While Apple may have made the iPhone 15 Pro Max easier to physically repair, a iFixit teardown reveals that it still comes with the same part pairing restrictions as its predecessors.
Like the iPhone 14, iFixit found that the iPhone 15 line has a redesigned middle frame that can be accessed by removing the screen or rear glass of the device. However, iFixit notes that the internal parts of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are located behind the screen, rather than the rear glass, as is the case with the base iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, as well as the iPhone 14 line.
This inverted setup could make “critical repairs like battery changes a little riskier than on the 14,” says iFixit, since you’re “removing the expensive, fragile screen instead of an inert sheet of glass.” “. Since you have to apply heat when opening the screen, there is also a higher chance of breaking a cable that connects the screen to the device.
“Without the ability to swap components, repairability is dramatically affected”
In addition to the new configuration, iFixit confirms that the iPhone 15 Pro comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon A speed testing site, SpeedSmart, has already found that the iPhone 15 Pro’s 5G modem boosts 5G download speeds by up to 24 percent compared to the iPhone 14 Pro. iFixit’s teardown also revealed a larger battery of 4,422 mAh.
Despite the transition to a more repairable design, Apple still makes it difficult to exchange parts on the iPhone Pro Max. The company’s pairing requirement means that DIYers and independent repair shops can only use new parts purchased directly from Apple to make repairs or they will lose functionality. Not only that, Apple also requires that you verify your repairs by contacting technical support, something my colleague Sean Hollister experienced firsthand when changing the iPhone 13 Mini battery.
iFixit explains what happens when you take original parts from one iPhone 15 Pro Max and put them in another. When he attempted to transfer the lidar sensor between the two devices, he found that “the camera app would initially load and then crash,” adding that the iFixit team could “reproduce this behavior repeatedly.” The same goes for some of the other components of the iPhone 15 Pro, which are described in a chart included in his blog post.
“Unfortunately, the software anchors an otherwise exceptionally designed phone,” notes iFixit. “But without the ability to swap components, repairability is dramatically affected.”