Lots of iPhone SE components are swappable with iPhone 8 -- but not all

Lots of iPhone SE components are swappable with iPhone 8 — but not all


Well, that should make repairs a bit cheaper.
Photo: Apple

A 2020 iPhone SE teardown shows just how similar the new phone is to the iPhone 8. Many — but not all — components of the new handset are totally swappable with the 2017 iPhone, according to a weekend report from iFixit.

The iPhone SE’s cameras, SIM tray, Taptic Engine and display assembly can be directly swapped out with the iPhone 8. However, not all parts are so switchable. The iPhone SE’s battery might look the same, but it won’t work on the earlier iPhone due to a different logic board connector.

iPhone SE and iPhone 8

As the iFixit teardown confirms, the new iPhone SE is, in many senses, an updated iPhone 8. Apple packed new internals into a recognizable form factor — and shrewdly cut some corners to keep prices down.

For the majority of iPhone users, this won’t necessarily be a huge factor. Most people will take their iPhones to a shop for repairs rather than trying to do it themselves. But it could mean the parts you’re charged for are cheaper. It should certainly mean that they are easier to come across. As iFixit notes in its Saturday post:

“Most new iPhones arrive with zero backward compatibility, so we’re reasonably pleased with how nicely the new iPhone SE plays with so many parts that repair shops and fixers already have in their inventory. It doesn’t have all the fancy features of the iPhone 11 or the iPhone 11 Pro, but $400 for a phone with a long-lived processor and plentiful repair parts seems like a square deal to us.”

For more on the differences between the iPhone SE and iPhone 8, you can check out our phone-to-phone comparison. The TL;DR version is this, however: The iPhone SE is the iPhone 8, but with many of the features and internals taken from the iPhone 11 — including the impressive A13 Bionic chip. Impressively, all of this is achieved for a price of $399, making the 2020 SE one of Apple’s cheapest iPhones ever.

Are you planning to get an iPhone SE? Have you already gotten your hands on one? Let us know in the comments below.


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