back to article iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

The screwdriver fiddlers at iFixit have inflicted their usual brand of affection upon Apple’s pricey new phones and found a battery of a most unusual shape. Having taken a few short seconds to admire the oh-so-shiny Gorilla Glass cover of the XS and XS Max, the iFixit engineers went at the unfortunate devices with an array of …

  1. onefang Silver badge

    It's notches all the way down.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Pint

      Well played. Well played.

    2. I&I
  2. Andy 66

    Wot no link to teardown?

    https://ifixit.org/blog/11463/iphone-xs-and-max-teardown/

    the guts and glory: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+XS++and+XS+Max+Teardown/113021

  3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    6/10 - Apple are improving.....

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Actually getting slightly worse, they used to be 7/10

      All but the first few models were 7/10, until the X went to 6/10. People like to slag on Apple for doing stuff like using weird screws, but drivers for them are available on eBay for a few bucks (and come with every battery/screen replacement you buy as well) so it isn't really a barrier unless "I want to be able to use only the tools I already own" is your benchmark.

      Samsung used to have 6s and 7s too, but in recent years their flagships have all been 4/10.

      1. Frenchie Lad

        Re: Actually getting slightly worse, they used to be 7/10

        So much for my intended Samsung purchase, I've cancelled my order as now I'll be able to drop a Xs with the knowledge that it will be cheaper to fix when I inevitably drop it or should I wait for the ZS?

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Actually getting slightly worse, they used to be 7/10

          The iFixit ratings are mainly concerned with replacement of the battery and display as those are pretty much the only serviceable parts in any modern smartphone. The Xs has a glass back which is very expensive to repair because you have to take apart the whole phone to do so - so expensive that I can't imagine anyone actually doing it. If I dropped my X and broke the back glass, I'd just get a case to hide the damage and call it good...

          Sounds like the Xs glass stands up a lot better to drops, at least based on the two drop tests I've seen where it failed to break even when dropped a couple times from 10 feet in one test. Presumably they used Gorilla Glass 6, but I'd be surprised if that made much difference given that previous iterations of GG have been pretty minor. Maybe Apple tweaked some other elements of the design to reduce stress on corner drops etc. (it is very hard to reliably get a phone to land exactly flat so drop tests are basically corner impact tests, but if your phone lands exactly flat face first on concrete you are pretty hosed no matter who makes it)

          1. mazenn

            Re: Actually getting slightly worse, they used to be 7/10

            I want to be able to use only the tools I already own" is your benchmark.

            Samsung used to have 6s and 7s too, but in recent years their flagships have all been 4/10

          2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Actually getting slightly worse, they used to be 7/10

            "If I dropped my X and broke the back glass, I'd just get a case to hide the damage and call it good..."

            That's where we differ. I buy a case for my phone on day 1. I prefer a simple slip-on TPU case (today I own this one https://goo.gl/images/ijQPSp). If it falls on flat concrete, I just pick it up with a "tut tut" and keep on reading.

            And I also buy a Naztech Gladiator holster to carry it in. Those work well for me. YMMV. There's a matte screen protector as well.

            It's a shame I don't get to show off the aesthetic beauty of the original case, but it's not why I bought the phone.

  4. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Boffin

    If you think that's hard...

    Try opening an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti FE.

  5. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Every time I call anyone who answers using an iPhone I hear "The connection here isn't great", then they garble up intermittently, which results in a short and confusing, less useful conversation.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      "Every time I call anyone who answers using an iPhone I hear "The connection here isn't great", then they garble up intermittently, which results in a short and confusing, less useful conversation."

      Well, obviously they are holding it wrong!

      (Sorry, but no one else said it yet and someone had to)

      1. Giovani Tapini

        THey are probably trying to be clever

        and take the call over a local café wifi connection to save cash instead of actually using it as a phone... Do people with iPhones do that any more?

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: THey are probably trying to be clever

          Maybe they just don't want to talk to you?

        2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: THey are probably trying to be clever

          "THey are probably trying to be clever

          and take the call over a local café wifi connection to save cash instead of actually using it as a phone... Do people with iPhones do that any more?"

          Of course they do. Once they've slavishly bought the latest Jesus Phone they can't afford phone service!

          Rimshot! That's right folks, we're here all week!

          (I kid! I'm just affectionately poking fun. I... OMG you've broken the downvote counter! Gah!)

          1. onefang Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: THey are probably trying to be clever

            If El Reg runs out of downvotes, coz you got them all and they broke the counter, then the rest of us commentards will just be happy you took one for the team. Thanks, have an upvote and a beer to ease your pain.

      2. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Well, obviously they are holding it wrong!

        As I noted in response to one of Dabbsy's columns, round where I live, a lot of them probably *are* holding it wrong. The number of people I see with an ordinary slab-sized smartphone of any brand, alternating between speaking to the loudspeaker and listening to the microphone(1) just defies belief.

        (1) No, I don't have that backwards. They hold the phone horizontally in front of their mouths with the mic end pointing away from them, then switch to horizontally at the side of their head with the mic pointing toward them and the speaker pointing directly away.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          It is a running joke that the only person I knew who had to have "the latest iPhone" ALWAYS - and I mean, statistically ALWAYS - cut out about 20 seconds into the conversation and had to call back.

