iPhone 6s Display Teardown

Gosh iFixit, are you still on iPhones? Didn’t you finish that teardown? Well, yes. But the truth is, we still had two questions left unanswered:

  1. How exactly did Apple implement the highly touted 3D Touch feature?
  2. What will that do to the screen repair procedure?

To satisfy our curiosity, we cut, pried, hot-wired, and scraped at the display assembly of our brand-new iPhone 6s, and examined the entrails for signs and portents.

Here’s what we found:

• The 3D Touch sensor assembly lives on the very back of the display panel, and is fairly easily separated from the backlight, display, and digitizer glass.

• The home button cable has been replaced by traces along the side of the 3D Touch sensor panel, eliminating the need to transfer the cable for certain display repairs.

iPhone 6s display teardown showing the sensor panel

• The sensor panel is a grid of rectangular capacitor plates, connected to the controller IC by very tiny traces. These plates would be huge for a touch sensor—luckily their job isn’t to pinpoint your fingertip on the screen, as the in-screen digitizer will still handle that. These sensors measure the distance to your finger, equating to the force of a press through pliable glass.

Not satisfied with the highlights? Wander on over to the full teardown for all the details.