I took a hammer to my recently "damaged beyond repair" iphone3G. No I am not crazy; it was permanently damaged in an "incident" and so my natural curiosity saw an opportunity. I really wanted to see what the guts of an iphone look like and to see if I could find the hard drive before it goes to recycling. iphones don't make the battery accessible (unlike all of my previous mobile devices) so I was curious to see how it was configured.
As the hammer began doing its work, I felt like I was in an alternative universe knowing that for 2+ years I panicked every time it hit the ground from more than knee-height. I gave it some pretty hard pops and surprisingly it held up for a good 3 or 4 shots. On roughly the 5th shot, the screen popped off. What I found was multi-layered hardware stacked on top of each other - no surprise really - so it could actually fit in the phone. The layers were:
1) touch screen: although the picture is awful (taken with a first generation iphone), its the black piece on the left. This screen actually lies underneath the outer screen that you touch with your finger under normal oreatoin. The outer screen was shattered into hundreds of glass pieces in the "incident" and was gone on impact.
2) SIM Card, circuitboards, camera, and small tethers to the back of the touch screen
3) battery (not shown -under the circuit). To get to the battery layer, I had to unscrew 6 tiny screws to lift the circuit boards.
Overall, I didn't find anything too shocking. I think the most interesting findings are
that the touch screen takes up at least half of the space in the phone and that it was somewhat resilient when I gave it a few shots. Maybe I can rest a little easier now with the next phone (hurry up Verizon) when the little guy in my house drops it on the floor every other second.