iPhone SE teardown reveals components from several Apple handsets

Apple announces new iPhone SE release date, specs, and pricing.
Image: Apple

April 27—iFixit published a report today detailing the findings of its recent teardown of the second-generation iPhone SE. The maintenance site discovered Apple’s latest handset features components previously utilized in multiple versions of its flagship smartphone.

The story also showed why the budget mobile device is such a good buy.

iPhone SE’s Cross-Generational Components

iFixit determined in addition to featuring the same form factor as the iPhone 8, Apple’s new low-cost handset shares many of its parts. The organization found the SE’s 4.7-inch display is the same as the older models, as is its home button and TouchID sensor.

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The do-it-yourself repair hub notes the iPhone 8 and SE share 1,821 mAh batteries, but they are not interchangeable. The ostensibly identical smartphones also house the same SIM card trays, display assemblies, and Taptic Engines. Thankfully, Apple chose not to install the iPhone 8’s less than beloved 3D touch sensor in its latest handset.

The site also noted that the mobile device’s 12-megapixel front-facing and 7-megapixel rear-facing cameras could come from the iPhone 8. However, the group has stated the part could have also come from its successor device, the iPhone XR.

iFixit reported the SE’s LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth radios are the same ones used in the iPhone 11 series. The publication also affirmed Apple’s low-cost handset features the A13 Bionic processor as its current flagship smartphone.

Why the iPhone SE is a Good Buy

Even though iFixit’s teardown revealed the iPhone SE is a Frankenstein’s monster of a device, its patchwork design should not be viewed as a negative.

As the site noted, the budget handset’s backward compatibility will make repairing it easier and more affordable for third-party shops. Apple reportedly shipped 17.4 million iPhone 8s as of February, so there are a lot of SE parts in circulation.

In addition, the low-cost handset’s cutting-edge chipset offers consumers a few different benefits. For one thing, the A13’s imaging processing capabilities give the mobile device the ability to take photos of startling clarity and contrast. Indeed, YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss found the iPhone SE captures imagery nearly as well as the iPhone 11 in the daylight.

For amateur photographers and content creators, Apple’s budget smartphone capacity to deliver near-premium tier quality pictures is notable.

The iPhone SE A13 chipset also means Apple will likely keep its software updated for the next four years. While it has many excellent qualities, the Android ecosystem is notorious for not providing long-term software support. Google reported only 10 percent of handsets running its mobile operating system had Android Pie nine months after its launch.

For diehard Google devotees or those who simply dislike Apple, the iPhone SE probably will not be a game-changer. But for less brand loyal users and late upgraders, the mobile device offers a host of appealing features at a reasonable price. Plus, with smartphone industry leaders pricing their premium hardware over $1,200, Apple’s latest handset is the best-in-class option for cost-conscious buyers.


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