We have only had the phone for a few hours but we needed to get inside its casing, what follows is our dissection of the Apple iPhone. Please note that we're doing this so you are not tempted to on your recent $500/$600 expenditure, while it is quite possible to take apart using easy to find tools we'd recommend against it as it will undoubtedly void your warranty and will most likely mar up the beautiful gadget's exterior. Do whatever you wish to your iPhone, but do so at your own risk :)

This is the iPhone that most of Apple's customers will be seeing:

Special thanks to Olivia Marsh and Manveer Wasson for help with the disassembly and photographs for this article

And this is one of ours, on the operating table:

Chances for survival? Slim

The first step to disassemble the device is to remove the lower black plastic piece; heating it up and squeezing a razorblade in there made it not only possible, but easy:

Then came the process of removing the brushed aluminum cover, which wasn't nearly as easy. After a lot of bending, pulling and other unfathomable things one would do to a brand new iPhone we were left with this:

Ignore the slightly bent iPhone casing, we swear it came this way

The First Date


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  • michael2k - Sunday, July 1, 2007 - link

    No sarcasm intended, sorry. A $59 battery replacement doubles the life of an iPod, as opposed to buying a brand new player from whole cloth.

    $59 for a new batter vs $249 for a new iPod or $229 for a new Zune.

    Makes $59 downright affordable, no?
  • mikeepu - Saturday, June 30, 2007 - link

    In regards to the screen: Excerpt from David Pogues' Review of the iPhone from the New York Times

    "... The glass gets smudgy — a sleeve wipes it clean — but it doesn’t scratch easily. I’ve walked around with an iPhone in my pocket for two weeks, naked and unprotected (the iPhone, that is, not me), and there’s not a mark on it"

    Regarding Battery, I read on Pogues' and others reviews that the battery is replaceable by bringing it in or sending to Apple for replacement.
    On a side note, I read somewhere (completely forgot where and now I can't seem to find it) that when you bring it in for a battery replacement that they (apple) will provide you with a "loaner" iPhone for a fee .
  • DaveLessnau - Saturday, June 30, 2007 - link


    Regarding Battery, I read on Pogues' and others reviews that the battery is replaceable by bringing it in or sending to Apple for replacement.

    Where would someone take the phone to get the battery replaced? Some generic store that sells the phones or to an Apple store? Not every place has an Apple store anywhere nearby and there's no way anyone could afford (time-wise) to send their phone away for a couple of weeks just to change the battery. I can't believe anyone would make a phone where the most commonly replaced part (the battery -- mine usually last about a year) has to be replaced in the shop.
  • mikeepu - Saturday, June 30, 2007 - link

    I understand your point that not EVERY place might not have an apple store to bring it into but I would assume that if one somehow went out of ones way to acquire an iPhone then it wouldn't (or maybe shouldn't?) be too much trouble to send it/bring it in for replacement.
    And besides we don't even know the details on the battery replacement program yet so it might be a bit unfair to say that it would take a couple of weeks for turnaround time. But then again you might be right. We'll just have to wait and see.
  • DaveLessnau - Saturday, June 30, 2007 - link

    From http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/service/batter...">Apple's iPhone Out-of-warranty Battery Replacement Program FAQ


    What is the iPhone Battery Replacement Program?
    If your iPhone requires service only because the battery’s ability to hold an electrical charge has diminished, Apple will repair your iPhone for a service fee of $79, plus $6.95 shipping. Be sure to follow these instructions for optimizing battery life and troubleshooting battery charging issues before submitting your iPhone for battery replacement.

    How much does it cost to participate in the program?
    The program costs $79, plus $6.95 shipping. The program cost is $85.95 per unit.
    All fees are in US dollars and are subject to local tax. Service may not be available if your iPhone has been damaged due to accident or abuse. Please review Apple’s Repair Terms and Conditions for further details.

    Will the data on my iPhone be preserved?
    No, the repair process will clear all data from your iPhone. It is important to sync your iPhone with iTunes to back up your contacts, photos, email account settings, text messages, and more. Apple is not responsible for the loss of information while servicing your iPhone and does not offer any data transfer service. Please do not send any accessories with your iPhone.

    How long will service take?
    The repair process normally takes three business days.

    From what I can see, the standard warranty on the iPhone is 90 days. So, unless you have some kind of extended warranty, normal battery replacement will cost you $85.95 and three days (I guess they're overnight-mailing things).
  • jonp - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    Given it's almost $100 and three days to get the battery replaced by Apple, and given how hard is was for Anandtech to get the thing apart, and that it comes back brain dead -- all personal data lost; it seems plausible that Apple simply sends a new phone in replacement and trashes the one the customer sends in. If that's what they plan to do; not very "green" of them. Reply
  • TA152H - Saturday, June 30, 2007 - link

    Again, I don't know anything about cell phones except they triple your chances of getting brain tumors (unless you use a headset), but isn't this kind of expensive? Do they normally charge this much to replace cell phone batteries? Also, $60 a month for 450 minutes seems really expensive, and that's only 15 minutes day. That seems like a lot to me as well, especially when the person that will own it is female and is not allergic to blabbing.

    Overall, it seems like a lousy deal, or am I missing something?
  • mikeepu - Saturday, June 30, 2007 - link


    Do they normally charge this much to replace cell phone batteries?

    I guess it kinda depends on the manufacturer and model of the phone?
    I bought a second battery for my Motorola Q (sprint) for about around $70 from the sprint store (i could have bought a cheaper one through ebay but didn't want to risk getting a faulty battery).
    Also bought backup battery for my LG Fusic for i think the same price as my Q battery. But my friend was able to get a replacement battery for her Motorola RAZR for like 30 Bucks or something like that. But i agree that 450 minutes seems really low, but at least it has unlimited data (internet). lol ohh and the visual voicemail thingy is really cool.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, July 2, 2007 - link

    Another dumb decision by Apple just to make something "pretty" though. There are still people who carry multiple batteries because they can go through more than one. Obviously not an option with the iPhone. Reply

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