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First iPhone 3G tear-down photos live from New Zealand launch

The guys from iFixIt.com were on hand for the start of the worldwide iPhone 3G launch in New Zealand this morning where they purchased and began dissecting one of the new handsets.

The first thing they found was that the new iPhone contains a boat load of microchips with proprietary Apple markings on them, including an Apple-labeled Samsung processor.

Rumor has it that the folks at TechOnline will soon be decapping the mysterious batch of Apple-labeled chips by soaking them in an acid bath to eat away their ceramic coating. They'll then use x-rays and other fancy equipment to examine them and try and determine their origin.

In a significant departure from the first iPhone, iFixIt discovered that the LCD and glass covering are separate components, just like on the iPod Touch. Previously, they were glued together, making replacement screens very expensive.

Another change is that the iPhone's two circuit boards —logic and communications —have now been combined into one. "Rather than stacking them, as in the last model, they laid it out along the entire length," iFixIt said. "We're guessing this allowed them to make the battery longer."

Speaking of the battery, there's another pleasant surprise —it's not soldered to the logic board.

As for the specific components, iFixIt has spotted: Intel NOR flash memory, a Skyworks power management chip (SKY77340), an Apple-branded ARM chip, and an Infineon SMARTi Power 3i.

iPhone 3G teardown

Cracking open the iPhone 3G | Source: iFixIt.


iPhone 3G teardown

The battery isn't soldered on! | Source: iFixIt.


iPhone 3G teardown

One side of the logic board | Source: iFixIt.


iPhone 3G teardown

The other side of the logic board | Source: iFixIt.


Infineon's description of the SMARTi Power 3i chip says it's "optimized to support modem and data card applications based upon X-GOLD208 and X-GOLD 608, with features ranging from EDGE up to 3G and HSDPA."

The biggest news, according to the Apple parts reseller, is the Samsung memory markers on the processor again, which read: "339S0036 ARM K4X16163PC-DGC3 EMC567DB 819 8900B N182F0A3 0825." The Samsung memory on the chip is said to be slightly different from the first iPhone, which was K4X1G153PC.

iFixIt is continually updating their tear-down as they delve deeper into the specific components they've uncovered.