Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

The iPhone 3GS stripped bare in Paris

June 19, 2009: 4:26 AM ET

iphone-3g-s-board-clips1More than 12 hours before Apple (AAPL) began selling the new iPhone in the United States, a team from RapidRepair had already picked up an iPhone 3GS in France and begun to tear it apart.

The Kalamazoo, Mich., electronics repair shop took advantage of the fact that a Parisian Orange Boutique was hosting a midnight (6 p.m. EDT) iPhone release event and flew CEO Aaron Vronko to the City of Lights to buy one of the first.

iPhone-3G-S-Paris-aaron-vronko-in-handBy Thursday 6:37 p.m. EDT Vronko had a 3G S in hand and was attacking it with small Phillips screw driver, small flathead, heat gun, Exacto razor, suction cup and Rapid Repair's own Safe Open Tool (available for sale).

You can view the step by step disassembly -- with helpful hints for how to do it yourself  (while voiding your warranty)-- at their website. If you are very careful, the end result looks something like this:


Below the fold, a side-by-side comparison of two motherboards: the 3GS  and the 3G, with Rapid Repair's analysis of the new chipset.


System Board: Up Close

System board chips and part numbers can be seen below. Please view the comparison guide for more details.

iPhone 3G S system board is shown on the left, right board is iPhone 3G.

CPU - Samsung





N1TVY0Q 0919

NAND Flash Memory - Toshiba TH58NVG702ELA89




System Memory - 337S3754




Infineon - 36MY1EE



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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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