American ready to rip iPhone 3G apart

Luke Soules is hoping to be the first in the world to disassemble the iPhone 3G

Luke Soules, CXO of iFixit, a California-based provider of Mac and iPod parts and upgrades, is number four in the queue outside the Vodafone store in Queen Street, in Auckland.

He is hoping to be the first in the world to pull the iPhone 3G apart and to document this online.

Soules flew in from California on Wednesday afternoon and quickly grabbed a spot in line. At 2pm on Wednesday afternoon, there were around ten iPhone punters queuing in Queen Street, nearly all of them sporting Mac laptops and working away using wi-fi provided by wi-fi hotspot company Tomizone.

Soules' mission is to get his hands on an iPhone 3G, and as quickly as possible figure out what is inside it.

"A friend of mine has an office in Auckland, so hopefully, at 12.30am, I will be pulling [the device] apart," he says.

iFixit sells parts for Apple products and offers do-it-yourself repair guides and troubleshooting. The company routinely rips products apart to reveal what internal parts and chips are used, and makes this information available on its website, says Soules. He will post pictures online as he disassembles the phone, he says.

He is expecting that the iPhone 3G will be quite different from the original iPhone. He says the iPod Touch and the first-generation iPhone are very different on the inside.

The company took apart the original iPhone immediately after the launch last year and posted that online, he says. The website had 500,000 hits then, and he is expecting even more visitors tomorrow. "We are one day ahead of the US, and there is going to be a lot of interest in the iPhone 3G," he says.

When Computerworld spoke to Soules, no other companies specialising in disassembling were in the queue, but he says he wouldn't be surprised if competitors showed up.

Soules and a colleague flipped a coin to decide who was going to New Zealand for the world-first launch.

"I was very excited when I won," he says, even though he had to leave the Californian summer. He shows Computerworld his weather gadget on his Mac — it is 29 degrees Celsius in his home-town, Atascadero, California.

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