Video Overview

Introduction

Ten years ago, Apple introduced the very first iPhone, and changed the world. Today, we're taking apart Apple's 18th iteration—the iPhone X. With its rounded edges and edge-to-edge display, we're sure this is the iPhone Steve imagined all of those years ago—but now that his dream is realized, will it be as influential as the first? Time will tell, but for now we'll be doing our part to help you decide. Join us as we open Apple's crown jewel to see what makes it shine.

A big thanks to Circuitwise for hosting our teardown down under, Creative Electron for X-ray imagery, and TechInsights for IC ID.

It's serendipitous that we're in Sydney, because we've got an Australia store now. As we learn more, we'll be posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We've got a newsletter too if you're the email type.

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

The iPhone X is here! Here's the fillin' inside that glass sandwich: A11 "Bionic" chip with neural engine and embedded M11 motion coprocessor 5.8 inch "all-screen" OLED multitouch Super Retina HD display with 2436 × 1125-pixel resolution (458 ppi)
  • The iPhone X is here! Here's the fillin' inside that glass sandwich:

    • A11 "Bionic" chip with neural engine and embedded M11 motion coprocessor

    • 5.8 inch "all-screen" OLED multitouch Super Retina HD display with 2436 × 1125-pixel resolution (458 ppi)

    • Dual 12 MP cameras (wide-angle and telephoto) with ƒ/1.8 and ƒ/2.4 apertures and OIS

    • 7 MP TrueDepth camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1080p HD video recording, and Face ID

    • Support for fast-charge and Qi wireless charging

    • Our A1865 global unit has broad cellular band support as well as 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi w/MIMO + Bluetooth 5.0 + NFC.

Which iPhone X model number are you investigating?

Dimitar - Reply

I think we can safely assume it’s the global A1901 model. Both other models are country specific according to EveryMac.com: A1865 for China and A1902 for Japan.

addvariety - Reply

A1865 is for US Verizon and Sprint too

Sam Sun -

On-cell display or in-cell display?

Albee Einstein - Reply

1901 is not global. It’s the GSM only version with the inferior Intel chips. The Qualcomm 1865 is the global/unlocked version.

Xiao - Reply

The iPhone has come a long way in ten years—so long, in fact, that the design has cycled back a bit, and this iPhone looks more like the original than we've seen in a long time. Except of course for that camera bump, and shiny stainless steel rim, and glass back, and Lightning connector... As was the case with the iPhone 8 earlier this year, Apple has banished the unsightly (and environmentally responsible) regulatory markings from the back of the iPhone X.
  • The iPhone has come a long way in ten years—so long, in fact, that the design has cycled back a bit, and this iPhone looks more like the original than we've seen in a long time.

    • Except of course for that camera bump, and shiny stainless steel rim, and glass back, and Lightning connector...

  • As was the case with the iPhone 8 earlier this year, Apple has banished the unsightly (and environmentally responsible) regulatory markings from the back of the iPhone X.

Here in Ireland (and I guess across the EU) we have the ‘Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China’ text, the CE mark and the ‘no dumping’ bin graphic still in place.

Tom Mooney - Reply

Anyone who thinks the markings on the back of the iPhone will influence whether it is recycled (rather than the trade-in value, accessibility of recycling facility or a customer’s own environmental awareness) has probably shoved a spudger too far up their nose.

jessedouglas - Reply

Where did you get that minty fresh first-gen iPhone? Is it part of iFixit’s collection?

lelandjordon - Reply

I enjoy the snarkiness in these teardowns (see “10-ray”, below), but the ‘gorsh I hope them recyclers get the hint’ was just stupid.

Patrick - Reply

Before we dive in blindly, let's get some 10-ray X-ray recon from our friends at Creative Electron. Here's what we found: Not one, but two battery cells. That's a first in an iPhone!
  • Before we dive in blindly, let's get some 10-ray X-ray recon from our friends at Creative Electron.

  • Here's what we found:

    • Not one, but two battery cells. That's a first in an iPhone!

    • A super-tiny logic board footprint. Based on the overlaid solder points, it looks like there are two stacked layers.

    • To make room for the extra front-facing sensors, the earpiece speaker has been shifted down quite a bit.

    • There's a mysterious chip between the Taptic Engine and lower speaker—we're curious to see what's down there!

Add Comment

  • This pentalobe looks weirdly unfinished. The bottom screws are more like pins if we're honest.

    • This screw moves the threaded section from the display to the steel frame, and extends the unthreaded section into a freakishly long pin.

    • Our best guess is that this allows the display a bit of flexibility, while also allowing it to move its mounting bracket toward the interior of the phone, incidentally making room for a beefed-up Lightning connector.

  • Luckily, it looks like they haven't rearranged too much else, as our typical trifecta of iOpener, iSclack, and iFixit Opening Picks works as in the past.

    • That means no significant change in resistance, and the OLED is well supported by a frame, unlike some displays we know.

The pin also applies downward pressure on the front panel, which probably helps with waterproofing.

pbialek - Reply

  • Looks like sideways-opening iPhones are here to stay. Apple surprised us with this little trick on the 7 Plus, but by now it's standard.

  • This single bracket covers every logic board connector—we've never seen this kind of connector density.

    • And once again, we're faced with tri-point screws standing sentry over any repairs once you get past the pentalobe screws guarding the door.

    • Something tells us Apple doesn't really want us (or you) tinkering in here.

Add Comment

After freeing the massive unibracket from the logic board, we can finally steal a peek at the hardware powering Cupertino's latest flagship. We'll get a better look at the hardware on the display later, for now we satisfy ourselves with an X-ray—turns out that mystery chip is mounted to the display! For a change of pace, the display lifts off and leaves the front-facing camera behind.
  • After freeing the massive unibracket from the logic board, we can finally steal a peek at the hardware powering Cupertino's latest flagship.

