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Introduction

Thanks for joining us for a live teardown of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro! If you missed the livestream, no worries—you can still catch the recording above. Or scroll down for the written analysis, including some bonus disassembly of the new MagSafe power puck. And if that doesn’t quite quench your iPhone 12 teardown thirst, check out our teardowns of the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max!

Be sure to follow iFixit’s YouTube channel, our Instagram, and our Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter so you’ll be the first to know when the newest consumer tech hits the teardown table.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iPhone 12 Pro, use our service manual.

  1. While we wait with bated breath for the Mini and Max to show up, we can at least get started on the inbetweeners. Let's see what they're packin': A14 Bionic with fourth-generation Neural Engine 6.1 inch (2532 × 1170 pixels) Super Retina XDR OLED display with True Tone and HDR
    • While we wait with bated breath for the Mini and Max to show up, we can at least get started on the inbetweeners. Let's see what they're packin':

    • A14 Bionic with fourth-generation Neural Engine

    • 6.1 inch (2532 × 1170 pixels) Super Retina XDR OLED display with True Tone and HDR

    • 12 MP camera system with ultra-wide angle (ƒ/2.4) and wide angle (ƒ/1.6) cameras—plus the Pro includes a telephoto (ƒ/2.0) camera and a LiDAR scanner

    • Onboard storage of 64 GB (iPhone 12) and 128 GB (12 Pro)

    • 5G (sub-6 GHz and mmWave) connectivity, plus 4x4 MIMO LTE, 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, and BT 5.0

    • MagSafe 15 Watt wireless charging

    • Improved IP68 rating, now good for maximum depth of 6 meters up to 30 minutes under IEC standard 60529

  2. Remember when the iPhone 4 introduced Braun-like squared edges—scandalously leaked by a developer unit left at a bar? Square is back, baby! With less scandal this time. These flat edges shake up a familiar design, but might also allow for more screen real estate without making the phone any bigger. For a walk down design memory lane, we've stacked up the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and an iPhone 4 to cap it off!
    • Remember when the iPhone 4 introduced Braun-like squared edges—scandalously leaked by a developer unit left at a bar?

    • Square is back, baby! With less scandal this time. These flat edges shake up a familiar design, but might also allow for more screen real estate without making the phone any bigger.

    • For a walk down design memory lane, we've stacked up the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and an iPhone 4 to cap it off!

    • Can you spot the differences? The US models have a wee millimeter wave window. The designers likely hate that, but probably not as much as those EU regulatory markings...

    • That's right! These chrono-shifted phones come courtesy of our EU team, who did quick work while the U.S. was sleeping (or doom-scrolling).

  3. Enough about the past—let's get these things open! Per usual, a couple of pesky Pentalobe screws form the first obstacle—but we're armed and ready. A couple of suction handles and opening picks should get us in with relative ease—we've played this game before.
    • Enough about the past—let's get these things open!

    • Per usual, a couple of pesky Pentalobe screws form the first obstacle—but we're armed and ready.

    • A couple of suction handles and opening picks should get us in with relative ease—we've played this game before.

    • Heat and patience are on our side—it's not a totally new opening experience, but different teardown engineers here faced varying difficulties in opening. Maybe the adhesive was reformulated for that extra two meters of immersion protection?

    • Meanwhile, Apple is making authorized repair centers use heat for the first time in their opening procedure. So Apple's own approach to opening iPhones has evolved, that much is certain.

    Who fox's android samsungA01 call creaked and spreading wider and completely covering hafe my screen .with it just getting used

    pickerillcumbee - Reply

  4. The display now opens from the right edge, perhaps making repairs easier for the lefties in the crowd. High five! iPhones have opened from the opposite side ever since the 7. Before that, the 5 and 6-series models opened bottom-to-top. Before that, iPhones opened after a near-total disassembly. It's a bit wonky trying to remove the connector shield with the screen still attached, but you can maneuver the screen to make more room for the screwdriver.
    • The display now opens from the right edge, perhaps making repairs easier for the lefties in the crowd. High five!

    • iPhones have opened from the opposite side ever since the 7. Before that, the 5 and 6-series models opened bottom-to-top. Before that, iPhones opened after a near-total disassembly.

    • It's a bit wonky trying to remove the connector shield with the screen still attached, but you can maneuver the screen to make more room for the screwdriver.

    • On the plus side, we get this super cool mirrored photo.

  5. With both screens off, we play a game of "Spot the Differences." The 12 is on the left, with the 12 Pro on the right. Aside from the camera shields, there actually aren't any major differences from a bird's eye view. Surprising! We gotta say, the 12 Pro isn't looking so Pro yet. But let's dig a little deeper.
    • With both screens off, we play a game of "Spot the Differences." The 12 is on the left, with the 12 Pro on the right.

    • Aside from the camera shields, there actually aren't any major differences from a bird's eye view. Surprising!

