielchahn

I couldn't do the restore i kept getting error 21 and or error 1604 I took the phone apart using this manual and reconnected connection points. I got the back-light working again and the phone is restored. I just have one hurdle left. I have to get the touch screen working. Becareful with the screen I left a permanent mark on my screen because I pulled on it two hard trying to pry it from the glass.

m.hammond
m.hammond

My iPhone got dirty so I threw it in the laundry with my clothes and washed it for about 10 min. :) I need to remind myself not to drink and wash whee. Thanks for the pictures because I figure the warranty is already void as it is not water-proof. With these pics it only took me 15 min to take it apart though I had to use a flat-head#1 screw driver as my ph00 wouldn't work. It was just stripping the screws. I'll take it into work later and bake it for awhile in one of our thermal chambers to dry it out and I'll reassemble and hope it works. Thanks for the info.

ingmura
ingmura

amazing! i wanna know where is the 3G antenna... could you please show me? cheers!

sc_croft
sc_croft

I have always had a problem with Apple and their proprietary shinanigans! I think this was awesome! It's a way to stick it to the man. It's just too bad they put it back together.

shibank
shibank

A very detailed set which besides showing how it is arranged inside also shows how complex things also can be designed so that they are neat and elegant inside out. shibank@yahoo.com

jasonshiplack
jasonshiplack

so where is the hard drive or flash for the 8 Gigs or 16 gigs ???

cvelasqu
cvelasqu

I've been enjoying the slideshow, but I must say, the one that made my day, but needs at least two more angles is the thumb injury. That's a keeper!

jeanl
jeanl

now, we may be able to buy a thinner better Iphone 3G clone at half of the iPhone cost without contract made in China or Thailand.

rob
rob

Nice work, Bill. I couldn't believe it still worked once you put it back together again. I shared your story with my blog readers at skylarknetworks.com/blog

foulger
foulger

When a person or organisation buys a device, that person or organisation owns it and can do whatever they wish with it. I for one am interested in what the owners have found, in particular with regard to Apple's gradual slide from being a Company that is grateful to its customers (as it was in its heyday) to one where money seems to be the prime motive. However, that doesn't detract from the brilliance of the products, despite its leaning to a change in philosophy from "Do what you want with our products" to "This is the way you MUST use our products", with its inherent restrictions - in this case restricting a user to a specific carrier. The fact that so many people are jailbreaking the product shows, in real terms, what people think of that policy.I do hope that Apple as it gains market share will not become the new M1crosoft.

anthonymendez
anthonymendez

the pic of the scratched up/torn "Do Not Remove" sticker is hilarious!

hirencp
hirencp

Really would like to see how it gets reassembled

hu
hu

Does this IPhone have Wi-Fi?

eliebig
eliebig

Thanks, you saved me the money of buying one just to see how it works... didn't want one, just curious about the "guts"

martin.ruiz
martin.ruiz

I use to do that to all my toys when I was a kid. The challenge was in putting them back together. You won't see me doing that to my iphone.

nyber
nyber

真是不错!很好!

sehaponder
sehaponder

EMIs also function as heat sinks than... Clever!

mardichhichi
mardichhichi

Wow.. Did cracking it open void your warranty? No matter it still works!

tashfeen.solangi
tashfeen.solangi

Did y'all notice or know what version of SIM card is in the iPhone 3G?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Its just a toy that resembles dad's Smartphone. Just like i-Pods, it is all hype, i-Pods don't use respectable compression, its a horrible format actually, but people still buy into the proprietary hype and then go out and buy everything else Apple overpriced for it so that it can be used like any other cheap MP3 player. What is it with marketing and geeks, the two just go hand in hand, SO easily sold.

hu
hu

Does IPhone 3G have Wi-Fi chipsets?

mfundo.piti
mfundo.piti

I dont see the fuss about an iphone 3G when mobile manufacturers such as samsung, motorola & nokia had 3G phones five years back.

Lensk
Lensk

This was a good article. Very informative and interesting. Satisfied my curiosity about the insides of the iPhone 3G. Thank you for the work put into it and publishing it for me to read.

garry
garry

Good job. As I'm asked to fix such things it helps a lot to see it done by you guys. Garry

Kapil_chopra
Kapil_chopra

Gr8 work indeed. Keep outshining yourself and continue amazing your audience. It was very informative.

jimmydevore
jimmydevore

When you make a gallery like this, try to make a low quality version option so that those of us who are on dial-up do not have to wait 4 hours to see a picture and a sentence at a time. A simple option to read a description of the interior without visual aid would be appreciated.

ochouraki
ochouraki

Hi Daniel, Please, how did you manage to get the backlight working again? And where is the small orange piece marked 3 supposed to enter? Thanks a lot! Olivier

