iPhone 15 Pro Max disassembly [iFixit/YouTube]
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is built similarly to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, even with a new frame, an iFixit teardown shows, and camera improvements beyond the tetraprism lens are due to the new A17 Pro chip and software changes.
The annual teardown of Apple’s flagship model is upon us, with iFixit releasing a video and article showing the internals of the iPhone 15 Pro Max on the Monday after its release. Continuing its usual tradition, iFixit also criticizes the way the device was manufactured and its non-repairability.
In the disassembly video, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is disassembled quite systematically: using five-prong screws and the need to use a suction cup to block the removal of the display. Once inside, attempts to remove the battery are thwarted by failed tabs, prompting complaints about ten more screws being removed.
Using isopropyl alcohol, the battery is released from the case. The battery capacity is 17.1 Wh, which is 2.5% more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max version.
The camera unit is removable thanks to a variety of detachable cables and three “much less flimsy” Philips-head screws. With the exception of the tetraprism assembly for the telephoto lens, the main and wide-angle camera sensors appear to be the same size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max versions.
This similarity in component sizes leads iFixit to believe that any image quality improvements “have more to do with the new A17 SoC than the camera hardware itself.”
The Pro Max motherboard, considered the most interesting find after disassembly, is almost identical to the Pro model. The board shows Qualcomm chips performing modem functions, while Apple’s own development continues.
As for the back cover, iFixit praises the changes on the Pro models that bring it closer to the iPhone 15, making it easier to repair the back glass.
There have been comments about the environmentally unfriendly production of titanium elements compared to stainless steel or aluminum, as well as the easily scratched coating.
An accompanying article on the iPhone 15 line praises the removable back glass as a “remarkable achievement” but then criticizes the device’s repairability rather than the need to purchase parts from Apple and deal with Apple’s parts-matching system.
On the iPhone 15 Pro line, this includes a rear LiDAR unit that is now “fully tethered” to the device.
The “repairability” rating for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Pro, Plus and standard iPhone 15 is set at 4 out of ten. The estimate is preliminary as it includes the “expected availability of a service manual and sales of spare parts” but is weighed down by the inability to replace components due to software limitations.
Ahead of the iPhone 15’s release, iFixit downgraded the iPhone 14’s score from 7/10 to 4/10, citing the same repair barriers.