iFixit Shares 2019 Mac Pro Teardown: ‘A Masterclass in Repairability’

iFixit has shared its full teardown of the new Mac Pro, calling it "beautiful, amazingly well put together, and a masterclass in repairability."

Given its modular design, the new Mac Pro unsurprisingly earned a nearly perfect repairability score of 9/10, with iFixit noting that basic repairs and upgrades can be performed with standard tools or even no tools at all. Major components also use industry-standard sockets and interfaces.


From a repair standpoint, the only downside is that while the SSDs are modular, they are not user replaceable since they are tied to the Apple T2 security chip. If you need to remove and replace the SSD modules, a support document says to contact Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider instead.

iFixit also has a service manual for the new Mac Pro.

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16-Inch MacBook Pro Features New ‘Lid Angle Sensor’

Earlier this week, do-it-yourself repair website iFixit shared its full teardown of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, providing a closer look at its scissor switch keyboard, new thermal architecture, and other design tweaks.

As it turns out, there is one more change. In an internal document to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, Apple indicates the 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a new "lid angle sensor" that presumably monitors the opening and closing of the notebook and the precise position of the lid.

MacRumors reached out to iFixit to investigate, leading them to uncover a small sensor facing the left-side hinge of the notebook. There is also a magnet embedded in the hinge itself, with an arrow indicating polarity. iFixit has updated its teardown with photos of the sensor, which we've shared below.

Photo: iFixit

While previous-generation MacBook Pro models have a Hall effect sensor that determines when the lid is closed for sleep/wake purposes, the lid angle sensor in the 16-inch MacBook Pro appears to be more sophisticated.

Apple's service document does not provide any clues as to why the sensor was redesigned, but iFixit speculates that it could provide a clever way for Apple to track how often the lid was opened, closed, or adjusted in cases where the display or frayed flex cables need to be repaired — think "Flexgate."

Photo: iFixit

The lid angle sensor could also be for an unannounced macOS feature, although again, this is merely speculation.

Of note, in the event of a display repair, Apple's service document indicates that technicians must calibrate both the display and the lid angle sensor in order for the repair to be considered complete. If we learn any additional information about the sensor, we will be sure to provide an update.

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iFixit Shares Full 16-Inch MacBook Pro Teardown

Following a brief initial teardown of the 16-inch MacBook Pro on Friday, repair site iFixit today shared its full teardown of the new machine, giving us insights into the changes that Apple has made with the keyboard and other components.

The new ‌MacBook Pro‌ features the largest display that Apple has introduced in the MacBook line since the 17-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ was discontinued, and it also features a brand new scissor keyboard called the Magic Keyboard, a new thermal architecture, and some other design tweaks.


When it comes to the keyboard, Apple has reverted to the same scissor switch mechanism used in older ‌MacBook Pro‌ models and the standalone Bluetooth Magic Keyboard for the iMac. It's slightly thinner than the prior scissor key design, but iFixit says the two scissor mechanisms look identical other than the thickness and some keys between the two keyboards are even interchangeable.

Scissor switches are more reliable than butterfly switches and are not prone to breaking from dust or other small particulates. In fact, iFixit says there's no dust-proofing membrane on these keys, suggesting Apple doesn't expect these keyboards to fail.


Aside from the new scissor switch mechanism, the keyboard looks quite similar to the keyboard from the prior ‌MacBook Pro‌, though there is a separate physical Escape key, a separate Touch ID button, and an updated inverted "T" design for the arrow keys. Underneath, there's an Apple-designed rubber dome, a backlight assembly, and a black gasket for blocking out excess light.

The keyboard assembly is riveted down, which means the keyboard itself isn't more repairable than the butterfly keyboards, even though they're less prone to failure.

Apple added a new speaker system to the ‌MacBook Pro‌, and there's a longer speaker enclosure with opposed woofers on the top and bottom, which are meant to cancel out each other's vibration. iFixit isn't sure why there's a longer enclosure, but speculates that it's to redirect sound to improve quality. The new three microphone array is also "beefier," but otherwise the same as what was found in the 15-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌.

Apple is using a 99.8Wh (11.36V, 8790mAh) battery in the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, which is the largest capacity that's still allowed on planes by airlines. That's a 16.2Wh increase over the prior 15-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ and the largest battery that's ever been used in a MacBook. To get the extra capacity into the new machine, Apple made each battery 0.8mm thicker.


Overall, the ‌MacBook Pro‌ earned a repairability score of 1 because the processor, RAM, and storage are soldered to the logic board, while the keyboard, battery, speakers, and Touch Bar are secured with glue and rivets.

iFixit's full teardown of the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, which has some additional information on the internal components of the machine, can be read on the iFixit website.

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iFixit Tearing Down 16-Inch MacBook Pro Live

Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro models are in stores as of today, and iFixit, a site known for its product teardowns, has purchased one and is going to take it apart.

The teardown is happening live on YouTube, which means MacRumors readers interested in getting a peek at what's inside the new machine can follow along as it's deconstructed.


iFixit plans to provide a first look at the inside of the new Magic Keyboard and will also give a brief overview of additional internal components, with more information to come later in a full teardown.