    • We gotta say, the 12 Pro isn't looking so Pro yet. But let's dig a little deeper.

    • On the bright side, we now have some great wallpaper fodder. Keep your eyes peeled to the iFixit homepage where we'll slap up some primo wallpapers for both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro.

    • Our early tests indicate both displays work interchangeably when swapped between the standard 12 and 12 Pro—even though the max brightness specs are ever-so-slightly different, as careful observers have pointed out. There's a little more to the story here; we'll see if we're able to unearth more details later.

    So, when the displays get cheaper in the future, you can possibly upgrade your display brightness. Cool!

    Dylan - Reply

    The brightness difference is likely that Apple is multi-sourcing the display between Samsung and BOE on the iPhone 12. The BOE panel probably can’t meet the same lifetime spec as the Samsung panel, so Apple is limiting the brightness on both of them to avoid a scenario where some iPhone 12s can get brighter than others. For the 12 Pro they presumably went with 100% Samsung panels and took advantage of the better specs to unlock higher brightness.

    Nirav Patel - Reply

    So what about True Tone? Gone when swapped?

    Bart - Reply

    Oui bien entendu ! Mais c’est pas le plus grave

    Yes ….. But

    yvaneck -

  6. Ah, here we go! Removing the camera shields reveals the biggest difference between these two phones: an extra snapper on the Pro. But we turn our attention to the 12 and ... what's this? A high-tech piece of plastic? Turns out these phones are so similar, that where the Pro keeps its extra camera module + LiDAR sensor, the standard 12 has... a plastic spacer.
    • Ah, here we go! Removing the camera shields reveals the biggest difference between these two phones: an extra snapper on the Pro.

    • But we turn our attention to the 12 and ... what's this? A high-tech piece of plastic?

    • Turns out these phones are so similar, that where the Pro keeps its extra camera module + LiDAR sensor, the standard 12 has... a plastic spacer.

    • Both phones sport 12 MP wide and ultra-wide cameras with f/1.6 and f/2.4 apertures, respectively, while the Pro tacks on the f/2.0 telephoto lens.

    • The Pro cameras also have a few other bells and whistles, like ProRAW, dual OIS, and the low-light photography benefits that LiDAR brings.

    Co ameras are interchangeable?

    Bart - Reply

    Can you guys do an x-ray of the camera module like what you did with the iPhone X tear-down? Thanks!

    bwei91 - Reply

    Any information found about the LiDAR sensor? such as manufacturer, model, etc.

    Chun Wai Hui - Reply

  7. These modular SIM card readers are excellent for repair, if a little oddly placed—the SIM tray, logic board, and battery have all flipped sides from previous models. Why the switcheroo? The smoking gun is the logic board. It has grown enormously in size since the 11—probably to accommodate Qualcomm's 5G chips—and no longer fits in its old home beneath the cameras. The speakers in both models are held in place with Phillips screws for a change, and they're a walk in the park to remove.
    • These modular SIM card readers are excellent for repair, if a little oddly placed—the SIM tray, logic board, and battery have all flipped sides from previous models.

    • Why the switcheroo? The smoking gun is the logic board. It has grown enormously in size since the 11—probably to accommodate Qualcomm's 5G chips—and no longer fits in its old home beneath the cameras.

    • The speakers in both models are held in place with Phillips screws for a change, and they're a walk in the park to remove.

    • As we remove the speakers, we notice something different: instead of sticky adhesive, we find bright orange rubber gaskets sitting behind the speaker grilles—somewhat like we're used to seeing in Samsung phones.

    • This makes for a much easier speaker removal and replacement procedure than in years past, which required reworking messy adhesive. Since the speaker has to be removed for battery replacement, this is a thoughtful design and a win, repair-wise.

    Are the sim readers interchangeable between 12 and 12 pro??

    Reynaldy Putra - Reply

    Hi Reynaldy,

    They have different markings, but they are interchangeable!

    Arthur Shi -

    Is using a rubber gasket for speaker better for water resistance?

    Lindy Xi - Reply

    I’m wondering if the QualComm Chips perform better than the Intel modem in my 8Plus? That’s the only reason to upgrade.

    emilywebersa - Reply

    • We see a lot of standoff screws near the bottom of the case. Luckily, our Marlin Precision Screwdriver Set for iPhones has a standoff driver for just such occasions.

    • Dare we say, there's just a bit of unused space in here. Maybe just enough to fit, say, a plug of the 3.5 mm variety? (Probably not quite that much, but one can dream.)

    • It's the exact same Taptic Engine in both the 12 and 12 Pro—functionally interchangeable in our tests—and it's just a smidge smaller than what we saw in the vanilla iPhone 11, but also a smidgen thicker.

    • If it's specifics you want, specifics we got: the 12-series Taptic Engine measures 22.25 mm x 9.48 mm x 3.56 mm, while last year's variant (from the minty green iPhone 11, at left) comes in at 26.9 mm x 11.18 mm x 3.44 mm.

