Some things change, some things stay the same. When it comes to the all-new iPhone 11, a teardown reveals that there's a lot of new technology powering Apple's latest flagship smartphone.
So, what's inside Apple's new iPhone 11? Let's take a look at what the teardown veterans at iFixit found inside a hot off the production line iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Let's start with the rumored bilateral wireless charging feature. Does the iPhone 11 have the hardware for this?
The bottom line is that we don't know because the results of the teardown were inconclusive. Maybe bilateral charging is a figment of our imagination. Maybe Apple will activate this feature at a later date. Maybe it was abandoned because of reliability issues. Maybe cunning hackers will be able to switch it on.
While there is a secondary battery connector going to the wireless charging coils which could be for this feature, but this could also be part of the new hardware for monitoring and managing battery performance that Apple discusses in its support documentation for the iPhone 11.
This will need further investigation.
There's a lot that's changed, from the camera array to the mainboard. One new improvement that will be welcomed by those buying a new iPhone 11 Pro Max is the bigger battery. Thanks to the removal of the 3D Touch layer in the display, which saved about 0.25mm, and an increase in the overall thickness of the iPhone by 0.4mm, the battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max is 18 percent thicker (0.7 mm), 21 percent larger by volume, and 33 percent heavier.
Android users always point to how little RAM the iPhone has compared to premium Android devices, and it seems that the iPhone 11 Pro Max will continue to draw ridicule. It still only has 4GB of RAM (unless iFixit missed out some chips in the teardown, which is unlikely) but in the real-world the iOS platform seems to be very good at memory management so this rarely shows up as an issue.
The teardown also revealed what appears to be ultrawide band antennas, possibly related to detecting items like tracker tiles and AirPods.
On the repairability front, the new iPhone gets a score of six out of 10 (where higher is better). Apple has made the battery easier to replace, and many components are easier to access for repair or replacement. The waterproofing is always an issue to deal with when repairing modern smartphones, but the teardown shows that this doesn't seem any worse than last year's models.
Oh, and there's the issue of both the front and back glass panels, and if you break the back glass, then you end up having to remove every component and replacing the entire chassis.
So don't drop it!