Chassis of old, hardware that’s new, borrowed 5s parts, keep us from feeling blue! Kudos to Apple for returning to the familiar and proven iPhone 5 form factor. The 5-series manufacturing infrastructure was a huge investment (monetarily, and environmentally) and it’s rad they didn’t completely throw it away in support of a new model. Of course, we’re all wondering which 5s parts are compatible with the SE, so let’s cut right to the iPhone SE teardown.
Starting with what’s the same and swappable: the speaker, chassis, vibrator, SIM tray, and the entire display assembly, including the LCD, digitizer, front camera, earpiece speaker, and proximity sensor. (Disclaimer: you will have to retain your original home button if you want to keep Touch ID, just like standard 5s display replacements.) That leaves the logic board, rear-facing camera, Lightning connector assembly, and battery as “new” non-swappable parts.
• The Li-ion battery in the iPhone SE comes in at 3.82 V and 6.21 Whr. This offers a minor (but notable) power increase from the 5.92 Whr cell in the 5s. There was no detectable increase in physical size, so we suspect that the extra capacity comes from updated tech.
• We found silicone waterproof seals (à la iPhone 6s) on some—but mysteriously not all—of the logic board connectors.The front camera, volume controls, and rear camera connectors all get the fancy waterproof treatment, while the LCD, digitizer, battery, and Lightning connector cables go without.
• The hardest part of any repair is knowing what to do. Thanks to the similarities to the 5s and our repair guides, repairs on the SE are already excellently documented.