Update: iFixit's brief look at the new ‌MacBook Pro‌ confirms that the internal design of scissor switch is nearly identical to that found in the Magic Keyboard and earlier, pre-butterfly ‌MacBook Pro‌ models. Individual key caps are replaceable, with iFixit even demonstrating that a Magic Keyboard key cap can be snapped on the ‌MacBook Pro‌'s keyboard, although it's a little thicker.

A look inside the new ‌MacBook Pro‌ reveals a similar layout to previous models, with the SSD and RAM soldered onto the logic board, making them nonreplaceable. iFixit's full teardown will be available on Monday, offering a more substantial look at the internals of the new ‌MacBook Pro‌.

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AirPods Pro Teardown: Heavier Than Original AirPods, Different Battery, Same Zero Repairability Score

iFixit today shared a teardown of the new $249 AirPods Pro, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the organization awarded Apple's latest wireless earphones the same zero repairability score as both versions of original AirPods.


Apart from the replaceable $4-a-pair proprietary silicone tips that provide noise isolation and enhanced fit on the ‌AirPods Pro‌, it's the same story as Apple's previous generation ‌AirPods‌ as far as repairs go. But there were a couple of new tidbits of information that the disassembly did reveal.

In terms of weight, each AirPod Pro bud comes in at 0.19 oz (5.4 g), which is fully a third heavier than the prior version AirPod earbuds. The new charging case is also notably chunkier, weighing 1.61 oz (45.6 g), compared to the original case's 1.34 oz (38 g).

ifixit
iFixit also discovered a watch-style button cell battery inside each AirPod, replacing the pin-type battery found in the original ‌AirPods‌. iFixit notes this could be the same battery found in Samsung's Galaxy Buds, and those are replaceable, but Apple has tethered the battery to a soldered cable, so ‌AirPods‌ customers will have no such luck.

As noted by iFixit, Apple apparently confirmed on Wednesday that the new ‌AirPods Pro‌ are no more repairable than previous versions of the wireless earbuds because of their size and build process.



For its part, however, iFixit believes Apple could theoretically replace the in-ear portion of the earbuds and re-use the original stems – which include the System on Package (SiP), antennas, microphones, and Force sensor – but the company has chosen not to do so, for whatever reason. iFixit's teardown concludes:
While theoretically semi-serviceable, the non-modular, glued-together design and lack of replacement parts makes repair both impractical and uneconomical.
From a customer perspective, this means that once the battery dies in the ‌AirPods Pro‌, it will need to be completely replaced. The left and right AirPod cost $89 each to replace in the United States, totaling $178 for a pair.

However, the fees are lower if a customer has purchased AppleCare+ for Headphones. The plan costs $29 upfront, plus charges a $29 fee to replace a pair of damaged ‌AirPods Pro‌ or their case. This coverage applies for up to two years from the date ‌AppleCare‌+ is purchased and is limited to two incidents.

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10.2-Inch iPad Teardown Confirms 3GB of RAM and Same-Size Battery

iFixit has completed its teardown of the new 10.2-inch iPad and uncovered the same 8,227 mAh/32.9 Wh battery as the sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, while RAM has been increased from 2GB to 3GB.




The 10.2-inch iPad is similar to the sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, with the same A10 Fusion chip and Apple Pencil support, but it has a larger display and a Smart Connector that enables support for Apple's full-sized Smart Keyboard. Pricing continues to start at $329 in the United States.

Given the minor refresh, the 10.2-inch iPad has few hardware changes over the 9.7-inch iPad beyond the larger display, addition of a Smart Connector, and an extra GB of RAM. Repairability remains low due to strong adhesives and a soldered Lightning connector, although display repairs remain feasible.

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iFixit’s iPhone 11 Teardown: ‘An iPhone XR With Some iPhone 11 Pro Tech Inside’

Following a teardown of the iPhone 11 Pro Max on Friday, iFixit today posted a separate teardown of the entry-level iPhone 11 model.


The repair site reiterated what has been said previously about the iPhone 11: it's essentially an iPhone XR, but with a few internal upgrades from the new iPhone 11 Pro family. There's a double-decker logic board, upgraded wide and ultrawide camera lenses, and what iFixit believes to be ultra wideband antenna technology embedded into the rear case.

Otherwise, the teardown doesn't reveal much unknown information about the iPhone 11. iFixit delved into the device's rectangular battery, which is only marginally improved upon last year's iPhone XR battery. The iPhone 11 has a 3,110 mAh battery, measuring about 7 percent more compared to the iPhone XR and accounting for the one hour battery increase that Apple claimed in its keynote.


iFixit also briefly discussed the potential for bilateral charging on the iPhone 11, which the site ultimately pointed out was never meant to be on the entry-level 2019 iPhone. The iPhone 11 lacks a second battery connector (unlike the 11 Pro Max), and iFixit explained that a larger battery and additional thermal management "would almost certainly be required" for bilateral charging on the iPhone 11.

