The iPhone 5S and 5C Teardown

By Casey Chan on at

The ace team at iFixit has gutted the iPhone 5S and 5C, as only they can, to see what's new inside these latest telephones. What's the fingerprint scanner look like on the inside of the 5S? What about all those fancy new chips? And how's that goldpagne? What, exactly, lurks beneath that colourful 5C plastic shell?


iPhone 5S

- A cable connects the Touch ID sensor in the home button to the Lightning port. iFixit says pulling too hard on the screen could cause damage to that cable.

- The battery is a 3.8V 5.92Wh - 1560mAh battery that's slightly bigger than last year's 3.8V - 5.45Wh - 1440mAh

- iFixit also mentions that they hope the sapphire crystal cover can protect the CMOS fingerprint sensors (which the iPhone 5S has) from degrading

- What's interesting is that iFixit couldn't find the vaunted M7 co-motion processor. iFixit says, "As we search for a much-anticipated M7 coprocessor, we begin to wonder if it actually is a separate IC, or if it is additional functionality built into the A7."

- Currently unknown: who manufactures the A7.

- iFixit rates the repairability slightly lower than the iPhone 5.


iPhone 5C

- Despite being essentially a repackaged iPhone 5, the battery is beefed up a bit, clocking in at 3.8 V—5.73 Wh—1510 mAh, compared to 3.8 V—5.45 Wh—1440 mAh

- Despite the inclusion of the fingerprint sensor on the 5S, the 5C's display unit is still heavier

- The rear-facing camera on the the 5C is practically the same as the 5S's: the one difference is the aperture, which is f/2.4 on the 5C and f/2.2 on the 5S

- The plastic case is strong—and virtually impossible to bend. But, interestingly, the rear case is much heavier—at 43.8 g compared to 25.9 g—than the 5S. That's because more plastic is needed to match the strength of the aluminium.

Overall, the phone scored a 6 out of 10 in terms of repairability: the battery is fairly accessible and the screen is easy (enough) to remove, but there's plenty of adhesive in there and the design isn't as modular as it could be. So, on balance, kinda par for the course.