          Once or twice, or if we were always taking their calls at home, I could understand that possibly there could be other factors. Literally the only difference was the iPhone.

          Maybe they had Wifi-calling or something, maybe, I don't know, I refuse to help people with Apple devices (isn't that what you pay the premium for - to get "better support" and "more intuitive" devices?). But it became a running joke and I used to countdown when they were phoning us.

          1. SuccessCase

            Yes the running joke based on no factual evidence whatsoever, because of course the networks have all that data and iPhones (factually) used to be a little worse than Nokia (when Nokia was the standard setter) but aren't worse or better now.

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              They changed their network twice (so three networks in total).

              It still cut out every single time they ever called. They changed their handset with every upgrade possible. They lived in London, same as me, in fact they were closer.

              Whenever I heard "Hello, hello? Are you still there?" I would just ask "How is XXXX?".

              Sure, it's one datapoint, not something to hinge a national telecommunications strategy on, but it *literally* happened to the point that all parties concerned saw the same pattern and joked about it - to this day.

  6. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Patented battery design

    Apparently the battery shape is patented - so there goes third party replacement batteries.

    I'm sure it could have been designed with a rectangular battery, but where's the fun future profit in that?

    1. chipxtreme

      Re: Patented battery design

      My MSI laptop has a similar shape batery and its 4 years old

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Patented battery design

        "My MSI laptop has a similar shape batery and its 4 years old"

        Is it a pouch cell design or is it made of individual cells? The Apple design is patented over the wider seal at the corners and applies to pouch cells.

        1. Caltharian

          Re: Patented battery design

          to be fair like a lot of apples "patents" it is often something already done by another company years ago combined with the weak american patent system that grants anything you put on a bit of paper and pass to them

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Patented battery design

        Would not surprise me if Apple sues and claims they thought of it first despite evidence showing they haven't.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. onefang Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Patented battery design

      "I'm sure it could have been designed with a rectangular battery, but where's the fun future profit in that?"

      I guess they couldn't get the patent on rectangular batteries, with rounded corners.

  7. gerdesj Silver badge

    Spudger

    That's not just a spudger, that's a Halberd Spudger.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spudger

      That's not a spudger.

      THIS is a spudger!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crazy expensive

    Simply not worth the profit margin price.

  9. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    You've been notched!

    For the price of the phone and the size of the screen I reckon the battery is under sized. Not that will worry purchasers. Nor the potentially swingeing price of a replacement. Got to hand it to Apple they really know how to notch their customers!

    1. tfb Silver badge

      Re: You've been notched!

      I just had my iPhone 6 battery replaced (by Apple). I was bracing myself for the awful decision that spending £200 or something to keep the thing alive for another year was still cheaper than £700 for an 8, however bad it made me feel.

      It was £25. I don't remember how much decent replacement batteries used to cost when I had phones with replaceable batteries, but I bet it was ... about £25.

      So oddly, Apple seem to be not ripping people off for batteries.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dare someone to name the *next* iPhone

    Notchy McNotchface.

    (scuttles off somewhere, probably Acidalia Planitia)

  11. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Never heard of a 'spludger'

    Sounds like someone who works in porn.

    1. Giovani Tapini

      Re: Never heard of a 'spludger'

      No, its just a tool to use instead of a kitchen knife to open small things...

      It probably sounds better than a little Jeremy, er jemmy, or prying tool. I only heard this word a few years ago though, I don't know if there was a "spudger" before small electronic devices were a "thing".

      1. Ivan Headache

        Re: Never heard of a 'spludger'

        I've always thought it was a small flat ended hand tool used for spreading heat-transfer paste, generally made of a hard plastic

        However, I was at my brother's house recently and he and a mate were working a a Ducati Motorbike.

        During a difficult moment while they were trying to line up some bolt holes one of them asked "Where's the spudger?"

        Turns out that this spudger was a tapered round steel tool about the same size a a cold-chisel, pushed into one hole to line up the receiving hole.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Never heard of a 'spludger'

          That's a podger, used for podging holes into alignment.

  12. Ian Joyner

    Slavish followers

    "It can only be a matter of time before certain Android phone makers slavishly follow suit."

    That sentence neatly sums up the problems in this industry. Apple does research and develops products. Others see the success greedily want to grab those profits so just copy, instead of doing things their own way. Their business model is "put Apple out of business so we can grab ALL the profits". That is not a good business model and it even killed IBM (the ridiculous PC was IBM's attempt at killing Apple, and they almost succeeded, Microsoft tried the same with the cheap Windows knock off which even stole Apple code).

    Perhaps when anyone criticises Apple customers for being Apple 'fanboys', they should really consider that it is the other manufacturers who are the real Apple fanboys, and any of their customers demanding a product because it looks like Apple are also Apple fanboys.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Slavish followers

      Slavish followers pay though the nose for stupid 'innovations'

      Others mop up the poorer by still deluded slavish wannabees.

      i's just good business sense, after all...

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Slavish followers

      Apple does research and develops products.

