No More Speculation: What is Really Inside the iPhone 4

Some brave souls that have received their iPhone 4s already have disassembled them so that all of the rumors as to what the new phone contains can be laid to rest, sort of. I say sort of, because there is still speculation and uncertainty as to the exact clock speed of the A4 processor that powers Apple’s latest iPhone. Intrigued? Here are the exact details.

As was previously reported here, the iPhone 4 does indeed contain 512MB of RAM (double that of the iPad). The allegedly stolen prototype earlier this year only had 256MB, so it is nice to know that the rumor mill does get it right more often than not.  With multitasking now available in the iOS 4 software that runs the phone, this extra RAM is greatly appreciated and developers are most likely already salivating at the prospects of its possible uses.

The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips that power the new phone are actually integrated and of course, produced by Broadcom. Featuring 802.11n Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) at some of the lowest power consumption levels available, Apple made a wise decision. Broadcom also made the GPS chip included in the phone (same as in the iPad). Oh, and the 3.7V 1420 mAh Li-Polymer battery inside can be replaced by anyone with a modicum of tech skills.

Now for the really cool part. The glass that protects the phone’s screen is not really glass. It is ‘Corning Gorilla Glass’—chemically treated and 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic. It is more scratch resistant too. Still, I would get a screen protector and a bumper case for the iphone 4. Do not take any chances, since we all drop our phones from time to time by accident.

That is not all either. iFixit.com reports that Apple has “tuned the phone to utilize whichever network band is less congested or has the least interference for the best signal quality.” Combine that with the fact that the stainless steel frame doubles as an antenna, and both call quality and reliability should be noticeably improved. It looks like Apple has designed this phone for performance from the ground up.

What is still somewhat of a mystery though is the phone’s A4 processor. Apple’s iPad has the same chip and runs at 1GHZ. The A4 in the iPhone 4 appears to be exactly the same, but benchmark comparisons between the two devices show that the iPhone 4’s runs a little slower. More in the 800mhz range. Apple probably decided to under clock the chip to prevent overheating in the phone’s smaller case, and to preserve battery power. Remember Sony’s PSP when it first came out? It too was under clocked but Sony eventually enabled higher clock speeds for games after some revision. Maybe some particularly intensive games that will eventually come out for the new phone will be able to eek out that extra 200mhz. Here’s hoping.

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