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iPhone 15 Pro Max is designed similarly to the iPhone 14 The Pro Max even has a new frame, as iFixit's 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 here, 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.
The disassembly video disassembles the iPhone 15 Pro Max 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.
Use isopropyl alcohol to free the battery from the frame. The battery capacity is 17.1 Wh, which is 2.5% more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max version.
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The camera can be removed thanks to a variety of detachable cables and three “much less fragile” Philips cap 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.”
Considered the most interesting find after disassembly: the Pro Max motherboard is almost identical to the Pro model. The board shows Qualcomm chips performing modem functions, while Apple's own development continues.
When it comes to 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.
Comments have been made about the environmentally unfriendly production of titanium elements compared to stainless steel or aluminum, as well as the easily scratched coating.
A companion article on the iPhone 15 lineup praises the removable back glass as a “remarkable achievement” . However, it then exposes the device to repairability due to the need to purchase parts from Apple and deal with Apple's parts interfacing system.
For 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 release of the iPhone 15, iFixit downgraded the iPhone 14 from 7/10 to 4/10, citing the same repair barriers.