iPhone 15 Pro Teardowns Reveal Anti-Third Party Repair Tactics

iphone 15 teardown

The YouTube channel Phone Repair Guru has conducted an in-depth analysis of the repairability of Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max, drawing attention to both its merits and shortcomings.

Apple has continued its practice of serializing components, a move that complicates the repair process, says Phone Repair Guru. “Apple continues to serialize components,” says the channel, emphasizing that this practice disables features like True Tone and auto-brightness when displays are swapped. Additionally, non-genuine messages appear for Face ID, battery, and display components, further complicating repairs.

However, the video also found some positive aspects. “The flash issue we recently found with the iPhone 14 doesn’t seem to be an issue on the iPhone 15 Pro Max,” said Phone Repair Guru, indicating that back glass, flash, and wireless charger components could be swapped without issues.

The most significant finding of the video was a glitch that occurs when the front camera is swapped. According to the host, this action causes the entire camera app to malfunction, rendering it unusable for taking pictures. “If this is done purposefully on Apple’s part, then it’s bad, like very bad,” said the channel.

Previously, on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, swapping in the same camera would also result in the camera app not being able to take pictures. But a hard reset of the phone did fix the issue. However, the same method was tried on the iPhone 15 Pro Max and it did not work to re-enable the camera app.

The video expressed skepticism that Apple would address this issue in future software updates, given the company’s historical stance on repairability by third parties, instead wanting customers to go directly to Apple for repairs.

Check out the full video below, it’s worth a watch:

YouTube video

Similarly, another iPhone 15 Pro teardown by Hugh Jeffreys also found similar conclusions about Apple’s repairability.

“Legislation from the EU [forced] the iPhone to no longer have a proprietary charge port,” he said. However, the video highlights that despite Apple’s public support for right-to-repair legislation in California, the iPhone 15 Pro continues to restrict third-party repairs through software limitations.

During a logic board swap test, the video demonstrates that the device’s software checks the serial numbers of various components. If these numbers don’t match, features like battery health, True Tone, and Face ID are disabled. “If you’ve seen any of my previous iPhone teardown and repair assessment videos, you’ll be familiar with these messages,” Jeffreys stated.

The video also points out a new issue: the front camera fails to load when replaced, rendering selfies impossible. “Trying to take a photo freezes the app,” Jeffreys added. Despite these software restrictions, the teardown reveals some positive aspects, such as the detachable back glass, which makes it easier to replace.

Jeffreys suggests that legislative action may be the only way to make iPhones genuinely repairable. “If legislation was the only way for the iPhone to get USB-C, it’s probably the only way the iPhone will ever become repairable,” he concluded.

Check out his video below:

YouTube video

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site with a coffee/beer. Or shop with our Amazon link. We use affiliate links when possible--thank you for supporting independent media.