    It appears the iphone 12 pro's taptic engine is actually bigger than the unit on the 11 pro, but smaller than the unit on the standard 11? (According to this: https://youtu.be/ZYyW6X3u6DI at 5:08?)

    Salam Zebian - Reply

    And did they serialize it like they have been on the previous models?

    Rob Wohlstetter - Reply

  8. Beneath the battery, stretch release adhesive just where we expect it, like a familiar tune on your drive to work. The 12 and 12 Pro have four tabs each, and they perform as expected. One thing that could stand to change, though: the tiny, flimsy pull-tab "starter" section Apple provides. What are these, pull tabs for ants? We've heard through the applevine that the 12 and 12 Pro are using the exact same battery. With that said (puts on examination glasses) yup! We see 10.78 Wh for both batteries.
    • Beneath the battery, stretch release adhesive just where we expect it, like a familiar tune on your drive to work. The 12 and 12 Pro have four tabs each, and they perform as expected.

    • One thing that could stand to change, though: the tiny, flimsy pull-tab "starter" section Apple provides. What are these, pull tabs for ants?

    • We've heard through the applevine that the 12 and 12 Pro are using the exact same battery. With that said (puts on examination glasses) yup! We see 10.78 Wh for both batteries.

    • They are also interchangeable in our parts swap tests.

    • This is a marked decrease from the 11 and 11 Pro, which ring in at 11.91 Wh and 11.67 Wh, respectively. But the highly efficient new 5nm-process A14 chip might be making up for that difference: as per Apple's official specs, battery life doesn't suffer at all.

    • It's a bit disappointing to see Apple back away from the unique L-shaped battery designs it developed for recent iPhones. Rumors pointed to Apple using cheaper parts to offset the cost of 5G, and this seemingly bears that out.

    Same question that i posted about the taptic engine. Are these serialized as well? When you swap them did you get an immediate message about the phone unable to verify its a genuine battery?

    Rob Wohlstetter - Reply

    Hi Rob,

    Yes, the batteries are serialized! We swapped the official batteries between the two iPhones and got a “Not a genuine Apple battery” warning in the menu.

    Arthur Shi -

    I posted this in the general comments before seeing the comments section for each step so am re-posting the same comment here…

    On your 11 Pro Max teardown (and maybe on the smaller Pro teardown as well) you gave us thickness (4.6mm), volume (23.8 cubic centimetres) and weight (59.6g) numbers for the internal battery. I’d be really interested in seeing those three numbers for the 12 Pro battery and, when you do the teardown for the 12 Pro Max, for that battery as well. Thanks.

    Julian Anon - Reply

    “…iPhones. Rumors pointed to Apple using cheaper parts to offset the cost of 5G, and this seemingly bears that out.”

    Or you could argue that Apple used a more expensive but more power efficient 5nm processor to remove the need for a larger battery and thereby lose the unpleasant stress point in the larger L shape battery. It just depends on what you want to see.

    And while we are on the subject, why do iFixit still not sell spare parts for your own products. You’re so keen that everyone else should for theirs, but you don’t.

    Alex Bowden - Reply

  9. We interrupt this teardown to bring you this excellent X-ray intermission from our pals at Creative Electron. It's a glance at the guts before we go! The obvious standout here is the MagSafe wireless charging array, and it's cool to finally see it with our eyes. Magnet paper works too, but X-rays are so much better.
    • We interrupt this teardown to bring you this excellent X-ray intermission from our pals at Creative Electron. It's a glance at the guts before we go!

    • The obvious standout here is the MagSafe wireless charging array, and it's cool to finally see it with our eyes. Magnet paper works too, but X-rays are so much better.

    • And nope, we didn't add a black border to the iPhone 12 Pro X-ray on the right. That's the result of the stainless steel frame compared to the aluminum frame on the iPhone 12—steel is denser, thus more opaque in X-ray shots.

    • Not pictured in the X-rays: all the fingerprints we inevitably put on these things...

    This seams to indicate the camera modules are in fact completely different, and it even looks like the regular 12 doesn’t have stabilization on the top module.

    Luis E. Ardila - Reply

  10. With the battery jettisoned, we turn our attention to the brains of the operation. We disconnect many many cables from the logic board, and fortunately it's only pinned down by three screws on both units. Our Marlin driver moves in for the final stroke.
    • With the battery jettisoned, we turn our attention to the brains of the operation.

    • We disconnect many many cables from the logic board, and fortunately it's only pinned down by three screws on both units. Our Marlin driver moves in for the final stroke.

