iPhone 14 Teardown Shows It's the Most Repairable iPhone to Date
The iPhone 14 has gotten a major redesign, seemingly making it the most repairable iPhone ever.
According to a new teardown by iFixit, the internal architecture of the iPhone 14 has been upgraded to fundamentally alter the phone’s internals.
“Apple has completely redesigned the internals of the iPhone 14 to make it easier to repair,” said iFixit writer Kyle Wiens. “It is not at all visible from the outside, but this is a big deal. It’s the most significant design change to the iPhone in a long time.”
Can you spot the lonely logic board hole? Thanks to @CreativeElctrn, you can! RIP SIM reader 😢
View the iPhone 14 Pro Max Teardown: https://t.co/X6S6dtbemF pic.twitter.com/EY9RcQPEDY
— iFixit (@iFixit) September 21, 2022
The iPhone 14 was released just 4 days ago on September 16, 2022, and its new features and external changes are so slight that many are comparing it directly to the iPhone 13. However, underneath the case is a different story.
The iPhone 14 now opens from the front and back with a sleek midframe, accessible screen, and removable rear glass. It’s this new midframe that required a complete redesign of the old iPhone architecture.
“Apple didn’t mention the secret redesign in their keynote,” said Wiens. “If reviewers had disassembled the phone, they would have discovered this… It’s an upgrade so seamless that the best tech reviewers in the world didn’t notice.”
Over the years, Apple has flip-flopped between the front and rear opening, with pros and cons inherent to each. Easy front access makes screen replacement much easier, but it’s far more difficult to change a battery or other internal component. Rear access is the opposite – easier access to internals at the expense of a trickier screen replacement.
The new midframe seems to be the solution. The iPhone 14 back glass is secured using just 2 screws and a single connector, and with a far less aggressive glue, it makes taking the phone apart much easier. The best part? The same two screws also remove the screen, so you just need to unscrew 2 screws to access both the front and back.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
Additionally, new electromagnetic interference contacts connect to contact points spaced across the rear panel, continuing grounding that was previously done with welding. The iPhone 14 also adds an upgraded camera, satellite SOS, and other improvements. Unfortunately, there’s still the old “system configuration” hurdle.
Apple has long tried to control the repair of iPhones by using software to limit the use of aftermarket parts. However, Apple has recently opened the Self Service Repair Store, making repairs a little more accessible.
However, the iPhone 14's back glass requires activation after installation. It’s a hurdle that makes repairing your iPhone 14 a little bit more difficult – a real shame it’s still an issue considering the significant steps forward with the phone’s architecture.
Still, the iPhone 14 is now the most repairable iPhone of all time… even if there is still progress to be made. Although, a note: The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models still use the old architecture.
Want to read more about the iPhone 14? Check out our comparison of the latest iPhone 14 models and get up to speed on the iPhone 14’s lack of a sim-card tray.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Ryan Leston