iPhone Circuit Board Manufacturing – What are the evaluation strategies?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 11, 2024
iPhone Circuit Board

When it comes to making iPhones, every part counts, especially the circuit boards. These tiny components are like the brains of the device, making sure everything runs smoothly. But how do we make sure these circuit boards are top-notch? Well, that’s where evaluation strategies come in. In this article, we’ll explore how manufacturers check and improve the quality of iPhone circuit boards.

Understanding PCBs in iPhones

Before delving into the construction of an iPhone, it’s essential to understand how circuit boards (PCBs) work. Let’s take a closer look at the special features of iPhone circuit boards, especially focusing on the iPhone 12 series:

Design and Materials:

  • The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have similar designs, but the Pro model has extra space for Camera PMU2 and LiDAR PMU, which help manage power for better camera features and 5G.
  • PCBs are made of materials like fiberglass layered with copper, etched in specific patterns for putting parts together. Apple is using a new material called resin coated copper (RCC) to make thinner PCBs for future iPhones.

Technology and Functions:

  • The A14 chip in iPhones boosts performance for things like the CPU, GPU, and machine learning. It’s put together with a special soldering technique for more parts in a smaller space.
  • iPhones use smart ways to put together different parts, like using High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCBs, to fit more stuff in a small space.

Connections and Fixing:

  • In the U.S. version of the iPhone 12, there’s an extra antenna for better connections.
  • iPhones are designed so that parts can be easily replaced. For example, the motherboard has two separate PCBs, making it easier to fix things.
  • All these things show how much thought goes into making iPhone circuit boards, balancing what the phone needs to do, how small it needs to be, and making sure it’s ready for the future.

Evaluating PCB Quality

Checking how well a circuit board is made is important. Here’s how it’s done:

Design Checks:

  • Making sure the circuit board works right, including sending signals and giving power.
  • Checking the design to make sure it’s strong and won’t break easily.
  • Looking at the design to make sure it’s easy to make and won’t cost too much.

Materials and parts:

  • Picking materials that don’t lose signals and work well at different speeds.
  • Making sure the solder used to put parts together is always good quality to avoid bad connections.
  • Putting parts together just right, especially for things like BGA spacing, to make sure everything works well.


  • Using machines to look closely at the circuit board for any problems with connections or how parts are put together.
  • Testing to make sure the circuit board works right and does what it’s supposed to do.
  • Looking at the circuit board with eye to see if there are any problems the machines missed.
  • Doing these checks helps make sure the circuit board works well and the phone it’s in is reliable.

Improving technology in manufacturing PCBs

Manufacturing circuit boards for iPhones is always getting better. Here’s how:

New materials and designs:

  • Flexible PCBs are made with bendy materials, making them smaller and safer to put together, great for phones and other small devices.
  • Substrate-like PCBs (SLP) need small spaces between lines, making them perfect for putting lots of stuff in a small phone, especially with 5G coming.

Using cool new tech:

  • Adding things like IoT and AI to circuit boards helps make things faster and better. AI can help make sure things are made right.
  • Using 3D printing to make circuit boards is changing how they’re designed and made, making it cheaper, faster, and more custom.

Being more sustainable:

  • Manufacturing circuit boards that can be dissolved in water, like Soluboard, made from plant-based stuff, helps reduce trash and make things better for the environment.
  • These changes are making circuit boards better and setting new standards for making things like iPhones.

Challenges in manufacturing iPhone circuit boards

Manufacturing iPhone circuit boards in the U.S. has some problems:

  • Not enough places in the U.S. can make all the parts needed for iPhones. For example, special screws used in iPhones are only made in China. When Apple tried to make Mac Pros in the U.S., they found out there weren’t enough places that could make high-tech stuff.
  • The U.S. needs more people with special skills to make things like iPhones. Apple would need 30,000 people with special skills to help make iPhones in the U.S. But making iPhones in the U.S. would cost less than $100 more per phone.
  • There are lots of things to think about, not just how to move stuff from one place to another. Even if iPhones were made in the U.S., it might not be much better than making them in other countries. Apple’s already set up a big system to manufacturing iPhones and changing it would be hard.

How evaluation helps make things better?

Checking how well circuit boards are made helps make making iPhones better:

  • Following rules and standards for making things helps make sure the circuit boards work right.
  • Making sure everyone making parts for iPhones is doing things the right way and can be checked later makes sure everything works well.
  • Trying to make things better, faster, and cheaper without making them worse helps keep making iPhones the best they can be.

Looking to the Future

Manufacturing iPhone circuit boards is always changing. Here’s what’s coming up:

  • Apple wants to use only renewable energy for making iPhones by 2030, showing they care about the environment.
  • iPhones use less energy than what’s recommended, and most of the packaging is made from stuff that can be used again.
  • Apple makes sure where they get materials from is okay and checks where they come from, making sure they’re not hurting the environment or people.
  • More and more people want things like iPhones, so the market for making circuit boards is growing fast. The new SLP circuit boards will be used in lots more phones by 2024, making phones smaller and better.


To sum up, making iPhone circuit boards is getting better all the time. New materials, ways of making things, and being more careful about the environment are making iPhones even better. Even though there are challenges, like where to make iPhones and getting enough skilled people to help, the future looks bright for making iPhones better and keeping up with what people want and need.

At Technotronix, we are fully equipped to handle PCB manufacturing requirements. With over 44 years of experience and expertise, we ensure that all our PCBs meet the industry standards of quality and testing. Our team of experts utilize state-of-the-art manufacturing and follow best practices to ensure we deliver cutting-edge products. For more information reach out us at [email protected] or request a PCB manufacturing quote.

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