  11. A little heat (a lot of heat) and a little prying yields two boards for the price of one! We split one of the iPhone 12 boards open to get a look at all that sweet silicon, and if it seems hard to guess which one, you're not alone—the logic boards of the 12 and 12 Pro are nearly identical, apart from a few serial numbers. Apple APL1W01 A14 Bionic SoC, layered over Micron D9XMR MT53D512M64D4UA-046 XT:F 4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM (6 GB RAM on the 12 Pro)
    • A little heat (a lot of heat) and a little prying yields two boards for the price of one! We split one of the iPhone 12 boards open to get a look at all that sweet silicon, and if it seems hard to guess which one, you're not alone—the logic boards of the 12 and 12 Pro are nearly identical, apart from a few serial numbers.

    • Apple APL1W01 A14 Bionic SoC, layered over Micron D9XMR MT53D512M64D4UA-046 XT:F 4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM (6 GB RAM on the 12 Pro)

    • KICM224AY4402TWNA12029, 64 GB of Kioxia NAND flash memory.

    • Qualcomm SDR865 5G and LTE transceiver

    • Qualcomm SDX55M 5G modem-RF system and SMR526 intermediate frequency IC

    • USI/Apple U1 ultra-wideband chip

    • Avago 8200 high/mid power amplifier with integrated duplexer

    • Apple APL109 4343S00437 PMIC

    4GB RAM on both? Wasn't the Pro supposed to have 6GB?

    Marvin - Reply

    What about Pro RAM?

    James - Reply

    No 6GB RAM then, huh?

    kalenskio - Reply

    i check RAM capacity of my pro with antutu. it shows 6G.

    Aries - Reply

    It seems Apple did not get their 5G modem ready in time and had to default back to Qualcomm. I bet this will change next year.

    Todd - Reply

    до сих пор lpddr4??!

    Dimitrrii - Reply

    I think the A14 is layered over LPDDR4X, not LPDDR4 as this article currently indicates. Your previous teardown of the iPhone 11 Pro shows the A13 over LPDDR4X and the teardown of the iPhone XS shows the A12 over LPDDR4X. It is unlikely that Apple has reverted to LPDDR4 for the iPhone 12 Pro.

    The Micron MT53D512M64D4UA chip is better described as an LPDDR4X SDRAM.  According to the Micron DRAM Component Part Numbering System the MT53D prefix decodes to (MT = Micron Technology, 53 = LPDDR4, D = 1.1V Vdd / 0.6V Vddq),  LPDDR4X is identical to LPDDR4, except that the I/O voltage (Vddq) is reduced to 0.6 V from 1.1 V, which appears to be the case for this chip.

    RichardP - Reply

    There are a lot of Skyworks Sky5 RF chips that you didn’t mention (at least 5 chips!). There are two chips next to Avago chip. Another two chips are close to Qualcomm modem. There is one more on A14 motherboard. Because the picture’s resolution is not high enough, I can’t tell other RF chips on A14 motherboard. I think you guys have better chance to see more detail.

    Ken - Reply

    Trying to figure them out still. I labeled everything I can and is waiting for iFixit approval.

    Chunglin Chin -

    I found 8 Skyworks Sky5 RF chips. I labeled all of them and submit to iFixit.

    Ken - Reply

    awesome 6gb ram

    luqiyu - Reply

    No “sandwich” motherboard!?

    More savings!

    Bart - Reply

    There is a connector at the corner on the bottom half of that board that isn’t included in the UK 5G version of the phone, is this related to the US version only for 5G connectivity? There is still an unpopulated ribbon connector solder area still too.

    mtiphotographyllc - Reply

    is there are USB 3 host controller for USB 3 speeds over lightning like the iPad? https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/ipad-...

    Malcolm Hall - Reply

    Does the iPhone 12 logic board still have the graphite cooling pad introduced in the 11 Pro?

    Noah Lach - Reply

  12. Thanks to our awesome community, here is IC Identification, Pt. 2:
    • Thanks to our awesome community, here is IC Identification, Pt. 2:

    • NXP Semiconductor CBTL1614A1 display port multiplexer

    • Texas Instruments SN61280 camera power management

    • STMicroelectronics STB601A04 power management

    • STMicroelectronics STWPA1-3033ABM wireless charging IC

    • Texas Instruments SN2611A0 battery charging IC

    • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00537 mono audio amplifier

    • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00565 ? audio codec

  13. Also thanks to the community for this IC Identification, Pt. 3:
    • Also thanks to the community for this IC Identification, Pt. 3:

    • Bosch Sensortec unknown accelerometer

    • Qualcomm SMR526 RF transceiver

    • Apple 338S00564 power management

    • Qualcomm PMX55 power management

    • Skyworks Sky5 RF module

    Thanks for sharing the internal component level details. I was wondering is there any RF component difference related to FEMs, PAs and transceiver between the US iPhone 12 pro version vs rest of the world version?

    Hrishikesh bartake - Reply

    There should be at least one NFC controller. Why it is not identified?

