iPhone 15 Pro Max Teardown: Mixed Results and Repairability Woes

Apple's latest offering faces criticism for software-restricted parts and easily scratched titanium frame

In further exploration, iFixit discovered that the logic board in the iPhone 15 Pro Max appeared identical to that of the iPhone 15 Pro. Interestingly, accessing the battery-removal tabs necessitates the removal of the speaker and Taptic Engine. Notably, iFixit drew attention to the main and wide camera sensors, which closely resembled those found in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This suggests that the primary hardware-based camera update this year is the “Tetraprism” periscope lens, enabling 5x optical zoom. iFixit asserted, “Any enhancements in image quality are primarily attributable to the new A17 SoC (System on a Chip) rather than intrinsic changes to the camera hardware.”

Critiquing Apple’s parts pairing practice seems to be an enduring theme in iFixit’s teardown assessments. The repair advocacy website has identified this as a substantial issue, even going so far as to revise the repairability score of the iPhone 14 from 7 out of 10 to a mere 4 out of 10 nearly a year after its launch due to this problem. The teardown video underlined the significance of this issue, stating, “Each year, new parts pairing challenges and bugs emerge. This year’s concern centers around the LiDAR sensor, which now triggers malfunctions if replaced. Whether it’s a calibration issue or not, these problems demand resolution; otherwise, these components might as well be permanently linked to the logic board with a small Apple warning stating, ‘This phone is the property of Apple.'”

Owing to the persisting parts pairing requirement, iFixit assigned the iPhone 15 Pro Max a meager repairability score of 4 out of 10. The verdict was clear: “This phone does not accommodate salvaged parts, complicates DIY repairs, and poses a significant challenge for local repair technicians,” cautioned the website.