It’s been 10 years since Apple launched the original iPhone and altered the trajectory of mobile computing. In celebration of the occasion (and because the latest iteration just launched), iFixit took its talents to Australia to play the time zone game and be among the first to get their hands on the new iPhone X.
Then, of course, they promptly set about ripping the phone to shreds for the amusement of curious eyes around the world. Here’s what they found.
Thanks to a pre-teardown X-ray, the team learned that the iPhone X is powered by two battery cells – a first for an iPhone.
Breaching the perimeter proved no more difficult than with other recent iPhones as it seems Apple has made a long-term decision to stick with the “sideways-opening” technique first found on the 7 Plus. A few more twists of the specialty screwdriver and iFixit is able to free the unibracket from the logic board for a proper look at the phone’s hardware.
As is often the case, most of the interior real estate is consumed by the battery (or in this case, batteries). There’s also a decent footprint set aside for the dual rear camera system and its various stabilization techniques but what may be most impressive is the miniaturized logic board.
iFixit describes it as incredibly space efficient with the density of connectors and components being “unprecedented.” The iPhone 8 Plus logic board, by comparison, looks “gangly and expansive.” Key to pulling this feat off was using a double-stacked board, the first time Apple has utilized this technique since the very first iPhone. A third spacer PCB that lines the perimeter of the boards connects them, a seemingly much better alternative to traditional flex cables.
The dual-cell battery, meanwhile, is a 10.35 Wh (2,716mAh) unit that’s just slightly larger than the pack in the iPhone 8 Plus (but much smaller than the 12.71 Wh battery in the Galaxy Note 8).
All things considered, the iPhone X earned a repairability score of six out of 10 (the higher the number, the easier it is to repair). Display and battery swaps shouldn’t present a major issue for skilled technicians, so long as you’ve got the right tools for the job.
That's good news for DIYers as it was recently revealed that Apple will charge $279 to repair a broken iPhone X screen if you don't have extended warranty coverage. Worse yet, all other out-of-warranty repairs will set you back $549. I'm not big on extended warranties as most are rip-offs but in the case of the iPhone X, AppleCare+ seems worth having.
With the insurance, an iPhone X screen replacement would cost just $29 and all other repairs would be $99. AppleCare+ for the iPhone X costs $199 and extends warranty coverage up to two years. More importantly, it adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage (let's face it, people are clumsy).
More complex at-home repairs that involve disassembly of internal cables could present additional headaches and if you manage to break the phone’s rear glass panel, well, be prepared to remove everything and replace the entire chassis.
Lead image via Lili Sams, Mashable. All others courtesy iFixit