    YikaTong - Reply

  14. Our US models come with some of these nifty 5G mmWave antenna modules—one embedded in the side of the frame, and another on the back of the logic board. We think these have something to do with what Apple spent so much time talking about during their keynote? The antenna embedded in the frame is a  USI product, labeled 339M00104 S30U7FH.
    • Our US models come with some of these nifty 5G mmWave antenna modules—one embedded in the side of the frame, and another on the back of the logic board.

    • We think these have something to do with what Apple spent so much time talking about during their keynote?

    • The antenna embedded in the frame is a USI product, labeled 339M00104 S30U7FH.

    My guess for having 2 mmWave antennas in the specified locations is 2 possible use cases, because of the nature of mmWave signals being easily blocked. Either it's in your hand and the side antenna is blocked but the rear one is open, or its sitting on a table or something and the rear antenna is blocked but the side one is open. Maybe?

    Julian Ang - Reply

    I’m planning on buying a US version to use in the EU (Ireland in particular). Would there be any disadvantages to doing this? Thanks.

    Alan Murphy - Reply

    I would double check that the US iPhone supports the bands (particularly mmWave) that the EU uses. I seem to recall something about mmWave bands being incompatible, and honestly other than that there isn't really any point to getting the US version instead.

    Julian Ang -

    Sharing some information to you guys about mmWave antenna. There are three mmWave antenna in iPhone 12 series. One is on right hand side under the power key with antenna open window, the second is on the back side which mount on mother board, the last one is on front side which is above receiver. As you can see one unknown part above receiver with four small squares pattern and connect to mother board. That is the third mmWave antenna module.

    nagaya1119 - Reply

    Thanks for sharing the internal component level details. I was wondering is there any RF component difference related to FEMs, PAs and transceiver between the US iPhone 12 pro version vs rest of the world version? Any component other than the mmWave antenna which is missing in the non mmWave 5g model that is available in the rest of the world?

    Hrishikesh bartake - Reply

  15. We're getting down to the bare necessities with the Lightning connector assemblies, Face ID, flash modules, and more—most of which look to be identical across models, save for some slight ribbon cable detours. You didn't think we forgot about the miraculous MagSafe charging arrays, did you? The coils are nothing new, but those 18 magnets sure are. The polarity of the magnets seems to expand the effective placement of the phone while still enforcing proper alignment for charging efficiency.
    • We're getting down to the bare necessities with the Lightning connector assemblies, Face ID, flash modules, and more—most of which look to be identical across models, save for some slight ribbon cable detours.

    • You didn't think we forgot about the miraculous MagSafe charging arrays, did you? The coils are nothing new, but those 18 magnets sure are.

    • The polarity of the magnets seems to expand the effective placement of the phone while still enforcing proper alignment for charging efficiency.

    I think the magnet polarity you linked can’t be correct or else a case had to be the opposite polarity but then the MagSafe wont work on it or the iPhone.. if i look in the video i think polarity is radial +-+ or inverted..

    3gfisch - Reply

    So what i meant, if look at the side view of one ring segment, i think it are basically 3 magnets next to each other, this would be stack able to connect the same structures above:

    + - +

    - + -

    maybe also only the first 2 „virtual“ magnets are used wich get more like your picture but i think you have at least to put in polarity on the side view, and if they have it also on top view you have to draw it in 2D..

    3gfisch - Reply

    The linked polarity diagram is definitely incorrect. These magnets are non-standard and have a dual set of poles for EACH magnet (The outer ring is North up, and South down, and the inner ring of the magnet is South up and North down).

    Check out page 86 of the Accessory style guide. https://developer.apple.com/accessories/...

    David Taylor - Reply

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the awesome resource! You’re right—our polarities are reversed when it comes to the standard magnet colors, and it is missing the non-magnetized zone. We will fix that asap.

    Arthur Shi -

    It is missing the 2 dimensionallity of the magnets..

    3gfisch -

    *LightNing- not lighting connector :)

    decker5 - Reply

    Great catch, thank you :)

    Taylor Dixon -

  16. mmWave goodbye, high 5Gs all around! This teardown is a wrap.
    • mmWave goodbye, high 5Gs all around! This teardown is a wrap.

    • It’s shaping up to be a 5G world, and Apple’s living in it. It seems like they made some serious compromises to make way for shiny new 5G components.

    • The new battery is gaunt and relatively low-tech, no longer an elegant L. The logic board has ballooned in size, giving up the gains in miniaturization from recent years. The Taptic Engine seems smaller, and the speakers are a new shape—maybe not diminished, but different.

    • It's odd to see such concessions to this nascent technology. Of all the possible Apple innovations, this feels the least inventive. But! At least Apple didn't give up their tried-and-true screen and battery repair procedures.

    • That said, the iPhone 12's repairability score comes with a huge, ugly asterisk. We've laid out some troubling findings in a followup article: Is This the End of the Repairable iPhone?

    • Before we score it though, there's one more thing.

    As stated above, for the 12 pro it appears the taptic engine is bigger than the unit in the 11 pro.

