7 things we learned about iPhone 7 today

What have we learned about the new iPhones in the last few hours?

It’s iPhone 7 upgrade day for Apple customers around the planet and we’re seeing the usual queues and swiftly sold out enthusiasm we’ve seen every year, with initial reports from carriers suggesting the company has a smash hit on its hands (again).

Apple’s new iPhone 7 is waterproof, has a new camera, better screen and a better battery. So, as the first handsets reach real people’s hands, what else are we learning about the smartphone?

The Taptic tease

The annual iFixit iPhone teardown confirms that the removal of the headphone jack has provided the space Apple needed in order to place the Taptic Engine. The area also hosts a simple plastic bumper, which suggests another reason for the removal of that port was improvement in water resistance. The new model iPhones also open sideways, which the teardown specialists suggest may also help improve water resistance.

Water resistance

All the teardowns confirm Apple has paid a lot of attention to water resistance, but how resistant will it be? Find out from about 8.30am PDT when iFixit begins its live YouTube video cast of an iPhone submerged in an aquarium.

That superb processor

The latest Geekbench figures were reported earlier but they are so significant I thought I’d include them here: iPhone 7 has double the single-core performance of the fastest Android smartphones. When it comes to multicore performance they are similar to the 2013 MacBook Pro – in other words, these are proper computers in your pocket. In related news with its Note 7 debacle it looks like Samsung is (rightfully) limping into the history books, Apple has at last replaced it as processor manufacturer in the A10 Fusion chip, which is made by TSMC. The M10 motion coprocessor is embedded within the chip. (Samsung still gets to make some memory for the iPhone, 3GB in fact).

More time than ever

In comparison to the previous generation the new iPhones should deliver over an hour of additonal battery life. That’s because the battery is 1,960 mAh, 3.8 V and 7.45 watt hours in comparison to the iPhone 6S which hosted a 1,810 mAh, 6.9 Wh battery. (The 7 Plus features a 2,900mAh battery according to iFixit).

Tougher than before

The Apple smartphone has already been put through rigorous stress testing by one YouTuber, who managed to prove iPhone 7 is tough. It’s less likely to scratch than a Note, the Home button and camera lens are similarly tough. The iPhone also managed to completely recover from being exposed to flame, even though its pixels briefly went black, and while the phone may need a quick visit to a repair shop to fix broken adhesive it can take a good degree of bending too.

(A little) Intel inside

Chipworks got hold of an iPhone 7 and tore it apart to find the LTE modem inside the smartphone is made by Intel, though this may not be true in the case of every handset. This wasn’t all the Intel “stuff” inside of the phone, which also hosts two transceivers and a power management chip from the company. (Qualcomm also makes these components for Apple). The tear down shop took apart an iPhone aimed at the North American market.

Anyone else inside?

These are the names of all the companies with identified components inside the iPhone. (In no particular order. Sources: iFixit, Chipworks):

  • Intel
  • TSMC
  • MegaChips
  • Samsung
  • Qualcomm
  • Skyworks
  • Avago
  • Alps Compass
  • Bosch Sensortech
  • Universal Scientific Industries
  • Toshiba
  • Broadcom
  • Murata
  • Qorvo
  • NXP
  • Dialog
  • Cirrus Logic
  • Lattice Semiconductor
  • SK Hynix
  • TDK
  • Texas Instruments

Where can I get one?

That’s a bit of a lottery – Apple has already sold out of the new black models and has just limited supplies available today. Congratulations to those who get them.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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