updated 07:45 am EDT, Fri June 19, 2009
iPhone 3G S Teardown
A teardown of the just-launched iPhone 3G S by RapidRepair this morning has revealed that Apple is using a processor capable of HD video and otherwise more than what Apple has enabled. The disassembly confirms the existence of a 600MHz ARM processor, Samsung's S5PC100, based on the much more advanced Cortex A8 platform. However, official specifications (PDF) show that the chip could run at 833MHz and that, while Apple officially limits video recording to 640x480, the full-speed component could not only play but capture 720p.
The S5PC100 is also technically capable of two-way video calling, although latency on current 3G networks is likely to discourage this.
Apple's decision to deliberately underclock the iPhone 3G S' processor is likely due to heat and power concerns within a tight space, as was the case when the company scaled back previous iPhones' processors from 600MHz to 412MHz. Unlike the iPod touch, the iPhone has cellular baseband hardware and other components that cut back on available energy and cooling areas.
Besides confirming the main processor, the examination also shows the existence of 256MB of RAM, twice as much as on the past two iPhone generations, and that at least 16GB iPhone 3G S units use a single Toshiba NAND flash memory chip for storage. Infineon also has a major presence and is likely being used for the key cellular hardware, although whether this involves the X-GOLD 618 rumored as early as last year isn't discernible at this stage.