Is there no time now?
Ifixit’s professional installers have unscrewed the US versions of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. Some innards arrive unexpectedly.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are made up of largely identical components. In some cases, components should be used in both one and the other model. We start with the displays, which, according to Ifixit, are interchangeable.
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are largely identical in construction
This was not the case with previous models. However, the iPhone 11 was also equipped with a 6.1-inch screen diagonal LCD and the iPhone 11 Pro with a 5.8-inch screen diagonal Amoled display. Both the regular and the Pro model of the iPhone 12 have an Amoled (Super Retina XDR) display with 6.1 inches. The simplification of production was obvious.
Externally, the two smartphones can only be distinguished by the camera lock and other color options. Apple has apparently installed a plastic placeholder on the iPhone 12 where the lidar scanner and third camera on the 12 Pro are located.
Otherwise, Ifixit sees very similar layouts within the two phones. Both models use largely identical logic boards, the same flash modules, the same components for Face ID and the Lightning connector. Apparently to save money, Apple does without LPDDR5 memory and uses cheaper DDR4 RAM instead.
Smaller batteries than iPhone 11
The batteries used are also the same. Both models are equipped with a rechargeable battery that has an energy content of 2,815 mAh. The predecessors had larger batteries. The iPhone 11 had a 3,110 battery, the 11 Pro had 3,046 mAh on board.
Apple claims to be able to compensate for the smaller battery with the more energy-efficient A14 bionic chip. However, initial tests suggest that battery life suffers quite significantly compared to its direct predecessors.
Ifixit points out that the batteries are no longer L-shaped, but have a standard size. Ifixit suspects that the manufacturer simply paid attention to the price and bought cheaper components in order not to have to raise the prices of their smartphones despite using 5G.
5G antennas from a Chinese manufacturer
In addition to the logic board, Ifixit found a second L-shaped board in the iPhone 12. The modem and transceiver for 5G are top notch. For the US versions, Apple is working with Qualcomm regarding the 5G modem, the X55 2019.
For the three mmWave antennas, the manufacturer does not use Qualcomm’s QTM525 modules, but has developed its own modules for the iPhone models with the Chinese company USI. For the German market, however, this is insignificant, because frequencies below 6 GHz are used in this country.
Repairability score in the upper midfield
In the Ifixit score, which should sum up the repairability of smartphones with a useful number, the 12th iPhone scores 6 out of 10. The 10 stands for a particularly easy device to repair.
According to Ifixit, Apple uses easy-to-replace modules for critical parts. The glass front and back are what make the iPhone 12 fragile.
Suitable for: iPhone 12 disassembled: noticeably smaller battery than the previous model