If you want to build an iPhone from scratch, you have a lot of tiny parts to deal with

Last week Carla posted Scotty's amazing video about building an iPhone from scratch. Scotty just sent me a couple of photos that show just how difficult it was to build the phone:

The attached photos are from one of the booths that sells screws and brackets and other accessories for repairing and refurbishing iPhones.

The first photo of the laminated card is showing "foam, stickers, and dust mesh accessories". These are all the little bits of adhesive and foam and mesh hole coverings you need to make an iPhone totally perfect. Most notable are the two grids of pink dots. Those are water damage sensors, which turn red when you get them wet (the other side is faces up when installed, and is white). This is what Apple looks at to see if your phone has gotten wet.

The other photo is a bin of brackets for iPhone. They're mostly coverings for connectors, or to hold the camera or other parts in place. The baggies in the upper right are camera covers - they glue into a hole in the metal shell, and are the round piece of glass that prevents the actual camera itself from getting scratched.

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  1. If you want to build an iPhone from scratch, you must first create the universe.

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  3. atl says:

    You are 58 minutes more clever than me, damnit.

  4. News flash: Miniaturized devices contain tiny parts. Film at 11.

  5. I have one word for you: Patents. One huge factor keeping phones from bringing more functionality onto the SOC and shrinking the logic board is patents. Just about every phone in the world uses separate radio and CPU chips, because the radio chip tech is owned by companies (mostly qualcomm, I assume there's one or two others) that will not allow you to integrate their tech into your SOC, because they can make a lot more money selling chips than they can by selling IP. The same applies to many other peripheral functions in a smartphone - the touch layer of the screen usually has its own dedicated chip, for instance.

    I have another word for you: fab yields. The more you cram onto a chip, the bigger it gets and the more chips you have to throw out due to defects. At a certain point, it just becomes cheaper to not cram all the functionality onto a single SOC.

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