They are expected to sell in record numbers after hitting shelves this morning: before Apple’s latest phone even appeared in shops, the manufacturer was reporting record pre-orders.
The way the device works and the parts that go into the iPhone 5, though, have remained a closely guarded secret – right down to the smallest chip.
A group of tech-savvy journalists got their hands on a model and, within hours of its release, prised it apart and had a look at its inner workings.
Technology website iFixit found a litany of components made by various contractors, as well as what appears to be Apple’s first attempt at producing its own processor. But, because of Apple’s stranglehold on its suppliers, this is the first time anyone involved with the design of the phone – barring Apple, of course - will receive any credit.
One contractor, who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid upsetting the California-based company, said that suppliers are appointed “made for iPhone partners”, meaning they can use the Apple logo in return for signing a contract not to release trade secrets.”
The penalty for divulging anything about the deal or Apple’s products, the contractor said, was “being sued into oblivion”. Most of the components are not made by Apple itself.
The designer, whose firm helped produce the iPhone 5 and depends on its Apple contract to survive, said: “When Apple releases a new handset, the only people who know about it are the factories making it. All developers will see the handset when everyone else does, on its release. Apple stands by this as the word of God.
“Apple say jump and we must ask how high.”
The first phone was sold in Sydney, in Australia on Friday. According to Bloomberg, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos. predicted that Apple may sell as many as 10 million phones this weekend.