Earlier this year, Apple launched a new Self Service Repair Program for iPhone SE, 12, and 13 models that includes genuine Apple parts and tools for anyone willing to put in a lot of work to take their iPhone apart. With the iPhone 14, Apple has taken steps to make the whole process a lot easier.
According to the teardown experts iFixit, Apple has secretly redesigned the entire inside of the iPhone 14 for seemingly one reason: repairability. As the site explains, the iPhone 14 has been “reborn as a beautiful butterfly” with removable back glass and front glass. The internal components for the iPhone 14 are all mounted onto a new midframe that lets users replace a broken screen or cracked back—two of the most common iPhone repairs—without needing to disassemble the entire phone.
The iPhone 14’s front and back glass are easily accessible thanks to a new midframe assembly.
iFixit calls the iPhone 14’s internal redesign “an incredible engineering challenge.” The site says that Apple has “gone back to the drawing board and reworked the iPhone’s internals to make repair easier.” As a result, the iPhone 14 received a repairability score of 7 out of 10, iFixit’s best score for an iPhone since the iPhone 7.
Since the iPhone X, Apple has used a powerful adhesive to hold the glass in place, but with the iPhone 14, Apple has used “a slightly less aggressive adhesive,” which makes opening the phone “a tad easier than screens of yore.” Additionally, removing two screws and a single connector gains you access to both front and back glass.
Along with the easier disassembly comes a host of smaller changes to accommodate an “incredible wealth of antennas,” “torsional rigidity,” upgraded cameras, and satellite connectivity via a new Qualcomm X65 modem. All in all, iFixit was extremely impressed with how much “effort” Apple has put into the internal design of the iPhone 14 in the interests of repairability.
This isn’t the first teardown of the new iPhones. Last week we reported on a video disassembling the 14 Pro Max, which among other things revealed that the extra space opened up on the US version of the phone, which doesn’t have a physical SIM tray, wasn’t being used for anything.