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iPhone 15 Pro Max Teardown: Better or Worse Repairability


iFixit has shared a teardown video of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, offering a closer look inside the device, as well as a look at how the device is built and commentary on its repairability.

New Internal Design Architecture

Apple rearranged the internals, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can now be opened from both directions, all the parts are hidden behind the screen instead of behind the back glass. So it’s easier to change the back of the phone, lowering the prices of this service.

But this inverted internal structure arrangement makes critical repairs like battery replacement slightly riskier than on the iPhone 14, because you're removing the expensive, fragile display instead of the glass back cover. In order to access the battery and other components, you'll have to heat up and pry off the screen, which is slightly riskier. If you accidentally rip the cables, it's better to rip the back cover cables rather than damage the display.

Camera optimization

For the first time, the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a 120mm equivalent 5x optical zoom camera, while the phone's main camera performance has been specifically optimized. iPhone 15 Pro Max features a telephoto lens and a quad prism system for 5x optical zoom. In terms of CMOS only, there are changes to the telephoto and ToF, while the main camera, ultra-wide angle, and front remain unchanged.

Architecturally, the telephoto camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max features a quadruple-reflective prism design combined with optical image stabilization technology and an autofocus 3D sensor displacement module. Judging from the launch photos, the autofocus 3D sensor shift module on the iPhone 15 Pro Max supports three-axis micro-motion, whereas on previous models that support periscope telephoto, it's still more likely to support a two-axis micro-motion sensor shift module.

With a high-quality modem

iFixit says the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a similar logic board to the iPhone 15 Pro. In addition to the A17 Pro chip, the teardown confirms that the device is also equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X70 modem, which reportedly comes with an integrated AI processor designed to improve its connectivity across 5G frequencies, including shortwave millimeter wave signals.

Snapdragon X70 features include the world's most complete family of 5G modems and RF systems, supporting the full range of commercially available 5G bands from 600MHz to 41GHz, providing terminal manufacturers with great flexibility to design terminals that meet the requirements of operators around the globe; unmatched global band support and spectrum aggregation capabilities, including the world's first downlink quad-carrier aggregation across both TDD and FDD spectrum.

iFixit gives the iPhone 15 Pro Max an overall repair score of 4 out of 10, with higher scores representing easier repairs. The main reason for this rating is that Apple devices often require parts pairing, which can impact the ability of users and independent repair stores to perform their own repairs. However, this teardown report provides consumers with an in-depth look at the internals and functionality of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which helps users better understand the device they own.

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