    Also one of the first things I noticeded on my 12 pro was the speakers, they seem tinnier and not as loud. I have to test them next to my 11 pro before I sell the 11.

    Salam Zebian - Reply

  17. Hey look! We found something else to take apart. Apple's new MagSafe charger doesn't come in the teeny tiny iPhone box (you have to give them more money for it), but we did make sure to order one for some... testing. It's compatible with all iPhone models (and other devices) capable of Qi-flavored wireless charging. We have a different destiny in mind for ours, though.
    • Hey look! We found something else to take apart.

    • Apple's new MagSafe charger doesn't come in the teeny tiny iPhone box (you have to give them more money for it), but we did make sure to order one for some... testing.

    • It's compatible with all iPhone models (and other devices) capable of Qi-flavored wireless charging. We have a different destiny in mind for ours, though.

    • Here's our first peek inside—an X-ray view courtesy of Creative Electron.

    • This makes for a fun comparison with the other inductive charging puck Apple makes, for its Apple Watch. You can see a detailed breakdown of those internals here.

    • One obvious difference is the dark ring of magnets around the exterior—that's right, there are corresponding magnets in both the charging puck and the new iPhones. The Apple Watch charger uses but a single magnet in the center.

  18. The only seam to be found is where the rubber meets the metal, making that the obvious entry point. Optimistically, we blast it with some heat in order to soften the adhesive which, presumably, holds this thing together. Then we attach two perfectly-fitting suction cups, one to either side, and start tug-of-warring. The white cover material on the charging surface starts to stretch slightly, but the actual gap doesn’t budge. (Sometimes we're too optimistic.)
    • The only seam to be found is where the rubber meets the metal, making that the obvious entry point.

    • Optimistically, we blast it with some heat in order to soften the adhesive which, presumably, holds this thing together. Then we attach two perfectly-fitting suction cups, one to either side, and start tug-of-warring.

    • The white cover material on the charging surface starts to stretch slightly, but the actual gap doesn’t budge. (Sometimes we're too optimistic.)

    • So, under the knife it goes! Some persuasion from our razor knife gets us past the white cover, between the plastic and metal underneath, where we can start prying.

  19. Inside… charging coils!?!?! Who would have guessed. On the underside of the white cover is an etched copper sticker, with traces corresponding to four leads spaced around the outside of the charging coil.
    • Inside… charging coils!?!?! Who would have guessed.

    • On the underside of the white cover is an etched copper sticker, with traces corresponding to four leads spaced around the outside of the charging coil.

    What does this copper sticker do?

    3gfisch - Reply

  20. Prying up the coils reveals the circuit board—alas, It's covered by a metal shield. With new iPhones on the horizon, there's no time for microsoldering today. We skip straight to the flush cutters to get through. The result isn't beautiful, but it's what we came for. The little circuit board houses a chip labeled STWPSPA1. This is likely a close cousin to STMicroelectronics' STWBC-EP, their 15 W wireless charger IC.
    • Prying up the coils reveals the circuit board—alas, It's covered by a metal shield.

    • With new iPhones on the horizon, there's no time for microsoldering today. We skip straight to the flush cutters to get through. The result isn't beautiful, but it's what we came for.

    • The little circuit board houses a chip labeled STWPSPA1. This is likely a close cousin to STMicroelectronics' STWBC-EP, their 15 W wireless charger IC.

    I saw this on the STWBC-EP and thought it was interesting: https://blog.st.com/stwbc-ep-stwlc33-15-...

    Xehelios - Reply

  21. Further disassembly might not yield much, but that's what X-rays are for. Here's a closeup of the strain relief at the cable attachment point, and a nice closeup of that USB-C connector. If you're hungry for even more iPhone 12 content, check out our latest story: How LiDAR Works, and Why It’s in the iPhone 12 Pro And when you're done with that, check out our teardown of the iPhone 12 mini!
  22. Final Thoughts
    • Display and battery replacements remain a priority in the new iPhones' design.
    • Most other important components are modular and easy to access or replace.
    • Liberal use of screws is preferable to glue—but you'll have to keep them all organized, and bring out your special drivers (pentalobe, tri-point, and standoff) in addition to the standard Phillips.
    • Increased waterproofing measures complicate some repairs, but make difficult water damage repairs less likely.
    • Glass on front and back doubles the likelihood of drop damage—and if the back glass breaks, you'll be removing every component and replacing the entire chassis.
    Repairability Score
    6
    Repairability 6 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)

47 Comments

Really happy to see that Apple is bringing back Magsafe to at least some of its products. I wonder if it’ll eventually lead to completely sealed phones with no physical connector (and therefore no connector wear), but I think that would make data recovery harder.

Magsafe (or any other magnetic connector) is really convenient and pretty durable. I wonder why Apple abandoned the standard for a while.