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

That way of thinking puts a lot more pressure on the poor slob taking it a part. Thanks John. ;)

su3264
su3264

Ah yes, we all fell for the sales, marketing, business development hype. HANG ON... that's what you do for a living! You read this far... :) N

verrice
verrice

My deepest condolences to you.

techrepublic
techrepublic

As a techie, I didnt buy a PDA, didn't buy a smartphone, didn't buy a crackberry. But I bought an iPhone and love it. My iPhone, as currently configured: * is my iPod for music * Plays superb quality videos and movies * is a pitch pipe for quartet singing * records audio from said practice session * is my GPS * finds destinations for said GPS by doing google searches * gives me a fully usable browser from which I can do my online banking from anywhere * uses encrypted wifi in my house, costing me nothing for airtime * gives me an 88 key piano for working out music passages * gives me a nice quality camera for vacation pics * tells me the weather anywhere I need to go * keeps my stock quotes near at hand * Lets me VNC from the road * Lets me RDP from the road * Lets me SSH from the road * has a subnet calculator * has a unit converter * has a level * has a copy of The Art Of War for me to read * has a searchable Bible * synchronizes calendar, contacts, etc. with outlook * slips into a shirt pocket or the small inner pocket on my jeans * Has the equivalent of a G-Tech pro performance meter for testing mods on my car and launch techniques * has dozens of games for idle moments I don't even do email on it -- that would be for somebody else's benefit. All that stuff, above, is for me. And for that, I paid $200 cdn and $30 per month. Yes, clearly I'm a helpless victim of hype.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

Once you get out of the major population centers and even then it's slow compared to what they get in Cities. Col

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

thats what it is, well in 'technical terms'. Just like sites have to be accessable to the physically disabled so they should for the technical. It is through no fault of their own they can only get dial up!

DNSB
DNSB

I seem to remember an article on broadband penetration in Australia suggesting that in 2008 about 64% of Australian homes would have either ADSL (vast majority) or cable (most of the rest) internet connections. Any reason why the percentage of Australian high speed internet users has dropped in the last while? An item authored by Matthew Sainsbury quotes penetration of 49% by the end of 2007 with the expectation of reaching 69% by 2010. As for dialup disappearing, it is still hanging in there in areas where there are no reasonably priced alternatives. Too many areas where the telco's physical plant was installed when a rotary dial phone was the lastest and greatest innovation. ISDN? ADSL? Cable? Fugget it.

mamies
mamies

I totally agree, i live out towards rural areas although i can still pick up the signal for the wireless broadband sometimes it isnt even worth it the signal is that bad. Some people employed in this company still use dial up because the simple fact broadband does not exist for them. We are not that far away from the city and their are still people that cant get broadband. Try go to broken hill or somewhere remote such as tamworth, good luck. I totally agree Col but before we start to include larger pictures in blogs we need to account for these people who do not have access to these resources. In the end it all comes down to that not everyone has the access to broadband whether they cant afford it or whether it exists in their area

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

Play toy as it will not work. The 3 G network is patchy at best and poor in the country usually. Even the old Digital System leaves a lot to be desired once you leave the cities and bigger regional centers but the moment you hit the back roads you have a problem with coverage. The CDMA network has better coverage but as it's now gone in most places you are up against things. But when you get outside of towns you really don't have any option but Dial Up. Even here in Brisbane if I hadn't of offered to go to the Media during a election to the then Federal Government Communications Minister I would still be on a shared Telephone line using Dial up at half speed. It took a question to the Communications Minister to get ADSL and I was then under a mile from Carandale Shopping Center on the main road and Telstra insisted that I was on Acreage even though it was a small domestic block that had underground power and other services. Of course the Telco's didn't run Cable underground as it was too expensive so there is only this option available to overhead services. Even the local telephone exchange which is under 2 K away is still waiting to be upgraded and that is now something like 10 years after cable started to be rolled out. Of course Wireless Broadband is now taking up the slack so that the Telco's don't have to roll out any more cable but it's still got very limited coverage in anywhere but Sydney & Melbourne. Sorry but Dial up isn't even close to being dead yet way too many people are still using it and have no other option at all. Col

mamies
mamies

A good standard to have when posting pictures or graphics are to aim them to the 56k people. Its an access issue for all of those people who want to visit the site. Yes dial up is depleting rather fast but people still use it. I use it when im on the road, only because i havent been to look at wireless broadband although it is only viable for some people to still use dial up

paulob
paulob

As of the last cencus,August 2006, 70% of internent users were on broadband. Since then more options have become available and I'm sure that figure would be a lot less now. I know some people can't upgrade or who don't want the extra cost of braoband but the reality is dialup is disappearing.