As it does every year, device repair site iFixit is putting all of Apple’s new devices through the teardown process. This year, the site is tearing down the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch 2. As usual, Apple leaves some details regarding the internals of its new devices a secret, but iFixit is able to figure out some of those secrets with its teardowns…
Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip
In its iPhone 7 Plus teardown, iFixit notes of the similar teardown process to previous iPhone models. The classic Pentalobe screws are still there, while there are still two now-familiar screws guarding each side of the Lightning connector. One interesting tidbit is that the iPhone 7 Plus opens to the side when you remove the display, as seen below. This change, iFixit notes, is likely related to the new water resistance feature.
Regarding the headphone jack removal, the Taptic Engine is taking up the majority of the space where the connectivity was housed, but interestingly there’s a simple plastic bumper where the actual cutout used to be. This suggests that, while the Taptic Engine was part of the reason for Apple to remove the headphone jack, the ability to make the iPhone water resistant was likely equally important.
As far as the battery goes, the iPhone 7 Plus features a slightly larger battery than its predecessor. The iPhone 6 Plus featured a 2750mAh battery, while this year’s model features a 2915mAh battery.
Another highlight of the iPhone 7 Plus is its new dual-camera setup, which iFixit says “almost” makes it worth the infamous camera bump:
The upgraded cameras almost make it worth the bigger exterior camera bump—now built into the chassis in another suspected waterproofing/dust-fighting tactic.
Digging deeper into the logic board, iFixit’s teardown confirms 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM on the inside alongside Apple’s A10 Fusion processor. Meanwhile, ChipWorks‘ teardown of the iPhone 7 confirms that at least some models of the device feature several Intel parts. There’s an Intel modem and two Intel transceivers, as well as Intel power management ICs. The new Intel modems were previously speculated to be the reason for T-Mobile and AT&T models not supporting CDMA networks this year, while Verizon and Sprint models support both GSM and CDMA networks.
One question many had concerning the new Force Touch Home button was whether it was still replaceable. iFixit’s teardown proves that the part is still replaceable, albeit by a slightly more difficult process than before.
A handful of other various enhancements have been made to give the iPhone 7 its water resistance. There’s a plastic SIM eject plug with a rubber gasket, as well as a rubber gasket on the SIM tray.
We’ll continue to update this post as the teardown process progresses. In the meantime, check out a few images from the process below.