The Phone 14 is “the most repairable iPhone in years,” thanks to its redesigned internals. Sadly, you will not find these repairability improvements on the iPhone 14 Pro series.
iPhone 14 Pro Max’s teardown reveals that internally it is identical to the iPhone 13 Pro Max from last year.
Replacing the iPhone 14 Pro’s back glass is a challenge
The Phone 14 Pro series does not use the redesigned internal layout, which makes the “regular” iPhone 14 easier to repair. Like the five previous generations of the iPhone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max also opens from the front. This makes screen replacement easier but makes battery and rear glass replacements a challenge.
On the U.S. variants of the iPhone 14 Pro, you will see an empty space where the SIM card slot was once located. “It’s still a little eerie and very un-Apple-like to waste space like this,” iFixit says in the teardown. Apple will likely use this free space for additional components in the next year’s iPhone.
With no significant internal changes, the iPhone 14 Pro Max scores the same repairability score as previous iPhones: 6/10. That’s not bad, but the Pro models are not as repairable as their cheaper siblings.
Why did Apple not ship the iPhone 14 Pro with a more repair-friendly design?
iFixit has a couple of theories on why Apple shipped the iPhone 14 Pro with the older internal design. First, it believes two different teams inside the Cupertino giant designed the phones. And they seemingly did not talk to each other. Second, Apple wanted to “limit the amount of uncertainty per model.” Greater the changes, the more the chances of uncertainties arising.
So, Apple introduced Dynamic Island and new cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro this year. The internal changes were limited to entry-level models. “They can then unify the changes next year, moving the Pro over onto the base model’s more advanced architecture,” says iFixit.