Ethan Zuo - Reply

Magsafe for macbooks is the most intelligent charger connector ever made, illogically they stop using it, I agree with you, is good to see they're bringing back the idea. Regards the fully close devices, can be done and use external pogo connectors (or whatever are they called, the copper dots on some devices/tables to attach keyboards)

juanmanuel1236 -

These people do care about especially the baseband chipset inside,Please focus on it/qtrun.com

Jeffery.Y - Reply

We’d love to know the dimensions of the magnet array on the phone. What is the inside diameter? What is the outside diameter? What is the length of the line of magnets? What distance from the center of the magnet ring does the line of magnets start and stop?

Concerning the charger itself…. What is the inside diameter of the ring? What is the outside diameter of the ring?

It would be great if you had a precise scale reference in a straight-on photo of the magnet array in the phone.

Thanks for your work!

smurpster - Reply

Page 91, this info is not difficult to find.

https://developer.apple.com/accessories/...

Nick -

Could you probe the magnet ring with a small magnet to see if the polarity alternates?

smurpster - Reply

Agreed! Also can we get a teardown on the magsafe charger? Just probing my charger with a small magnet it looks like it has one outer ring that is one polarity and an inner ring that is the other polarity.

jazz weisman -

Can you please confirm if apple switched to qualcomm modem chips and dropped intel in the iphone 12 series?

and also which qualcomm chip x55 or x60 maybe

Tony Fresquez - Reply

That magsafe charger just peaking open is killing me! Don’t leave us hanging on it! Also, please don’t forget to teardown the usb-c connector. It’s quite large and maybe has the USB PD chip in it or something…

jazz weisman - Reply

I want to see if the display chip on the pro model is actually 120hz capable and if the one on the non pro is different. It would be neat to see if Apple actually put in everything necessary to activate 120hz later since the pro panels I believe are capable. Also it would be cool to see how they improved water resistance this year yet again. And maybe seeing if they added any better thermal dissipation system since the 5g chips are gonna get a lot hotter than previous chips and plenty of android phones have had really good cooling for awhile.

Judah Singh - Reply

For those asking, Apple published a revision to their Developer Style Guide for physical accessories that includes all of the information you could need about the MagSafe standard.

David Taylor - Reply

Please do teardown models for US (for mmWave)!

Koichi Fujii - Reply

Are you going to be tearing down the US-only mmWave iPhone 12s, or the international ones, or both? I want to see if the battery capacity is any different.

60HzNSTC - Reply

Hello! Our EU team has taken apart a set of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro phones, while we tore down the US-only pair. We can confirm that they all use the 10.78 Wh rated battery.

Arthur Shi -

Apple is using a braided copper coil in the charger. I believe they are the only ones doing this.

Colin Stalter - Reply

This is normal. It’s called “litz wire”, you can read about it on wikipedia. It mitigates the “skin effect” that causes electrical losses to be higher at high frequencies.

David Perlman -

-The stranded wire in the coil is called “litz wire”, it’s not regular stranded wire, it’s a bundle of separately insulated strands for the purpose of avoiding the “skin effect” for high frequencies.

-The etched copper sticker looks like it’s an RF antenna for near field communication. Ethan Zuo pointed out that eliminating hardware connectors would make data recovery harder but I believe we will eventually find out that this new magsafe standard is not only for charging but also a high bandwidth data connection that can serve the “console” functions like data recovery. So basically just as good as a physical connection.

David Perlman - Reply

Hi David,

Thanks for the cool bit of info about litz wire! As for the copper sticker, I originally hypothesized that it was some kind of RF antenna also. I’m not so certain now—if you look closely at this photo, you can see that the sticker traces were attached by four flex wires. These wires route underneath what seems like a very brittle disk (maybe ferrous?), where they attach to the underside. It looks like they’re not attached to any active components. I wonder if it’s some kind of RF/magnetic flus resonance, efficiency, or shielding system.

Arthur Shi -

The copper sticker is almost certainly for NFC. The ring animation that was shown during the presentation when the phone is connected to the MagSafe charger is done through an NFC handshake. This is also how the phone knows it can try and charge at the higher wattage. NFC is also how the phone shows the ring animation for MagSafe cases (my red case creates a nifty red ring animation when I put it on).

I would guess that the iPhone 13/14 will eschew a physical connector and instead use a combination of the NFC from MagSafe and a version of the U1 chip (maybe a U2?) for high-speed close range data transfers without needing a physical connection. I don’t think we will see that type of high-speed data transfer on the 12 however as Apple looks to get MagSafe accessories out there.

David Fischer -

What is the matte colored area on the right side below the power button?

James Cannon - Reply

A window for the 5G mmWave antenna. See steps 2 and 13, only the US models have this.

Dario Susanj -

What about Pro RAM?

James - Reply

Have you guys tried attaching the camera module from the 12 to the 12 pro to see if it works? Most probably the only difference between the two boards are one or two config resistors that will because obvious once China leaks the schematics.

