Will the iPhone 6 be easy to repair? iPhone 5C may know

Nate Swanner - Jun 27, 2014

A recent teardown for the “new” iPod Touch shows that not much has changed with the complex manufacturing process. It’s still glued, still screwed, and still tough to open up. We took a second and compared some other Apple products, and referenced that against those iPhone 6 leaks we see popping up. Will the iPhone 6 be as tough to repair as other Apple devices like it?

The iPod Touch is a tough nut to crack. The them at iFixIt had to use some interesting tools to split it open, and when they did — things we still complex and stuck together. A lot of glue and clips go into the new iPod Touch, and much of the components are soldered together. The touch gets an overall repairability score of 3 out of 10.

The iPad mini Retina and Air are two other similarly designed Apple devices, with the curved aluminum back that looks to be the new standard. Both devices proved laborious, with each getting a score of 2 out of 10. The main issue with both of these devices (and the iPod Touch) is the amount of adhesive used to hold things in place, as well as components being soldered together. The rumored iPhone 6 case looks a lot like the iPad, so will it be as tough to crack open?

The iPhone 5S, on the other hand, scored pretty evenly on the test. The same can be said for the iPhone 5C, which gets a 6 out of 10 as well. With both of those devices, Pentalobe screws on the outer casing aid with opening it up. As it looks right now, the iPhone 6 will be more iPhone than iPad.

In looking at various leaks — especially the video we shared a few days ago showing what is said to be a final build of the case — the Pentalobe screws are in place. This would — in theory, of course — make the iPhone 6 much more like an iPhone 5S or 5C when it came time to repair it.

Was the iPhone 5C a toe-dip in the pool for a new iPhone manufacturing process that will carry on with the 6? Maybe. We’ll note we’re being speculative, here, and have no idea if the manufacturing process is the same for an iPhone 6 as it has been on previous models. We’ll also remind ourselves that as many leaks as we’ve seen, there is nothing officially known about the new iPhone yet.

The iPhone 6 case leak and iFixit teardown of the 5C do have quite a bit of similarity, though. Solder spots are in similar locations, and even some cutouts for components in the case look similarly placed. If the iPhone 6 is more like an iPhone 5C than an iPod or iPad, at least we know it will be easy to repair — and we’ll have lost the plastic.

Source: iFixIt iPad Air, iPad mini Retina, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C

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