Approaching the launch of the iPhone 12, we look at the internals of an old iPhone widely repurposed today as webcams, security cameras, and iPods.
As we write this, the new lineup of iPhone releases expected this fall is said to include models able to work at 5G speeds as well as a new case design and a new processor manufactured by TSMC in Taiwan. Meanwhile, the world is filled with older iPhones. It is not uncommon for these still-useful devices to be repurposed as security cameras or webcams, as iPods, and as TV remotes and gaming devices. There are also instructions online for “jailbreaking” old iPhones–installing unauthorized third-party software, and so doing, lifting many restrictions imposed by Apple that pertain to apps not obtained from the App Store. Hackers released a full jailbreak for iOS 12.4 (and a partial one for 12.4.1) in August 2019.
For those with a mind to repurpose an iPhone 6, here’s a teardown and an overview of the technology in your hand.
This particular iPhone 6 is called the model A1549. This is one of six different iPhone 6 model numbers. The model numbers pertain to the phones’ compatibility with specific telecommunication standards. There is a GSM and CDMA version of the A1549. In that our phone was used in the U.S., it is almost certainly a CDMA version.
Disassembly starts by removing two screws at the base of the phone. They are what are called Pentalobe screws and require a Pentalobe screwdriver. With the two screws out, the front and back of the phone come apart relatively easily.
A single flex cable connects the two halves of the phone. The cable sits in the vicinity of the front and back cameras.