Mihai Zaim - Reply

Even if it plugs in, firmware differences will likely prevent using the additional hardware, and the opening for the LIDAR and extra camera appear to be part of the case

Tony -

Hi Mihai,

We did! The non-Pro camera connectors have some missing pins compared to the Pro camera connectors, but they fit the Logic Board sockets. When we swapped the camera modules in either direction, both normal and wide-angle cameras worked, but were locked in 1x zoom—which locked the telephoto camera from activating.

Arthur Shi -

Not sure how you can claim Apple got rid of the “L” battery to cut costs, when there is clearly no room inside the phone to fit a larger battery of any shape…

Jared - Reply

what nfc controller is in the iphone 12/12 pro?

Happy Cappie - Reply

Can it work without the 5g module if I want to get a rid of it?

lilako - Reply

Could you check this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY7DtKMB... Some people are saying that the iPhone gives a message and makes features unusable when swapping out parts. Apparently only Apple can now Swap out parts since the iPhone tells you that parts are not genuine and can detect third party or even own party components which have been swapped out.

Aaron Eichler - Reply

Hi iFixit !! I wanted to know if you notice any upgrades on the back cameras, particularly on the stabilization?? Being and iPhone user and motorcycle rider don’t go hand in hand with iPhone 11 . I was wondering if I would be able to mount the 12 Pro or high frecuency vibration will ruin the camera stabilization as it has done with my current iPhone.

pablo_va - Reply

Do they still work with the 5G antenna removed? #tinfoilhat

Darren John de Lima - Reply

Does anyone know if the iPhone 12 supports Dual Frequency GNSS (for example receive GPS and Galileo location signals in parallel for better accuracy and quicker location fix)?

explorer - Reply

Does iphone 11 battery similar to iphone 12? Since iphone 12 is Low capacity , is it possible to swap iphone 11 battery to iPhone 12 instead?

hanwei313 - Reply

oh yes Could you probe the magnet ring with a small magnet to see if the polarity alternates?

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Sushi Roll - Reply

When will we see a component swap test? So far it looks like we cant even swap the camera module without it going wonky, can you test if the displays can be swapped and other components?

The Stem - Reply

I really think it deserves a lower repairability score. Sure, most things are modular, but with the 12 series Apple has paired most important components to each logic board. These components either lose functionality or flash a message that the components aren’t original. Now added to this list with the 12 is the camera which, you guessed it, is now paired to each iPhone. This is a massive F You to many independent repair shops because now you can’t replace the battery without losing many major features. Even with genuine original parts and pairing serial numbers makes no difference. It seems like the amount of parts paired increase with each generation of iPhone, and it’s only going to get larger. We as consumers cannot repair the phone that we own, so do we really own the phone? With all of this said, I think the phone deserves a four at most. I mean I don’t work at ifixit so this is just a suggestion, but with all of this new BS we shouldn’t give Apple any benefit of the doubt.

CW Seely - Reply

On your 11 Pro Max teardown (and maybe on the smaller Pro teardown as well) you gave us thickness (4.6mm), volume (23.8 cubic centimetres) and weight (59.6g) numbers for the internal battery. I’d be really interested in seeing those three numbers for the 12 Pro battery and, when you do the teardown for the 12 Pro Max, for that battery as well. Thanks.

Julian Anon - Reply

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fiviwe - Reply

Dear ifixit team, please consider the following video and try to test out the really reparable of the new iphones!

https://youtu.be/FY7DtKMBxBw

I think that this fact should be consider in the score of reparability!

Sergej Rogowski - Reply

Apple is pairing parts with the phone by proprietary software which basically makes it un-repairable. If you switch something out and don’t pair it correctly the phone will bug out.

Per Weum - Reply

I guess you will have to correct the repairability score to 0 if it is confirmed that replacing parts even with original and genuine i-phone 12 parts causes many artificially created issues with the camera, face id and the battery… Check this great video by Hugh Jeffreys! He basically mixed parts of two phones and ran into serious trouble:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY7DtKMB...

Harald Sick - Reply

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Sevtap Enessever - Reply

Are you able to identify who’s the OLED panel manufacturer? There’s been a widespread OLED issue on some of the iPhone 12 series panel.

Marc - Reply

I heard from some bloggers online that it was LG who made the panel, because these same problems (such as green edges) have happened to LG panels before in various phone manufacturer’s products.

Stanley Qiu -

Wait, the Lightning connector assembly is color-coded? That’s something new…

Stanley Qiu - Reply

I think this year iPhone 12 series should make as -10 .

Cos those parts in iphone can’t exchangeable.

(those part’s SN have save in the SOC when the part have changed, the iphone might not work)

(PS: like iphone 11 can’t change the battery will show notice.BUT MORE AGGRESSIVE)

carsongor - Reply

score should be 0, you cant switch the battery or camera.

look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY7DtKMB...

Peter - Reply

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