It’s not too surprising that Apple’s new iPhone 6s Smart Case isn’t made to be easily opened for repairs. To get inside for its usual teardown routine, iFixit had to peel off the soft lining of the case by heating up the adhesive. It then had to remove three proprietary Apple screws to remove a metal reinforcement plate and get at the battery itself. So while you likely won’t be able to repair your new Smart Case without destroying it, we do get a look inside of the new product thanks to iFixit’s willingness to do so…
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Apple’s new $99 Smart Battery case for iPhone 6s has been getting a lot of attention this week as pundits and consumers question the design decisions made on the product, while competitors take the opportunity to do the usual Apple mocking adverts. One possible answer for the protruding battery bump on the case that seems to be universally disliked: some have speculated it could be Apple’s way of avoiding patents from the big battery case manufacturers.
But other than the obvious battery bump and the 7.13 Whr (1877 mAh at 3.8 V) capacity battery, iFixit found only the expected Lightning connector components in addition to two chips: NXP NX20P3 load switch (which is used in Lightning to USB cables) and a NXP 1608A1 charging IC. The rest is seemingly being handled on the software side via the connected iPhone.
The tear down also notes that other than the metal reinforcement plate and flexible hinge, the rest of the case is “made of a hard plastic, seamlessly coated in soft silicone.”
But for all of the hurdles to get into the device, Apple’s proprietary screws, and the fact that the battery isn’t made to be repairable or swappable, overall iFixit gives the new Smart Case an unimpressive 2 out of 10 for repairability.