Much has been reported about the applications available for Apple Inc.'s new iPhone 4S. However, the heart of the smartphone and the components that power these apps have not yet been credited as much as they perhaps should for the phone's success in the marketplace.

Apple used a dual-core A5 processor, which is also used in the iPad 2, making the new device twice as powerful as the iPhone 4. The new chip also makes the iPhone 4S seven times faster, compared to its predecessor, when it comes to processing graphics.

A teardown done by iFixIt shows that the new iPhone, surprisingly, includes 512 on-board RAM.

How do we know it's 512MB? Check out the marking, specifically 'E4E', denoting two 2Gb LPDDR2 die -- for a total of 4Gb -- or 512MB, said iFixit, in notes accompanying its teardown.

The use of this low density of memory highlights the efficiency of Apple's iOS operating system compared to those of competitive smartphones, which use twice as much SDRAM, said iSuppli in its teardown note, written by senior analyst Wayne Lam.

While most people were expecting at least 1GB of RAM in the new phone, Apple's move to stick to only 512MB could be an effort to save battery life, given that the phone already has many features requiring considerable battery life.

The camera in the iPhone 4S is another significant upgrade, compared to the iPhone 4. Apple has provided the iPhone 4S with an 8 megapixel camera and a 5 element lens. In contrast, the iPhone 4 had only a 5 megapixel camera. However, like the iPhone 4, the 4S employs Backside Illumination (BSI) technology.