  • We'll get a better look at the hardware on the display later, for now we satisfy ourselves with an X-ray—turns out that mystery chip is mounted to the display!

    • For a change of pace, the display lifts off and leaves the front-facing camera behind.

  • This body shot confirms the layout we observed in our X-Ray recon: most real estate is occupied by the new dual-cell battery, and the logic board has shrunk significantly.

Referencing the X-Ray image: I suspect the IR flood illuminator is the top flex mounted module just under the Face ID detector & dot projector (TrueDepth camera system). Note the heavy wiring in the ribbon and limited lines to the connector.

Dan - Reply

The dual rear camera has a beefy bracket that looks like it might offer some bendgate-proofing support for the delicate components. The cameras are additionally secured to the rear case with some foam adhesive to keep things from jostling out of place. These cameras really need to stay put for Portrait Mode and similar features to work their magic. Surrounding the camera housing cover glass, you can see tiny spot welds likely holding the walls of the camera bump to the case.
  • The dual rear camera has a beefy bracket that looks like it might offer some bendgate-proofing support for the delicate components.

  • The cameras are additionally secured to the rear case with some foam adhesive to keep things from jostling out of place. These cameras really need to stay put for Portrait Mode and similar features to work their magic.

  • Surrounding the camera housing cover glass, you can see tiny spot welds likely holding the walls of the camera bump to the case.

I really wish there wasn’t a camera hump to hold securely ..

Darie H - Reply

Might that beefy bracket be made of Liquidmetal (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquidmeta...)? That is, is it surpisingly stiff? Apple has an exclusive license to use Liquidmetal in consumer electronics, but seems not to have used it extensively.

Dominic Dunlop - Reply

Quite likely bracket is for positioning and to apply even pressure on camera against rear glass.

pbialek - Reply

We finally free this most-dense of logic boards to get a closer look. This miniaturized logic board is incredibly space efficient. The density of connectors and components is unprecedented. Ounce for ounce, even an Apple Watch has more bare board.
  • We finally free this most-dense of logic boards to get a closer look.

  • This miniaturized logic board is incredibly space efficient. The density of connectors and components is unprecedented. Ounce for ounce, even an Apple Watch has more bare board.

  • The compact iPhone X board manages to pack more tech and still make the iPhone 8 Plus board to its left look gangly and expansive.

  • Comparing the footprint of the two boards, the iPhone X motherboard is about 70% of the size of the iPhone 8 Plus board—that's a lot more floor space for battery.

just imagine how small it could be if they could get rid of the sim card tray

A. Gy. - Reply

That’ll happen soon, future iPhones will likely have esims like the apple watch s3.

Calvin Hilsinger -

How did Apple put even more tech in 70% of the footprint? By folding the board in half, of course. The two halves are soldered together, so we got some help from our hosts Circuitwise and their BGA hot air rework station to separate the layers. With the pieces separated, we tallied the area of all of the separate layers, and added it up to 135% of the iPhone 8 Plus logic board's area. Way to go putting more into less, Apple.
  • How did Apple put even more tech in 70% of the footprint? By folding the board in half, of course.

  • The two halves are soldered together, so we got some help from our hosts Circuitwise and their BGA hot air rework station to separate the layers.

    • With the pieces separated, we tallied the area of all of the separate layers, and added it up to 135% of the iPhone 8 Plus logic board's area. Way to go putting more into less, Apple.

  • The iPhone X logic board is the first double-stacked board we've seen in an iPhone since the very first iPhone (third photo).

    • The downside of this clever design is that board-level repair will be extremely difficult—near impossible in some cases.

I’m sure the most outer row of via’s are extending the shielding around the sandwich. Even still thats a lot of lines being passed between the half’s! I can’t see anyone trying to open & fix this module.

Dan - Reply

You are missing the point. These are connecting the board physically, but there is no communication through those vias. You can see the other side of the board has all the connectors to flex. (On both boards). The third board act as a super stiffener to prevent overheating causing bending on the board. Great design!!!

Ramiro Montes de Oca - Reply

Sorry Ramiro the outer row are shielding (ground) the 2rd & 3rd rows are comm lines between the boards (interposer board).

Dan -

You’re mistaken, Ramiro. They created a third spacer PCB that lines the perimeter. And instead of connecting the two layers with a fussy flex cable, data travels along dozens of through-hole vias. Why do people spout about stuff they don’t know… it drives me mad!

Richard - Reply

You are Correct!

Dan -

Does the folded design take up more vertical space than the old logic board design, and if so, how did Apple account for this increased vertical space?

Was there vertical space open to begin with or does something in the design allow for more vertical space (i.e. the OLED panel is thinner)?

Thanks!

Urname - Reply

So Richard your assertion is that the silvered bumps all around the two boards are the vias? With a pitch of, what, 300µ?

The MacRumors article yesterday referred to an interposer between the two main boards, but I don’t see any such. Was MacRumors wrong, or am I missing something?

name99 - Reply

The outer perimeter of “silver bumps” aka solder balls is most likely all connected to ground. The rest must be signals. There is not enough cabling to support the required amount of signals between the two boards.

The interposer is still attached to the half in the top of the picture. The border of solder balls is higher than the rest of the PCB. This is required due to the night of the components on each PCB.

Truly incredible design. Passes data without cabling, affixes the two boards to each other without hardware, and creates an EMI shield without extra metal

Daniel Nadeau -

Is that a piece of flat flex connected across two parts of the lower board? going right under the middle screw hole

Andrew Cassidy - Reply

It’s the ribbon from the camera’s which is poking up.

