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Teardown of iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Reveals Upgraded Technology and Implementations

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September 29, 2022

Texas lab reverse engineers the most iconic consumer electronics revealing system and semiconductor technology

The Intellectual Property division of UnitedLex, a leading data and professional services company for legal, completed teardowns of the Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, revealing subtle-but-important changes to underlying technologies and processes from the iPhone 13. From an intellectual property (IP) perspective, teardowns of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro offer a unique view into Apple’s latest innovations and recently patented and licensed technologies.  

In recent years, UnitedLex has conducted teardown analyses of more than 50 hardware products, including the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, Sony PS5, Huawei Mate, One Plus 7 Pro, and more. With estimates suggesting IP theft costs U.S. companies between $225 billion and $600 billion annually, the UnitedLex IP team’s advanced research helps identify potential IP opportunities, specifically with regard to semiconductor chips and other high-tech devices – empowering companies to act to protect and defend their IP and build a successful, forward-looking IP strategy.

“While the iPhone 14 physically resembles the iPhone 13, Apple’s updates to the underlying technologies offer significant advancements that will be of interest to many in the high-tech industry despite lukewarm reviews when compared to the iPhone 13, including those from Eve Jobs,” noted Joe Dearing, Executive Vice President – Intellectual Property at UnitedLex. “What’s unique is our ability to physically analyze technology to show how it’s utilized and implemented while providing a window into Apple’s patent strategy.”

Key findings from both iPhone 14 models:

  • eSIM for U.S. models: iPhone models in the U.S. no longer have a SIM tray, completely relying on the eSIM for cellular connectivity.

  • Increased 5G band support: Support for the largest number of 5G bands (25 bands) compared to any other smartphone.

  • Upgraded modems: Apple uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X65 5G modem along with PMX65 PMIC, an upgrade from X60 5G modem in the last generation iPhone. Both iPhone 14s are equipped with a pair of Qualcomm SDR735 RF transceivers for 5G NR (sub 6 GHz, FR1), LTE and legacy RATs; last year’s iPhone lineup used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 5G Modem-RF system. 

  • Single antenna row: A single row of antenna array indicates that the patch antennas for different frequency bands are likely stacked on the substate. A similar single row antenna implementation was also found on the Samsung Galaxy’s S22 ultra devices with QTM545 antenna modules.

  • Alternative form of camera stabilization: The main camera of both phones (and the telephoto camera of the iPhone 14 Pro) features Sensor-shift Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) applied to the image sensor rather than the lens to precisely control motion in X and Y directions while maintaining sharpness. Apple also introduced a new Action mode enabling video to adjust to shakes, motions, and vibrations when captured in the middle of an action. 

  • Automatic car crash detection: implemented by iPhone 14’s HDR gyroscope, dual core accelerometer, barometer, GPS, and microphone; emergency SOS via satellite enables access to emergency services when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

Key Findings specific to the iPhone 14 Pro:

  • iPhone 14 Pro powered by Apple’s A16 Bionic chip: Features an Apple-designed 64-bit six-core CPU implementing ARMv9 with two high performance cores called Everest and four energy efficient cores called Sawtooth and consists of 16 billion transistors.

  • Camera upgrades: The 48MP main camera on the iPhone 14 Pro features a 65% larger sensor than the iPhone 13 Pro. The 12MP ultra-wide camera now features a f/2.2 aperture compared to the f/1.8 aperture ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 13 Pro. The 12MP telephoto camera features a f/1.78 aperture compared to the f/2.8 aperture on the iPhone 13 Pro.

Key findings specific to the iPhone 14:

  • iPhone 14 back cover removal: For the first time since the iPhone 7 (2016) the components of the iPhone 14 can only be accessed from the back side of the smartphone.

  • Camera upgrade: The 12MP main camera on the iPhone 14 features a f/1.5 aperture compared to the f/1.6 aperture of the iPhone 13.

Watch a video of the teardown: https://unitedlex.com/insights/video-teardown-whats-inside-the-apple-iphone-14-pro/

For the full report with a complete analysis of various components, their makers, and explanations of Apple’s implementations, download “Apple iPhone 14 Pro Teardown.” 

About UnitedLex

UnitedLex is a data and professional services company delivering outcomes that create value for high-performing law firms and corporate legal departments in the areas of digital litigation, intellectual property, contracts, compliance, and legal operations.

Founded in 2006 with a mission to push the boundaries of legal innovation, we provide solutions that enable measurable performance improvement, risk mitigation, revenue gain, cost reduction and digital business synergy. Our footprint spans 26 jurisdictions with major operation centers in 19 countries and a team of 3,000+ legal, data and technology professionals around the world.