Last week we speculated about what repairs will be like on Apple’s latest iPhones. It’s less than a week later, and we get our first good look inside an iPhone 11 Pro Max thanks to YouTube channel F.A. Channel (see below, or DChannel, depending on how you search) out of Vietnam. The teardown is performed next to a torn down iPhone XS Max, which most closely resembles the iPhone 11 Pro Max, to show the biggest updates. Our Vietnamese is a little rusty, so we don’t get the benefit of the video’s narration, but the side-by-side comparison helps put the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s updates in perspective.
And how extraordinary are those updates? Not very, in all honesty. We’re comfortable with last week’s prognostications, even if the teardown revealed a couple changes we didn’t anticipate. Let’s take the cliff notes approach and go through the changes that may most affect repairs.
Screen Replacement Stays the Same: Let’s start off easy and compare the iPhone 11 Pro Max OLED digitizer assembly to the iPhone XS Max’s. Not much has changed. The flex cables still connect from the side, and the camera/sensor flex cable assembly at the top looks familiar, too.
Single-Part Battery: The iPhone 11 Pro Max features an L-shaped battery like the iPhone XS Max before it, but rather than a two-piece assembly that flops around in the middle, this battery is a single piece, and bigger, thicker, and more solid than before. We’ve seen this single-piece design on the iPhone XS, but this is the first time we’ve seen it on a phone of this size.
On a battery-related note, we’re fairly confident new iPhones will be afflicted by Apple’s “Important Battery Message” feature when you try to replace their batteries. This feature shuts off the iPhone’s battery health reportage and urges the user to seek out a battery upgrade from an Apple authorized service provider. So cool… Solutions to this problem are hopefully forthcoming.
Volume Button Flex Cable Takes a Detour: Following the arrival of the Qi wireless charging chip on the iPhone X, the volume button flex cable normally linked up with the Qi chip and jumped across the middle of the phone to the logic board. Here, it journeys south toward the lightning port. This is something to bear in mind when you’re prying out a battery.
Larger Back Camera Assembly: A third camera increases the size of the back camera flex cable housing. It’s one of the easier components to remove, but it sure forced Apple to make up for lost real estate.
Compact Logic Board: An even more squished logic board shows how creative Apple got making up for the lost real estate. Be careful of overlapping flex cables when you’re taking this phone apart.
Back Glass and Camera Lens: The combined back glass and camera lens housing looks awfully tough, but we know once it breaks it’ll require a lot of work to replace.
That concludes our quick analysis of this teardown. Stay tuned while we update on new iPhone-related news, and keep an eye out for new products as the arrive!