Dan -

Dan, I don't think so. Its completely sealed inside the sandwich

Andrew Cassidy -

Thats just a kapton insulator sheet inside the sandwich. I thought you were talking about the other image.

Dan -

I believe it time to find some more of my good old LCD bonding 9703 3M anisotropic tape. That might be the ticket for servicing that motherboard. Still have some tape in stock, so my shop will service that motherboard, when parts become available.

Have a good weekend all.

Jan

Jan Schmidt - Reply

How did apple manage to take out heat from their processor? I still couldn’t understand how is this working…

Ayush Gupta - Reply

Good question! Given the fact the A11 chip is in the middle and doesn’t have any heat management unlike other SoC’s!

The chip is using the smallest Node tech available! TSMC using a 10 nmFinFET process. This must be how Apple is able to not worry about heat.

Dan -

You are all wrong :-) look at the RF board, there isn’t a signle trace routed from the armada of solder-pads, so I’d say they’re purely mechanical & GND /tekhead

Albert Einstein - Reply

You do understand the PCB is made up of layers.

Their won’t necessary be any visible traces on the surface besides what space is there! It’s so packed the lines would need to be buried inside the layers. One of the functions of via’s is to bring signals up and down the layers, clearly Apple is leveraging this here through the interposer board.

Dan -

@kyle - Can you take the circuit boards and take an image of the sandwich from the side or laid out in order so people can see the layers when pulled apart. I think people are getting confused on how they fit together.

Dan -

@kyle - Found a good image set from Tech Insights! Here’s the side views http://www.techinsights.com/uploadedImag... and http://www.techinsights.com/uploadedImag...

Dan - Reply

There’s a lot of need for intercommunication between the RF and the main CPU. There’s no other interconnect between the two boards. The perimeter vias have to be a communication bus.

Kyle Wiens - Reply

Does anyone knows how many PCB layers does each PCB half have?

Roj Snap - Reply

On the first half: Apple APL1W72 A11 Bionic SoC layered over SK Hynix H9HKNNNDBMAUUR 3 GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • On the first half:

    • Apple APL1W72 A11 Bionic SoC layered over SK Hynix H9HKNNNDBMAUUR 3 GB LPDDR4x RAM

    • Apple 338S00341-B1 power management IC

    • TI 78AVZ81 battery charger

    • NXP 1612A1—Likely an iteration of the 1610 tristar IC

    • Apple 338S00248 audio codec

    • STB600B0

    • Apple 338S00306 power management IC

What are those “white stickers” in different shapes on the board? Are they the typical for checking water damage? Are the same shapes stickers related to each other in any way? Function?

James - Reply

Some of these components have a polarity. The white or black dot or a triangle denotes positive or anode end of the cap or diode.

Dan -

Which is A11 Apple processor module part number, on same package row as SoC die designation APL1W72? The A11 Apple processor module part number has a format 339S004xx. The A11 photos are without sufficient contrast and difficult to read.

Dimitar - Reply

No help on A11 Apple processor module part number in this analysed iPhone?

Dimitar -

Apple/Murata USI 170821 339S00397 WiFi / Bluetooth module Qualcomm WTR5975 gigabit LTE transceiver.
  • Apple/Murata USI 170821 339S00397 WiFi / Bluetooth module

  • Qualcomm WTR5975 gigabit LTE transceiver.

  • Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 LTE modem and PMD9655 PMIC. But Apple is dual-sourcing the modem, and TechInsights found an Intel XMM7480 (PMB9948) in their A1901 model. Even though the modem is capable of it, Apple isn’t supporting Gigabit speeds with the Qualcomm part.

  • Skyworks 78140-22 power amplifier, SKY77366-17 power amplifier, S770 6662, 3760 5418 1736

  • Broadcom BCM59355 wireless charging controller

  • NXP 80V18 PN80V NFC controller module

  • Broadcom AFEM-8072, MMMB power amplifier module

Maybe iPhone X v2 will not have any chips from Qualcomm. Amen

Vic Lau - Reply

Vic Lau, Qualcomm makes good chips at good prices, so there isn’t any reason Apple shouldn’t use them.

George A. - Reply

Yes, there is. They're suing each other.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/10/...

Felipe Zavan -

If apple moves away from Qualcomm we can definitely expect a higher price tag on the next iteration of the iPhone

DAXimus -

BCM59355 is a wireless power chip, not Touch Controller

JohnnyNoy - Reply

Yea, ummmm, great design Apple, but it needs moar power amplifiers.

Patrick - Reply

Why do you say that ;-}

Dan -

The suing didn’t stop Qualcomm to get enough order apparently.

On the contrary,a higher price for customers to purchase iPhoneX seems to be the only result.

vivianangjoy - Reply

Theres more to it than the chips, It appears there are some licensing payments owed. Here’s a bit more Apple may completely drop Qualcomm as a modem supplier on future iPhone models

Dan -

Don’t forget Apple likely had a contract with Qualcomm a year ago before the law suit. Which is why they are forced to sell Apple the parts otherwise this could get very ugly legally!

Dan - Reply

Why does the X have 2 chips? Qualcomm WTR5975 gigabit LTE transceiver & Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 LTE  while the 8plus only has QualcommMDM9655Snapdragon X16 LTE modem? Does anyone know why?

ernie599 - Reply

And on the outside of the logic board sandwich:
  • And on the outside of the logic board sandwich:

    • Toshiba TSB3234X68354TWNA1 64 GB flash memory

    • Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00296 audio amplifier

Is the gold plated part a sim card reader?

