To assess the maintainability of smartphones, we turn to reports iFixit: It’s no secret that experts take apart each iPhone completely and their report is the most accurate.
iPhone 2G repair
Apple introduced first iPhonewhich greatly influenced the development of the industry. True, the iPhone turned out to be very complex and controversial: there were too many restrictions in the operating system and there were no necessary functions. But not everyone knows that it was also difficult to repair: experts gave it only 2 points. It was impossible to open the back cover without a trace due to hidden fasteners, and replacing the battery turned into hell. But in the next generation, everything changed.
iPhone3G and iPhone 3GS set the bar high iPhone maintainability: it was after the advent of these smartphones that it became possible to change the entire display and glass, but replacing the battery was still resource-intensive. Experts gave him 7 points. Service centers that are constantly working with repairs also appreciated the changes.
The iPhone 4 and 4S turned out to be quite repairable thanks to the fact that the internal structure was held in place with glue and screws, and the back panel and battery were much easier to remove. Unfortunately, the special Pentalobe screws made things difficult. Rating: 6 points.
New iPhones The 5 and 5C were still quite possible to repair, with one caveat: the iPhone 5 still used those same screws that made it difficult to open, but the battery was visible after removing the front panel. The iPhone 5C looks like a more premium brother, but the presence of glue on the antenna connectors prevented disassembly. Smartphones received 7 and 6 points respectively.
iPhone with Touch ID
After leaving iPhone 5s servicemen began a difficult life, since they quickly adapted to it. Due to the presence of Touch ID, disassembling the smartphone became more complicated, because when parsing it, you could easily pull the connector out of the socket. The number of screws increased and it was necessary to remember the location. 6 points for maintainability received 5S and its future analogue iPhone SE.
Despite the inconsistency of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, bendable aluminum body and weak characteristics, the smartphone turned out to be amenable to repair. The display comes off first, and changing the battery is easy with a Pentalobe screwdriver. True, the screws in the iPhone 6 were non-standard, and you also need a screw map to put everything back in its place. The 6S and 6S Plus have not changed either: the screws remain, but the amount of glue inside has increased. Both lines received 7 points each, as well as the future 7 and 7 Plus, which do not differ in layout.
But the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus became much more difficult to repair: due to wireless charging, the Lightning connector began to wear out less, but replacing the rear glass panel cost a pretty penny and was quite energy-intensive. 6 points for maintainability.
Trend on iPhone glass case continued in the iPhone X: battery replacement and other repairs are still easy, but due to the new display and Face ID, the number of complex connections inside has increased. Experts noted that it was realistic to replace the display even without removing the Face ID sensors. Approximately the same properties remained in the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and smartphones received 6 points each.
Repairability of the iPhone 11
iPhone 11 was no different from previous models, but the repair was complicated by the presence of water protection: it was important to correctly install the insulating materials back in order for the iPhone to be waterproof. But in iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, the material of the frame between the glass panels has changed: steel is installed instead of aluminum. There were no other differences, and the problem of replacing the glass body did not go away. Smartphones got 6 points.
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro had a modular design, and the interchangeability of parts simplified the repair procedure. There are more screw connections than glue. Working with moisture protection required special care, and replacing the back panel was still a laborious task. The same goes for iPhone 12 mini. The line received 6 points.
iPhone 13 problems
But the iPhone 13 was not so simple, having received the lowest rating in many years. Face ID stopped working after disconnecting (although this was fixed not so long ago), the amount of glue increased, and there were fewer bolts. In addition, access to some cables under the board was difficult. Due to these problems, the iPhone 13 Pro Max received only 5 points out of 10.
It turns out, in general iPhone maintainability for many years it kept at the level, having sifted only in the last generation. iPhone repair is possible, but not so easy.