Apple designed the internal iPhone 15 Pro series to be much easier to work on than previous models, but iFixit did a teardown and found that replacing several broken components is a hassle.
In the end, the latest iOS handset got a fairly low repairablity score from iFixit.
iPhone 15 Pro Max has part-pairing-problems
Apple is under pressure from the right-to-repair movement and governments around the world to make its handsets easier to repair. The goal is devices that last longer and are less ecologically damaging.
The standard iPhone 14 used a new configuration that allows either the screen or the back panel to be removed, simplifying accessing the components.
The first teardown of the new iPhone 15 Pro showed the design has been extended to Apple’s premier handsets. But a fresh teardown video of the iPhone 15 Pro Mac released Monday by the device repair company iFixit is less complimentary.
It starts out showing that the battery isn’t as easy to remove as it could be. But the video reserves its strongest criticism for part pairing problems.
Replacing the front-facing camera with an identical unit from another iPhone 15 Pro Max fails. The same goes from the Lidar sensor. And iFixit hasn’t yet compiled a full list of similar problems.
“Overall, I have not so mixed feelings about this phone,” said the iFixit tech. “Is it more repairable? Within Apple walled garden, sure. In the real world, not so much. This phone won’t accept salvaged parts, it complicates at-home repair, and it won’t be any fun for your local repair tech.”
That’s why the iPhone 15 Pro Max got a preliminary repairability score of 4 out of 10. And these are the same sort of problems that recently caused the company to downgrade its repairability score for the iPhone 14.
Watch the video for more:
Additional details from the iFixit teardown
Apple’s new Pro models have titanium cases, but iFixit is not a fan. The video shows how easy it is the scratch the casing.
But not all the comments from the new video were criticism. The teardown found a modest 2% increase in iPhone 15 Pro Max battery size over its predecessor. And the new model has a powerful Qualcomm X70 modem.
And a disassembly of the camera shows some of the inner workings of the Tetraprism design used to create the 5X telephoto lens.