K Sec - Reply

Kapton tape on the underside for insulation, yeah

Andrew Cassidy -

looks like the backside of the reader

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

Doc Brown - Reply

Okay, so Apple made a PCB sandwich, but how does it work? They created a third spacer PCB that lines the perimeter. And instead of connecting the two layers with a fussy flex cable, data travels along dozens of through-hole vias. Here, the A11 SoC lies nestled at the center of the main board. You can get a sense of the 3D structure of the board from the X-ray photos. The cylinders around the edge are holes filled with solder connecting the two boards.
  • Okay, so Apple made a PCB sandwich, but how does it work?

    • They created a third spacer PCB that lines the perimeter. And instead of connecting the two layers with a fussy flex cable, data travels along dozens of through-hole vias.

  • Here, the A11 SoC lies nestled at the center of the main board. You can get a sense of the 3D structure of the board from the X-ray photos. The cylinders around the edge are holes filled with solder connecting the two boards.

Versus flex cables, the vias may be a more sound mechanism for communication between the boards BUT how will they fare when this handset is dropped!

DAXimus - Reply

Are the VIAs completely filled with solder, or are they hollow?

Dan - Reply

Dan, most through-hole vias are hollow.

Jharwin Barrozo - Reply

-> iFixit,

look again, there are no traces routed from those, so I don’t think any data is travelling through those. It’s just ground.

any relevant high-speed bus wouldn’t work well routed in that manner.

main board is the “computer“ where all the flexes come in to connect to screen & peripherals.

the rf-board is purely networking so very few wires has to connect between the main ARM and that board.

Albert Einstein - Reply

Albert, Review the comments in Step9 there is no other means for the two half to communicate with each other other than the vias and yes some are shielding (ground)

Dan -

What’s the diameter of the VIAs?

Dan - Reply

Maybe vias are security related. PCI homologation request for tamper-proof protection against encryption keys reading strait from RAM.

Evandro Zilio - Reply

I think you are right! but I’m not sure that which chip to process security function.

Victor Huang -

The new dual-celled battery has four pull-tabs, similar to the shorter ones we found in the 8 series, albeit in an entirely new orientation. The pull-tabs are adhered to the sides of the cells, rather than folded over the top, making the procedure a little trickier than usual. This phone is packing a 10.35 Wh (2716 mAh at 3.81 V) battery, just beating out the 10.28 Wh 8 Plus battery, but a drop in the bucket compared to the Galaxy Note8 with its 12.71 Wh behemoth.
  • The new dual-celled battery has four pull-tabs, similar to the shorter ones we found in the 8 series, albeit in an entirely new orientation.

    • The pull-tabs are adhered to the sides of the cells, rather than folded over the top, making the procedure a little trickier than usual.

  • This phone is packing a 10.35 Wh (2716 mAh at 3.81 V) battery, just beating out the 10.28 Wh 8 Plus battery, but a drop in the bucket compared to the Galaxy Note8 with its 12.71 Wh behemoth.

  • The dual-cell design is more of a space-utilization measure than a capacity-changing one. Two cells allows for more creative shapes and placement, to best take advantage of the space left over by shrinking the logic board.

A drop in the bucket would indicate a 10,000 fold or more difference in magnitude. In actuality, the iPhone X battery is 75%+ that of the Samsung battery. And the overall power management of the iPhone X far greater. You might want to tone down the hyperbole.

MojoFix - Reply

They have extremely tiny buckets at ifixit.

Richard Rousselot - Reply

It might be my age showing but what type of Li-Ion supports charging up to 4.35 ? (I mean .. there’s the type that goes up in flames but .. ?)

Darie H - Reply

Okay so I use this phone for all the photos of appliances that we take at Jackson Appliance Repair Company. The question I have is— is the battery itself waterproof? Or is the phone waterproof (protecting components inside) when it’s fully assembled?

Julie Toots - Reply

The device is waterproof. Batteries really can’t be made waterproof as they have exposed contacts which when shorted would be dangerous depending on how conductive the liquid was (i.e. salt water).

Dan -

  • Hey remember that Face ID feature? In an unusual turn of events, we actually tested it before we tore the phone down. Turns out our IR-enabled video camera isn't fast enough to snag the dot pattern, but we can see the illumination alright!

  • History time: way back in the day, Microsoft made a nifty spatial sensor called the Kinect. The infrared dot matrix tech powering it was created by Israeli tech company PrimeSense.

  • Apple bought PrimeSense for a cool $360 million way back in 2013, and has surely invested hundreds of millions more since then bringing this to market.

  • Meanwhile, Microsoft was left in the lurch and had to scramble to develop a new sensing system for the Kinect 2. Perhaps now that the iPhone has a depth sensor, people will attach it to drones, too!

The video is a nice addition.

SWegner - Reply

Kyle looks good in a lab coat!

Dan - Reply

Can you guys partner with someone with a fast enough IR camera to capture this? Would be really interesting.

DAXimus - Reply

I recognize that doctor from last week - best ‘turn my head and cough’ guy in a long time.

He is a doctor, right?

Patrick - Reply

@kyle tell your design team to add a play button over the image, people can easily miss that it’s a video. I thought it was just an image, but saw the comment about he enjoyed watching the video - so i hovered my mouse and then that’s I figured it’s really a video. :)

Jharwin Barrozo - Reply

I would not want the phone flashing in my face every time it unlocks

Jody - Reply

Jody, the flashes are invisible to the human eye. In the video you can hear the guy with the phone asking if the cameraman can see the flashes, because you need a special camera to view them. It’d be like staring into the end of a TV remote control and pushing buttons.

brandontoh93 - Reply

Not for me. I can see infrared easily.

Derek Mayo -

Esa luz que nosotros no vemos, sera dañina de tanto uso ?. Porque desbloqueamos el telefono muchisimas veces al dia.

