Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t particularly known for making its iPhones easily fixable, but with the iPhone 6 this time around, it seems the company did a little better, according to the folks at IFixit. They did their usual teardown on the phone and its big brother, the iPhone 6 Plus. Overall, they say the two are comparable in terms of being fixable.
iPhone 6 seems less prone to breakage
One difference they do see between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 is the likelihood that the display on the iPhone 6 Plus will be easier to break. They made this judgment because of how many broken screens they have seen on the phablet-sized Galaxy Note through the years.
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The smaller iPhone 6 has an 1810 mAh battery, compared to the iPhone 6 Plus’ 2915 mAh battery. Other than the battery , the 4.7-inch display (5.5-inch on the iPhone 6 Plus), and the camera, the two phones are nearly identical. The iPhone 6 Plus has a higher-end camera with optical image stabilization. Both have 8 megapixels, an f.2.2 aperture an True Tone flash.
iPhone 6 is easier to crack open
The IFixit folks were able to use their 54-bit Driver Kit to crack open the iPhone 6 by removing the Pentalobe screws. They were happy that they didn’t need to heat it up to open it. They used the iSclack to open it up.
On the inside, they found some tiny Phillips screws, which were easily removable. Next were the metal bracket screws that hold the front panel on. The home button was easily peeled off, although they noted that again it’s easy to tear the rubber gasket if you aren’t careful.
Taking apart the iPhone 6
The front-facing camera and ear speaker are on the front panel assembly, which is exactly the same as that of the iPhone 6 Plus. They found that the battery easily pops out with the pull tabs and that the adhesive Apple used is somewhat like a 3M Command adhesive, and the whole strip comes off when the tabs are pulled.
They were able to easily remove the rear-facing camera and the antennas using a pair of tweezers. They found a newly redesigned vibrator assembly and a new design for the speaker assembly. The headphone jack and Lightning connector are now in one piece, which means replacing the one automatically means that you’ll have to place the other.
They also used tweezers to peel up the cable assemblies.
The iPhone 6 gets a 7 rating
The folks at IFixit gave the iPhone 6 a fixability rating of seven out of ten. They cited a number of reasons for this. On the plus side, the display assembly comes out first, which makes fixing the screen easier. It’s also easy to access the battery, although it does take a proprietary Pentalobe screwdriver.
Apple has also re-routed the cable for the fingerprint sensor. The company fixed a big issue they had with it last year with the iPhone 5S and making it safer to open the phone.
On the not-so-good side, they mention again the use of the proprietary Pentalobe screws on the outside of the iPhone 6 because they require a specialty screwdriver to remove. Also Apple doesn’t share any repair information for the iPhone 6 with consumers or independent repair shops.
On their overall list for smartphone repairability, the iPhone 6’s 7 rating compares to last year’s 6 rating on the iPhone 5S.