In advance of iSuppli Corp.’s planned teardown analysis of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4, iSuppli Corp. is issuing several fast facts. The latest member of the iPhone line illustrates Apple’s new User Interface (UI)-oriented approach to product design, first seen in the iPad.
“Apple in the past has always doubled the amount of NAND flash memory in the newest version of its iPhone line,” said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst, teardown services, for iSuppli. “However, with the iPhone 4, Apple is standing pat at the 32Gbyte level. This shows that the iPhone has reached the point where data-storage memory is no longer one of the most critical features. Instead, the focus has shifted to the UI, with the major innovations of the iPhone 4 occurring in areas including the retina display, as well as the use of gyroscope-based control.”
- The iPhone 4′s gyroscope is most likely supplied by STMicroelectronics. Beyond being used for the UI, the gyroscope also can be employed for navigation and image stabilization.
- iSuppli expects the iPhone 4 to include a version of the A4 processor seen in the iPad — with some important differences. As in the iPad, the A4 will use an ARM Cortex microprocessor core, and will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. using 45nm semiconductor manufacturing process technology. However, the iPhone’s A4 likely will operate at a slower clock speed than the 1GHz frequency in the iPad — most likely at 800MHz. Furthermore, the iPhone’s A4 is likely to add additional accelerator cores for encoding/decoding High-Definition (HD) video, supporting the phone’s HD camera.
- Beyond the enhancements to the A4, the iPhone 4 will include other features designed to support HD. For example, the iPhone 4 likely will double its mobile DRAM content to 4Gbits, up from 2Gbits in the iPhone 3G S. Furthermore, the iPhone 4 will add support for High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) to allow the uploading of bandwidth-intensive HD video. HSUPA supports uplink speeds up to 5.76Mbit/sec.
- The iPhone 4 employs an antenna integrated into the stainless steel enclosure of the phone. Apple actually may have employed a design which isolates portions of the enclosure to, in effect, separate the enclosure into two or three separate antennas in the product in order to improve signal integrity. “Using two or more antennas enables spatial diversity, which can reduce some of the problems previous models of the iPhone have suffered with dropped calls,” said Francis Sideco, principal analyst, wireless communications, for iSuppli.
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