That light that we do not see, will be harmful of so much use? Because we unlock the phone many times a day.

Ruben Aries - Reply

Here’s a good vid on the FaceID projector lighting up someones face: https://youtu.be/OvVKnC6gGtg Jump to 5:50 to see it.

Dan - Reply

so why MS did not buy ++PrimeSense?++

fuyun - Reply

Having designed a lens system for Occipital’s Structure sensor (which is also a Prime Sense derivative). The structured light emitter, which is actually a laser; vibrates to create the pattern that bathes your face. I am pretty sure the structure light source does not have the power to do anything besides scan your face, but also the infrared camera is lens system is probably tuned for 300 mm-500 mm unlike the Kinect(1), ASUS XTION or PrimeSense’s own early versions, which have a much longer range. If anyone is interested in doing more than just face scanning, check out Occipital’s website.: https://structure.io/ .

All Things 3D - Reply

We turn our attention to the top of the phone to find the much anticipated mini Kinect TrueDepth camera system! This system rallies a team of sensors to bring facial recognition to the X. Step one in this system: the flood illuminator embedded in the display blasts your face with infrared (IR) light. Next, the front-facing camera, marked in red, confirms the presence of a face.
  • We turn our attention to the top of the phone to find the much anticipated mini Kinect TrueDepth camera system! This system rallies a team of sensors to bring facial recognition to the X.

    • Step one in this system: the flood illuminator embedded in the display blasts your face with infrared (IR) light.

    • Next, the front-facing camera, marked in red, confirms the presence of a face.

    • Then the IR dot projector, far right, projects a grid of dots over your face to create a three-dimensional map.

    • Finally, the IR camera on the left reads this map, and sends the data to the phone.

    • Under the hood, the X works some seriously fast software magic to bring all these pieces together and figure out if you're you, or your evil twin.

Jump to Step6 X-Ray image to see the flood illuminator is just under the TrueDepth camera system. Review the note there.

Dan - Reply

Surely the ir camera senses the ir flood projector, not the standard camera…

Richard Birkby - Reply

There are three IR light sources used: The small pencil beam to see if the phone is face down or next to ones face (proximity) which uses the camera as the sensor (located just to the left of the speaker slot from the front). Then there is the flood illuminator which lets the camera ‘see’ if you are there (to discriminate there is a face present) just to the right of the camera. The third is the dot projector (on the right side of the speaker slot) to ID you. The same camera is used for all three functions no special IR camera here.

Dan - Reply

Do we know anything about the dimensions of the three components?

Arav - Reply

The end is in sight, and we're powering through the remaining components in the rear case. This first little bracket is covered in spring connectors and EMI grounding fingers, and has a ribbon cable stuck to the back. Next out is the lower speaker enclosure, replete with ooey gooey waterproofing adhesive around the port.
  • The end is in sight, and we're powering through the remaining components in the rear case.

    • This first little bracket is covered in spring connectors and EMI grounding fingers, and has a ribbon cable stuck to the back.

    • Next out is the lower speaker enclosure, replete with ooey gooey waterproofing adhesive around the port.

    • And lastly, the Taptic Engine and famed barometric vent are freed. Apple's Taptic Engine continues to be a linear oscillator vibration motor.

Add Comment

In fine form as always, our teardown engineer demonstrates dual tweezer technique to remove the Lightning connector.
  • In fine form as always, our teardown engineer demonstrates dual tweezer technique to remove the Lightning connector.

  • Good news for anyone with the wiggly charging cable blues: the Lightning connector is looking extra-reinforced, with a wider bracket that screws into the sidewall of the frame.

    • It also features through holes for the exterior pentalobe screws to pass through and key into the display, as we saw earlier.

Is the Lightning connector two-sided? Pins on both sides like we originally saw in the iPad Air 2 (IIRC) and larger iPad Pro?

Scott - Reply

I don’t think it really matters. Apple’s Lightning Connector is double sided, so EVEN IF they DO have contact points on both sides, they probably would have wired them together anyway.

Xavier Jiang - Reply

The Lightning connector IS double sided, however the pins are NOT NECESSARILY physically tied together in the connector; ergo it actually supports 16-pins, not 8. So it DOES matter. A double-sided port could hypothetically support Thunderbolt, or 2 USB3 channels. And we have seen, inexplicably, a double-sided port from Apple before in the iPad Pro. A fully 2-sided Lightning connector/port could be functionally as capable as USB Type-C, minus the legacy USB 2.0 lanes. (The Type-C connector ALWAYS maintains a legacy USB 2.0 pair; Apple would have no need for that legacy combination if Thunderbolt was their forward-looking target.)

Scott - Reply

With the main assembly picked to bits, we turn our attention back to the display. The first thing to pop out at us is the earpiece speaker, newly redesigned with a cool duct to channel sound out of the display. Carefully extricating the upper display components yields the most complex upper display component collection we've seen yet. It's home to a loudspeaker, microphone, ambient light sensor, flood illuminator, and proximity sensor. After picking off all the modular bits, we're left with a bare display.
  • With the main assembly picked to bits, we turn our attention back to the display. The first thing to pop out at us is the earpiece speaker, newly redesigned with a cool duct to channel sound out of the display.

  • Carefully extricating the upper display components yields the most complex upper display component collection we've seen yet. It's home to a loudspeaker, microphone, ambient light sensor, flood illuminator, and proximity sensor.

  • After picking off all the modular bits, we're left with a bare display.

So what was that mystery chip first shown in the x-ray pictures?

aleksivanttinen - Reply

TechInsights has a nice picture. It’s BCM1595.

