The Repairability of the iPhone 7

Tech Tips
With every new gadget release, our first priority is to discover the similarities, differences and potential complications that we might find when trying to repair the new product. Apple is particularly secretive about their tech, so we often don’t know what we’re working with until we take it apart on the table. We sat down with our Director of Training Josh Galindo to ask him about the repairability of Apple’s newest release.

Before opening up the phone, what were you expecting to see?
Honestly, nothing that we don’t see in all other devices other than maybe more water resistance measures such as additional gaskets, screens and adhesives.
Did any rumors have you concerned?
Only the potential that the home button would be built in to the display, which would make screen repairs more complicated.  That being said the home button is still a removable and separate component from the screen.
What was the biggest difference you saw between the past iPhone models and this one?
From a build standpoint there are two. One is the fact that the display cables are now located on the bottom of the screen, meaning that the screen is no longer able to be completely opened from bottom to top. Because of the cable locations, it now opens like a book, from left to right. Two, the use of more and stronger adhesives. This includes the adhesive used to hold the display in place as well as the adhesives used on the components located near openings, such as speakers and mics. Again this is due to Apple making the iPhone 7 water resistant.
Were you able to make any observations about the glass quality?
It appears to scratch easier than previous generations and will still crack. There were no other perceivable glass quality differences between a 6s and 7 screen.
Is there any aspect of the 7 that will make it more difficult to repair?
I think the only aspect of iPhone 7 repairs that will increase the repair difficulty level is the use of the stronger display adhesive Apple now uses. This is almost definitely due to their water resistance efforts. That being said it’s nothing that a little know how and proper tool usage won’t be able to easily overcome.
What do you expect the most common repair will be?
Glass is still the component with the highest probability of sustaining damage during a drop so it will likely continue to be the most popular repair we see.
Does the dual camera or headphone jack complicate anything?
From a repair standpoint, no. For end users, though, the removal of the headphone jack will potentially be a sore point. For anyone that uses Apple’s included EarPods they can just use the lightning based version that ships with the iPhone 7. For anyone who doesn’t generally use the included EarPods they will have to either use the lightning/stereo adapter included with every iPhone 7, which means they have to keep track of that extra adapter or they will have to purchase new lightning based headphones which are now starting to hit the market.
iPhone 7 Plus Teardown
One of the responsibilities of the UBIF training team is to do device teardowns. Basically device dissections, teardowns allow us to learn everything we can about how a device works and how to repair it. Here’s our teardown of the much-anticipated iPhone 7 Plus.



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