iPhone 12 Pro Max teardown shows battery size, curious changes

Apple is not one to divulge too many technical details or engage in tech babble, preferring to paint features and numbers in ways consumers can more easily understand. That also makes it a bit harder to make comparisons between different device models and some rely on teardowns to confirm what Apple has really packed inside. That's what makes this initial and brief iPhone 12 Pro Max inside scoop interesting, revealing the changes Apple has made, most of them in the name of 5G.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest of the four iPhone models that Apple has launched. It does have the largest battery pack among the four but if you presumed it would also have the largest capacity in any iPhone so far, this teardown would prove you wrong.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max has an L-shaped battery rated at 3,687 mAh, confirming earlier rumors. This seems like a downgrade from the iPhone 11 Pro Max's 3,969 mAh, especially considering this year's iPhones are supposed to be more power-hungry because of 5G. Ironically, it might also be because of that 5G that things inside the iPhone 12 Pro Max have changed a bit.

Apple had to reshuffle the iPhone's innards this year to make room for larger cameras and 5G radio. This has resulted in the mainboard relocating to the opposite side of the phone. Curiously, SeekDevice, who got hold of the teardown pictures, notes that the iPhone 12 Pro Max motherboard may be shorter than the iPhone 12 Pro for some reason, perhaps to make room for more battery.

We'll have to wait for a full teardown to see what other secrets the iPhone 12 Pro Max may hold. The smaller battery compared to last year's model may be disappointing, but Apple has always hedged its bets on its processor and software to prolong iPhones' battery lives anyway. It looks like this year won't be different but the 5G support could mean it will have even shorter uptimes than before.