Astute - Reply

And what are the models/manufacturers of the ambient light sensor, flood illuminator, and proximity sensor?

Ricarte - Reply

Time to get a look at that mystery chip! With a little help from our friends at TechInsights, we get a peek under the shields on the back of the display and find: A Broadcom touch screen controller, labeled BCM15951B0KUB2G. Also along for the ride: a new STMicro device we have not seen before, an OLED PMIC labeled 10 THADT733 X-139U.
  • Time to get a look at that mystery chip! With a little help from our friends at TechInsights, we get a peek under the shields on the back of the display and find:

    • A Broadcom touch screen controller, labeled BCM15951B0KUB2G.

    • Also along for the ride: a new STMicro device we have not seen before, an OLED PMIC labeled 10 THADT733 X-139U.

The ST is more likely a boost converter, look at the inductors around it.

Too few pins to be a oled display-driver

Albert Einstein - Reply

Getting down to the X's bare metal, we run into another familiar piece to this densely-packed puzzle: the wireless charging coil. Oh, and everything attached to it, including the volume buttons, ring/silent switch, and an unidentified sensor bracket. We also peel out the other crazy multi-function cable from the top of the phone. This assembly's home to the quad-LED True Tone flash and the power button, much like iPhones of yore.
  • Getting down to the X's bare metal, we run into another familiar piece to this densely-packed puzzle: the wireless charging coil.

    • Oh, and everything attached to it, including the volume buttons, ring/silent switch, and an unidentified sensor bracket.

  • We also peel out the other crazy multi-function cable from the top of the phone. This assembly's home to the quad-LED True Tone flash and the power button, much like iPhones of yore.

Is the Qi coil that needs to be unobstructed for wireless charging just the center circle the ribbons are attached to or is it the whole unit?

cydeweyz - Reply

You can see the coil in step 3 x-ray images.

aleksivanttinen -

Just the big black coil.

George A. -

  • Bonus round: What happens when you break the rear glass on your brand new iPhone X?

  • After lots and lots of heat, we sheathed the spudger and drew our Jimmy. Like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, The X features a seriously glued rear panel.

  • After all of our careful Jimmying, we're still stuck: Unlike the iPhone 8's single piece rear panel, the camera bump overlaps the rear glass, and is meticulously welded to the metal frame beneath.

  • In this classic hand-stuck-in-cookie-jar situation, we can either cut off our hand (the camera bump) or shatter the cookie jar (the rear glass). Great.

    • We opt for the camera bump-ectomy for an intact glass panel. Those replacing a broken panel won't have any good options—and they'll have a heck of a time scraping out the shards of glued-down glass.

Could you show the other side of the stainless shell? Is the glass apple logo and lettering at the bottom printed on the backside and glass layer over top?

Scott Miller - Reply

Scott - It appears the coloring is on the back side of the glass so the logo and text is printed from the back side the then over painted with the base color.

Dan - Reply

Yup, same as the 8, you can see the bare inside of the glass here.

Sam Lionheart - Reply

We hope you enjoyed your 22-course teardown meal. We found it very nutritious.

Thanks - - - gonna need some better glasses.

Russ - Reply

where is antenna?

wmyang - Reply

Apple is still using the outer aluminum frame like the older iPhones. If you look carefully you’ll see the insulators which isolate the top and bottom sections which are the antennas.

Dan -

Final Thoughts
  • Display and battery repairs remain a priority in the iPhone's design.
  • A cracked display can be replaced without removing the biometric Face ID hardware.
  • Liberal use of screws is preferable to glue—but you'll have to bring your Apple-specific drivers (Pentalobe and tri-point) in addition to a standard Phillips.
  • Waterproofing measures complicate some repairs, but make difficult water damage repairs less likely.
  • Fussy cables tie unrelated components together into complex assemblies—expensive and troublesome to replace.
  • 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)

95 Comments

Incredible and dense tech inside this iPhone - thanks ifixit!

Richard Armstrong - Reply

Wow! So exciting!

Reid Fleishman - Reply

Hello,

Could you give us more info about NFC antenna localization? I suppose it’s on top of the back panel (to avoid conflict with Qi )

Thanks

Joe - Reply

It’s the top bezel itself, as always.

Tom Chai -

An amazing repairability score for such a compact and advanced design.

NaN - Reply

Exactly! Given the amount of effort they put into shrinking (or folding) certain parts, it’s great to see they’ve put in the same effort to not make it harder to repair. That any modern smartphone will never receive a 10/10 score due to the design choices is acceptable, so I’m happy to see there’s still a reasonable way in. Not like some tablet/laptop hybrids that are horrendous to even open up; yes I’m looking at you Microsoft!

addvariety -

is the face id hardware programmed to the phone like the touch ID was? that would make replacing it impossible by 3rd parties.

i know its not connected to the screen, but still it may be a common repair like it is now.

karl - Reply

There isn’t really a reason why replacing the True Depth sensors should be a “common replacement” like the home button was. The home button had to be replaced because it was a physical piece of hardware that was pressed millions of times before failing. The True Depth sensor should fail rarely since it is protected under glass and won’t be hammered on constantly.

Jeremy1026 -

Very good! Finally different in the interior, the previous models were all the same!

Universo Técnico - Reply

Impressive just how much tech they crammed into this thing. The layout of the internals shows just how much thought went into this.

Sandy34 - Reply

Question which iPhone X version is this? with 2 Qualcom chips it looks like it is the Model A1865

Hayth - Reply

Apple claims that in order to make the screen curve with the edges, they had to fold part of the OLED screen over to hide the display driver right under the screen. Would you be able to verify that?

dvdhan - Reply

yes, there was an animation in the promo video. Looked weird. I’d like to know how they get the cutout in there.

