iPhone 4 Breakdown Reveals More Memory, Bigger Battery

iPhone 4

Apple's new iPhone 4 has undergone a step-by-step dissection, or "teardown" in tech speak, by iFixit, providing the first peek at the device's electronic innards.

Among the findings: the interior of the new iPhone 4 is dominated by a giant battery, it has double the RAM (512 MB) of the iPhone 3GS and the iPad, and replacing a broken front screen could be costly.

Materials-wise, the new phone is a departure from the plastic and aluminum of previous generations, as was revealed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at an event unveiling the new phone in early June. The iPhone 4 consists of a stainless steel inner body frame sandwiched between two tough, yet thin pieces of so-called gorilla glass.

Though Apple has said this glass is "chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic," some suspect that all this glass will make the iPhone 4 more prone to breakage than its predecessors.

Also of concern, the liquid crystal display (LCD) or "retina display," as Apple calls the iPhone 4's high-resolution screen, is tightly glued to the digitizer and the front glass. If that glass gets busted, all three components have to be replaced, according to iFixit, and that is not likely to be cheap.

Other items that caught iFixit's eye are the innovative use of the stainless steel frame as the phone's antenna, as well as a five megapixel rear-facing camera and dual microphones for noise reduction.

The iPhone 4 will begin delivering tomorrow nationwide and sold out on its first day of pre-order last week, moving some 600,000 units.

•    New iPhone 4, Encased in Glass, Might Break More Easily •    iPad Breakdown: What's Inside and What it Costs to Make •    11 iPhone 4 Features You Need to Know About

Adam Hadhazy
Adam Hadhazy is a contributing writer for Live Science and Space.com. He often writes about physics, psychology, animal behavior and story topics in general that explore the blurring line between today's science fiction and tomorrow's science fact. Adam has a Master of Arts degree from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College. When not squeezing in reruns of Star Trek, Adam likes hurling a Frisbee or dining on spicy food. You can check out more of his work at www.adamhadhazy.com.