The iPhone 11 earned a repairability score of 6 out of 10. iFixit said that the display is easier to replace than in other smartphones, but the site bemoaned Apple's continued use of proprietary screws and an increased chance of breakage due to glass on the front and back of the iPhone 11.

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iFixit Tearing Down New iPhone 11 Pro Live on YouTube

Apple's iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max launched today, and repair site iFixit has picked up one of the new iPhone 11 Pro models to take apart for one of the site's traditional teardowns.

iFixit is doing this year's teardown live on YouTube, which everyone can follow right along to get a peek inside Apple's newest devices as they're pulled apart bit by bit.


iFixit's teardown is kicking off right at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time, and it usually takes at least a few hours for the phones to be disassembled. We'll be following along and sharing highlights from the teardown below.

- There are two battery connectors in the iPhone 11 Pro, which is a first for an iPhone. iFixit says that this might be a sign of bilateral wireless charging, a feature that did not launch.

- The display looks about the same as the display in the iPhone XS Max with a similar Face ID arrangement.

- The Taptic Engine is smaller than the Taptic Engine in the iPhone XS Max. The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro this year no longer feature 3D Touch, which could be a factor.

- - As far as water resistance goes, the adhesive and waterproofing techniques seem to be similar to the water resistance features on the iPhone XS Max, despite the improved rating. Both iPhones are IP68 water resistant, but the iPhone 11 Pro has been rated to 4 meters at 30 minutes, while the XS Max was rated to 2 meters at 30 minutes.


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iFixit: Apple ‘Locking’ iPhone Batteries to Discourage Third-Party Replacements

Apple has activated a "dormant software lock" on its latest iPhones to discourage battery replacements that aren't undertaken by Apple, reports iFixit.


The teardown group has discovered that an iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or iPhone XS Max that has had its battery swapped by anyone other than Apple or an Apple authorized service provider will now display a message saying their battery needs servicing.

The message appears in both iOS 12 and iOS 13 beta, even if the replacement is a genuine Apple battery, and prevents the user from accessing the Battery Health features in Settings. The "Service" message reads as follows:
Important Battery Message

Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery. Health information not available for this battery.
iFixit says the message doesn't appear to affect the functionality of the battery, but makes it harder to know when a replacement battery installed by a third-party needs to be replaced.

YouTube channel The Art of Repair has discovered the source of the message to be a Texas Instruments microcontroller installed on the battery itself, which authenticates the battery as an Apple one and provides the iPhone with information about battery capacity and temperature. Presumably Apple uses special diagnostics software to reset the "Service" status when it undertakes an in-house iPhone battery replacement.

The message appears designed to deter battery replacements using third-party repair kits like the one sold by iFixit, and to discourage customers from getting a third-party repair shop to swap out their iPhone battery.

Apple would probably argue it is doing it out of safety concerns surrounding the replacement of swollen or damaged batteries. Nonetheless, it places further restrictions on the options available to iPhone users looking to get their battery replaced by anyone except Apple.


The practice also harks back to a similar third-party iPhone repair controversy: Error 53, widely publicized in 2016, caused some iPhone 6 users who had the Home buttons on their iPhones fixed by a non-Apple technician using non-original parts to see their iPhones bricked following a software update.

When the error code first surfaced, Apple said that error 53 was a protective security feature meant to prevent "malicious" third-party components from potentially compromising a user's iPhone.

However, after public outcry, Apple released a software update restoring functionality to bricked iPhones. Following the software update to unbrick iPhones, Apple claimed that the error 53 issue was meant to be a factory test and never should have impacted consumer devices.

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Base 2019 13-Inch MacBook Pro Teardown Reveals Larger Battery, Soldered-Down SSD, and Updated Keyboard Material

iFixit has shared a teardown of the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was refreshed this week with Intel's latest 8th-generation processors, a True Tone display, Touch Bar, Touch ID, and the Apple T2 security chip.


The teardown reveals a larger battery with a 58.2 Wh capacity, which slightly exceeds the 54.5 Wh battery found in the previous-generation function key model. iFixit guesses this is how the 2019 model manages to power the Touch Bar, Touch ID, and T2 chip while keeping the same 10-hour battery life.

To make room for the Touch ID sensor alongside the Touch Bar, iFixit notes that Apple appears to be using a slightly smaller heat sink. The speaker opposite the fan also looks to have been shrunk in size.

While the previous-generation entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro had a modular SSD, storage is soldered down in the 2019 model. However, there are some newly modular components, including the Thunderbolt board and the speakers. This configuration is in line with other modern MacBook Pro designs.

As we confirmed earlier this week, the notebook has the same third-generation butterfly keyboard with updated material as the higher-end 2019 MacBook Pro models introduced in May, with Apple promising improved reliability.


Like most other modern MacBooks, this model earned a low repairability score from iFixit due to the usual concerns, such as Apple's use of proprietary pentalobe screws, a glued-in battery, and soldered-down storage and RAM. One positive is that the trackpad can be replaced without touching the battery.

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