Apple iPhone 4S / 5 expected: Orders for printed circuit boards fall

By Posted 22 Jun 2011, 15:01

According to DigiTimes usually this time of the year is the peak season for Taiwan-based printed circuit board manufacturers, however the lack of an iPhone release this month has had massive implications on how busy they are, in fact throughout the second quarter of this year PCB companies who are responsible for iPad and iPhone internals have seen disappointing orders.

It is thought that Unimicron Technology, Tripod Technology, Nan Ya PCB and Compeq Manufacturing are the manufacturers responsible for Apple PCBs, the disappointing orders suggest that iPhone 4 demand is dying out and also suggests that the iPad 2 is not seeing as much success as the original iPad did. We wonder whether the influx of Android tablets and high-end smartphones has anything to do with this.

The iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 should arrive sometime during the third-quarter of this year, this will no-doubt cause a massive rise in shipments for the aforementioned PCB manufacturers, let’s face it the next-gen iPhone will almost certainly sell millions upon launch, especially if it comes to both AT&T and Verizon straight away.

A recent article posted on 9to5Mac suggests that the next-gen iPhone will feature a larger display and a thinner bezel (than iPhone 4), the Apple A5 SoC, an integrated SIM card and relocated front and rear-facing cameras, if all of this turns out to be true it means that the next-gen iPhone’s printed circuit board will differ massively when compared to previous models. The larger display will allow for a slightly bigger PCB than previous iPhones, however we expect the next model to be slimmer than the 9.3mm iPhone 4, so PCB manufacturer will have to overcome lots of obstacles.

Below we have embedded an image which shows how the iPhone’s PCB has changed over the years, from left to right you have the iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 PCBs, as you can see things have changed massively over the years, the biggest change came last year when the PCB was noticeably narrower than ever before, this allowed room for a larger battery, this goes to show how important battery life is for Apple.

The iPhone 4 battery allowed for 7 hours 3G talk time, 14 hours 2G talk time, 300 hours of standby, 6 hours of 3G internet usage, 10 hours of internet usage via WiFi, 10 hour of video playback and 40 hours of audio playback, matching this with the next-gen iPhone will be hard as we expect it to feature much more advanced internals than ever before, especially the dual-core Apple A5 SoC, this means that Apple will try and cram in the largest battery possible inside the casing, which means the PCB will have to be very small once again.