And how do the cutout pixels account to the display resolution?

Andi -

Yes I saw this too, can you investigate more into the OLED display? In the video at 0:30, Jony Ive says “the custom OLED panel was engineered to fold and seamlessly combine with the external surfaces.” Their computer rendering really makes it appear there are hundreds of hidden pixels being illuminated. https://youtu.be/K4wEI5zhHB0?t=30s

Jackson Hern -

Sweet! I’m actually impressed by the efficiency of this.

James Buckhorn - Reply

The picture of the sandwich board is tilted and out of focus. Please retake from directly above

Mitch Hansen - Reply

Hey Mitch! We have top down photos of the logic board in steps 9, 10, 11, and 12! Check them out! The photo in step 13 is meant to describe depth, so the angle the focus on the chips inside is intentional!

Sam Lionheart -

@ifixit You did not reveal that mysterious chip on the display panel.

Simon - Reply

Please post XRay Wallpaper of the iPhone X! You guys are the only ones that do it right!

Hoang Le - Reply

Just snag the xray ‘wallpaper’ off the enlarged picture above… o.O

gibsonjont -

No sign of the display or touch driver chip?

Dylan - Reply

From a boardlevel repair perspective I sense this is mostly game over.

Separation of the two layers requires an amount of heat applied to the whole structure pretty much all soldering folks would consider unsafe including myself.

Lets all hope very strong that this design improves mechanical stability to a point where we wont have breaking solder joints any more and improved circuitry preventing most common damages. The level and style of catch up game with the repair industry apple plays here is disconcerting.

After settling with recent macs not to be considered buyable because of &&^&^$^ all components being soldered in and tethered added to ridiculous toylike features driving stupid prices now the iPhone is also beyond what I am willing to accept for such money.

Its depressing to see how fast apple from year to year is becoming more about profit and money and less about tech and users.

I wonder how long I have to wait until some other player comes up with a real alternative in terms of user experience.

Anton Chubukov - Reply

Yes i agree, what they did will make repairs harder you can see in this pictures some components moved from their place after separation which is a bad outcome.

Filip Pusca -

Have you considered the Essential Phone? It seems like they may have something special over there…

Gino J -

I have to agree. I started out in 1980 with my bsee degree repairing Apple 1’s 2’s and 3’s with an oscilloscope, soldering iron and the latest copy of the ic circuit handbook. I have not been thrilled about Apples progression from everyman’s or women’s mac to unserviceable sometimes throw away stuff that needs cottage industries to support what they can, when before it was mainstream repair with dig this, a service door!.

Ross Elkins -

@Ross Elkins: The Apple 1, ][ and /// were designs based on 7400-series TTL logic. Do you have any idea how big, power-hungry (and expensive!) devices like the iPhone would be, if they were designed with 7400 chips? If it would even be possible (which I seriously doubt), the PCBs stuffed-full of TTL logic would easily cover a football field, would require a 1000A power supply, and would cost $100,000 (or more)!!!

For you to even mention the repairability of stone knives and bearskins designs (no offense meant to Mssrs. Wozniak and company) like the first few Apple computers in the same breath as state of the art, massively-integrated product designs like the iPhone X strongly suggests that you wasted your money on that EE degree; because you certainly haven’t been keeping up with technology, even at a lay,an’s level.

Douglas McIntosh -

Yes, serviceability has definitely lost ground to compact design over the years. There are trade offs everywhere and either we carry around a brick with a removable back panel for component repair/replacement access, or have the smartphone design we do today where it's practically an extension of our body. I'm for the latter.

I do love iFixit teardowns though, daring to go where no one is intended to.

I salute you, iFixit!

gamma

Robert French -

Does the bottom left of the phone still just have a dummy panel covering the speaker grill?

John - Reply

If you’re thinking of the barometric vent, then yes! You can see it in the third image on step 17.

Sam Lionheart -

It looks like the mysterious chip was attached to the lower speaker…any idea what it is used for?

Lewie Edwards - Reply

It is still mysterious!

Satyajeet Vishwakarma -

Does the mystery chip possibly contain the data for the user’s facial recognition? Apple said that data would be stored on the phone only - and nowhere else - out of privacy concerns.

HL Dash -

Were you able to verify that face recognition still worked once the phone was re-assembled?

Cindy Leek - Reply

Facial Recognition works. But proximity sensor has to be swapped over to maintain Face ID after a screen swap.

Matt Davis -

Should be much easier to repair without the virtual touch id button.

John Knirr - Reply

Is the top speaker better or worse than the 8? It was never very balanced with the bottom one on mine. It looks different here, more square.

tipoo - Reply

this looks like a science fiction movie, very big WOW

forrest gump - Reply

Be nice if the person breaking down the phone, or at least the one who writes up the Teardown, had some engineering training, some of the text above was completely unintelligible, unscientific and used wrong terminology in descriptions. Apart from that, though, great! LOL

vkd - Reply

And you’re perfect in everything that you do right? If you’re so smart you should have filtered through all type O’s and kept your rude post to yourself, JACKASS!!

lucien arsenault -

Have you tried swapping parts from one phone to the other?

Tony Tone - Reply

Stay tuned ;)

Sam Lionheart -

The next thing to go is the nano sim tray for sure it's so large compared to the logic board.

Kailen Bittner - Reply

Can you show us the OLED (Super Retina) display which Apple says supposedly folds in under itself?

jk379b - Reply

Could we please see more angles of the “sandwich” board before it was separated?

makenb - Reply

What about the screen essentially folding backwards on top of itself? I was wondering about that in a tear down like this. Here’s what I’m referring to: https://boygeniusreport.files.wordpress....

