iFixit’s iPhone 4S Tear Down Reveals New Qualcomm Chip

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iFixit, well know for stripping Apple gear down to the frame so we can all see what’s inside, got their hands on an iPhone 4S ahead of Friday’s launch and is in the process of gutting the combination iPod and smartphone. So far, they’ve uncovered the dual-core A5 processor Apple said the phone used, along with Qualcomm’s MDM6610 GSM and CDMA combo chip.

iFixit strips down the iPhone 4SiPhone 4S, from the inside

They also discovered that the iPhone 4S includes a Skyworks 77464-20 chip and Avago ACPM-7181 Power Amplifier. The phone’s battery offers 0.05 Watt Hours more capacity than the iPhone 4.

The A5 chip tucked inside the iPhone 4S runs a 1GHz and includes 512MB RAM — not the 1GB of RAM that had been rumored.

Hopes of a higher resolution display were dashed, too, with confirmation that the iPhone 4S uses the same 960x640 retina display used in the iPhone 4. Apple’s retina display is still impressive, so there isn’t much room to complain.

iFixit’s teardown is still underway, so there may be more surprises in store before they’re done.

The iPhone 4S officially goes on sale on Friday, October 14. The 16GB model starts at US$199, the 32GB model at $299, and the 64GB model at $399.

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Boy, I’ve love to know who has what rights in the iPhone 4S’s Qualcomm chip.  Did Apple contribute to the development of that chip?  Can Qualcomm sell it to others?  Does the chip have any of Apple’s IP?  If the chip is sold to others, does Apple get any royalties or a discount?

While Apple’ devices always give the impression of springing whole from Apple’s labs, they almost always take years of hard work and expensive investment of resources.  It is no different for the this Qualcomm chip, which Apple is rumored to have worked on with Qualcomm for more than two years.

So what rights, if any, does Apple have in this Qualcomm chip?


Is it only the right to put it in Apple products?
Or can they deny sales to anyone else?
(Just getting in on the discussion).


Dear ibuck:  I don’t know what any of the rights are or who owns them, and I doubt that anyone outside of Apple, Qualcomm, and their authorized agents do.  So we are reduced to observing what is made public, but that information will be imperfect and, thus, leave many questions unanswered.  For example, if other OEMs’ phone do get the chip, that, by itself, won’t answer whether Apple would gets royalties for each of those chips in other OEMs’ phones.  But looking at what become public is all we can do.

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