Repair and reuse experts iFixit flew to Australia to get one of the first available iPhone 5s, and then immediately tore it to pieces. iFixit's usual thorough analysis reveals that nearly every hardware component has been upgraded or improved, yet is so power efficient that the battery capacity largely remains the same. The updated unibody-style construction of the case also means that it's relatively easy to remove and replace the front LCD touchscreen panel—a common iPhone repair, according to iFixit.
Unlike the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, which was disassembled from back to front, getting at the iPhone 5's guts involved removing the front panel first. This is reminiscent of the iPhone 3G and 3GS, according to iFixit, and makes replacing a cracked screen relatively quick and easy. "Good news for all the phone droppers out there," iFixit's Miroslav Djuric said in a statement. "Compare to the iPhone 4S, where it took 38 steps to isolate the display assembly."
Once inside, the new battery is obvious. As we suspected, the battery is taller and flatter than in previous iPhone models. It also has a slightly higher capacity at 5.45Whr, compared to 5.3Whr with the iPhone 4S.