Frank Durocher - Reply

What part is the TI 78AVZ81????  Can’t find it on TIs website.

Greg - Reply

Which model is this iPhone? A1865 or A1903?

Gechen - Reply

We picked up an A1865 in Australia!

Kyle Wiens -

Is the gold plated part in step 12 a sim card reader? If so we definitely need esim

K Sec - Reply

this iPhone can work with one side of the logic board desoldered . you have to use it however as an iPod or iPad without wifi and bloetooth.

Efemann Computer - Reply

without harddriver either!!!

imnotar -

Could you check readings on that vias? (just some of them) and confirm whether they are grounded, empty or data, power lines?

bart6665 - Reply

Seems like Apple is designing a few more chips now.

T Hui - Reply

Maybe I missed it, but did we find out what the chip next to the speaker is? It was called out with a green box on the X-Ray in the 3rd step. I don’t think i saw the explanation.

gregkramer - Reply

I believe you’re talking about the chip in Step 20!

Dom -

Just a guess, but the “Unidentified sensor bracket” in Step 21 could be related to Apple’s new leather folio case which wakes the phone upon opening and sleeps upon closing.

Antoine V - Reply

I’m sure the IR proximity is what does that

Dan -

It’s unlikely to be the proximity sensor doing this, as then it would work with third party cases as well, not just Apple’s and would do something similar when just covering or uncovering the screen.

Justin Clifford -

In the iPhone X promo video from Apple, we can see the OLED screen is curved under itself, which I’ve read is to ensure a consistent light all the way to the edges of the phone.

_

I’ve looked above a few times at the various steps but don’t seem to find any reference to details on the OLED screen, which you’d imagine is a very important part of any smartphone.

_

iFixit, can you please add a 24th step that goes into detail on this? I can see from a couple of comments above that I’m not the only person wanting to know.

_

Thank you for your incredible work!

_

Regards

_

Alex

Alex - Reply

Any chance you can show us the folded OLED screen? Isn’t this an integral part of the phone? Why did you leave it out?

Alex - Reply

Any idea who they are using for the Qi charging IC?

Robert McCormick - Reply

Apple made there own coil. It has the apple insignia on it

zachary -

Are you able to put the phone back together and have it still be functional, or does this tear-down destroy the phone?

Peter Georgiton - Reply

There are too many screws on the iPhone X

Mandy - Reply

The degree of consolidation for functionality in the circuitry is unprecedented! State of the art.

Satyajeet Vishwakarma - Reply

Great work everyone! This is fantastic.

Nat Welch - Reply

Very nice, good explain

allwin2abbas - Reply

Very informative! I love your site!

robert benn - Reply

Ram wasn’t mentioned this year? What is it? How much ram?

chaosprodigy - Reply

3 GB of RAM in the A11 chip

Dan -

Great work. Congrats.

wilcamo - Reply

Are there other chips in different models I see no mention of Qorvo ??

ski3938 - Reply

Can you tell us if new soi substrat is used for the St MICRO system for the face recognition?

fredo - Reply

Face id only works if the phone is vertical.

John Knirr - Reply

Any commentary on the antenna design and how it compares to 8/7 (plus/nonplus)?

Phil Rosenthal - Reply

Mmm, where is the $999?

Autrak - Reply

iPhone X is the same wireless charging hardware design like iPhone 8 ? any difference?

TAIWAN FUSION - Reply

Excellent site do you only describe etc phones?

Michael Thomas Houton - Reply

IFIXIT covers many different products review the other tear downs here: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown

Dan -

I just hope no costumer comes in with a broken rear…

Dion jonkheid - Reply

For the dual-cell battery, why adding 4.93Wh to 5.52Wh = 10.45Wh, instead of 10.35 Wh as marked?

Two different capacity cells in parallel connection lose 0.1Wh?

Daniel Xu - Reply

Awesome!! Already you did

goma - Reply

thanks lot for all ifixit team

Seydina Diaw - Reply

So amazing PCBs layout!

Rossicley M. Araujo - Reply

Very informative! I love your site…..

susmoy - Reply

Would appreciate your comments about the Snapdragon X16 Modem. Have the aireals been disabled by Apple in a smilar fashion to the way they were disabled on the Iphone 8 and 8Plus model 1865? This seems to be an important issue? Jack

john mcginty - Reply

哪一國型號的手機沒有標示清楚

Andy - Reply

Hi , i am interesting if wireless charging control IC from Broadcom have same function with IDT’s wireless charging receiver IC that been used in Samsung flagship smart phones? and is Broadcom a single sourcing for Iphone wireless charging IC?

thank you!

Renjie - Reply

This is too cool ! Do you have data on which parts are best in class the industry offers ?

NEERAJ BANSAL - Reply

lol Apple REVEALED! KUDOS IFIXIT

Mark Francisco - Reply

Will you be doing an in-depth tear down of the display itself? I’m super curious how Apple actually put this display together, especially after that outstanding product overview video.

BunkerS - Reply

New original Apple iPhone 8 and 8 plus cost 600USD. come with 1year warranty,

New iPhone X cost 700USD

New Samsung note 8 cost 650usd

iPhone 7 and 7 plus cost 550USD,

serious buyer should contact us.

Hassan - Reply

Hi, I know that the iPhone X supports the auto sleep/wake function, as on iPads, using wallet covers like the original Apple Folio one, so I think there should be magnets inside the phone, is that true? If yes where they are? I saw tons of wallet covers on eBay that are sold as "magnetic" but they don't say if they support the auto sleep/wake function, anybody has tried one of these? Thanks

Stefano Beraudo - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 3,542

Past 7 Days: 25,944

Past 30 Days: 634,109

All Time: 634,109