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First iPhone 15 Pro teardown shows how easy it is to repair

Published Sep 22nd, 2023 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are made of titanium.
Image: Apple Inc.

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The iPhone 15 series is shipping to buyers who preordered the handset on Friday. Millions of people will get to experience the iPhone 15/Plus or iPhone 15 Pro/Max versions of the handset. They’ll transfer data and install screen protectors and cases on the brand-new devices.

But a select few iPhone 15 buyers will dismantle the brand-new devices when they take them out of the box. That’s because the world is curious to see the internal iPhone 15 design and discover the phone’s last remaining secrets.

The first iPhone 15 Pro teardown is now available, showing how easy it is to replace that rear glass. We also get a confirmation that the handset features a larger battery pack than its predecessor.

I said recently the iPhone 15 Pros might give me the courage to go caseless for future iPhones. I haven’t upgraded my iPhone 14 Pro, but I expect Apple to keep making iPhone models out of titanium for years to come.

Aside from titanium, the new iPhone 15 Pros also feature the same design the iPhone 14/Plus delivered, making rear glass panel replacements more affordable. That’s the real reason why I’d be willing to ditch the iPhone case for good but keep the screen protector.

YouTuber PBKreviews routinely does teardowns before iFixit, though the latter still has better, more in-depth guides.

That said, PBKreviews shows how easy it is to take apart the iPhone 15 Pro if you have the right tools and know what you’re doing. Yes, it’s a complex process that requires patience and a steady hand. I’ve often told you I don’t recommend repairing your iPhone, even though Apple supports it.

But if you did want to take the iPhone 15 apart, teardowns like the ones below walk you through every process. The most difficult tasks involve removing the display panel and the rear panel. Also, prying out the L-shaped battery might be a little more difficult.

On that battery front, the iPhone 15 Pro teardown reveals the handset features a 3,290 mAh battery, which is slightly larger than the iPhone 14 Pro’s 3,200 mAh battery. However, the iPhone 15 Pro battery life estimates are identical for the two devices.

The rear panel disassembly demonstration is also a highlight of the teardown. It proves you can easily remove the rear-facing glass in case it breaks. Apple cut the prices for this replacement significantly. It’ll cost you $169 or $199, depending on screen size, to get the job done at Apple. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the most expensive one. With AppleCare+, you pay $29 regardless of the iPhone 15 Pro model.

The teardown shows the cooling that Apple uses for heat dissipation. We’re looking at lots of graphite film involved. The first A17 Pro review shows the iPhone 15 Pros can overheat when playing console-grade games. And the powerful chip can throttle performance while they cool down.

Sadly, this first iPhone 15 teardown features the Pro, not the more exciting Pro Max model. That’s the only new Apple handset that features a tetraprism zoom lens. iFixit’s teardown will probably cover that detail.

Also, this teardown doesn’t give the logic board a closer look. We know the A17 Pro should be paired with 8GB of RAM from leaks and benchmarks. Teardowns will give us a final confirmation.

That said, the iPhone 15 Pro teardown shows that repairing the new iPhones might be easier than in the past. Especially considering Apple has a DIY repair program in place.

But as iFixit pointed out earlier this week, you must buy iPhone parts from Apple. The repair has to be validated through a chat system. Otherwise, the iPhone will give you all sorts of warnings and limit functionality. iFixit has in-depth coverage of what it means to repair an iPhone and how difficult it can be at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.