      Apple has developed 4G standards, OLED and touch screens, Lithium batteries, Blueooth, wireless LAN, HDR imaging, near field communications, etc? Wow, that is impressive!

      Nearly all Apple's plagiarism suits have been about design aspects: rounded corners and the positioning of buttons. It does employ a great deal of talented engineers and developers who've done a great job on chip and phone design and software development but all within a competitive environment. It buys components (memory, screens, etc) from its competitors and this is how it should be. Compared with other industries the mobile phone industry has developed incredibly over the last thirty years.

    3. AceRimmer

      Re: Slavish followers

      "It can only be a matter of time before certain Android phone makers slavishly follow suit."

      There were 2 android phones with Notches before the iPhone X

      Sharp Aquos S2

      Essential Phone

    4. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: Slavish followers

      What nonsense.

      The IBM PC was aimed at a different market to anything Apple was putting out. The PC was a OTS component based business machine, as per IBMs original name.

      Microsoft stealing Apple code? Eh? They were targeting different architectures for starters. Windows 95 did look vaguely Mac-like, but under the hood was totally different, and MS settled with Apple by promising Office support for a while.

      1. Ian Joyner

        Re: Slavish followers

        The original PC might have been aimed at businesses. But it was still IBM's attempt at regaining the PC market and killing Apple. They only did it to do that. IBM did not want to cannibalise its own profitable market, but did not want to leave it to another company to do that.

        "OTS component based business machine"

        The business observation has some truth. Windows smacks of being an office machine where a worker just comes in and does a small set of tasks directed by the machine.

        "Microsoft stealing Apple code?"

        Absolutely. Sounds like you don't know the story (or are denying it). Gates and Microsoft did steal Apple's code. Gates wanted access to the Macintosh source code to develop Word. That code then turned up in Windows, was done without any agreement from Apple, and heavily used Jef Raskin's QuickDraw which was not part of Xerox's work.

        Now Gates put around that Apple had stolen from Xerox. That was not true, but many anti-Apple people perpetuate this myth.

        https://www.mac-history.net/computer-history/2012-03-22/apple-and-xerox-parc/2

        Windows 95? We are talking about the early 1980s.

        "under the hood was totally different" that proves nothing. Similar software can run on very different hardware. It's the basic theory of computer science.

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Slavish followers

        Windows 95 did look vaguely Mac-like

        I remember at the time that W95 came out with its fancy bar along the bottom of the screen, the rumour was that Microsoft UK had a room full of Acorn machines and were copying (badly) RiscOS's "taskbar". At the time Apple was still on OS 6 or something which looked a lot more like Windows 3, so the "dock" was nowhere in sight.

        I'm not aware of anyone putting such a thing on a desktop GUI before Acorn, but I'm willing to be corrected. The original OS for the Archimedes had a very rudimentary bar in 1987, but the full functionality only appeared with OS2 in 1989.

        M.

    5. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Slavish followers

      Um, I wonder if Apple ever heard of the De Havilland Comet jet airliner?

      Rounding corners to relieve stress is NOT a new innovation and as an apprentice I was taught to drill small holes before cutting material to prevent stress building up in sharp corners.

      I also like the revisionist history of the PC as well - although my colleagues didn't really appreciate my splorting coffee all over the desk...

      1. Ian Joyner

        Re: Slavish followers

        "revisionist history of the PC as well"

        What 'revisionist' history are you talking about.

        The history is that IBM wanted to put Apple out of business like many other companies they had put out of business.

        Read Richard DeLamarter's "Big Blue: IBM's Use and Abuse of Power".

        It is a fact that Microsoft stole source code off Apple.

        Nothing revisionist about what I said.

    6. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Slavish followers

      How'd you work that out? Considering I have had a full screen display with no button on my Samsung 8 for a while so did Apple copy Samsung in that regard?

      1. Ian Joyner

        Re: Slavish followers

        "How'd you work that out?"

        To what comment are you referring.

        It is undeniable that Samsung have copied most of the stuff from Apple via Android. A few things Apple does later. But usually when Apple does something after another company, it is that the other company has rushed a half-baked product to market. This started with Windows I, rushed out to beat Apple, but it was pathetic compared to Mac when it came out.

        Lately it has been face recognition. Samsung had a form first, but it could be beaten with a photograph. Apple spent extra time to get face id right.

  13. Mike 137

    Real dunking ratings

    "IP67 machinery should be able to stand a dunking for 30 minutes in one metre of water, whereas IP68 devices can go down to two metres."

    Not quite correct. IP68 protection must equal or exceed IP67 but to what extent depends on passing a manufacturer specified test. For example Bulgin Buccaneer Standard electrical connectors are rated IP68 and certified by the manufacturer to withstand 10m depth for 2 weeks and 100m depth for 12 hours.

    A lot of consumer kit that is listed as IP68 only just exceeds IP67 and is thus effectively hype.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Real dunking ratings

      Water proofing just makes DIY repairs harder because of all the sealing.

  14. Joe W

    XS

    Does anybody else stumble over that? It is a f'ing huge beast, surely not size "XS"...

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: XS

      "Does anybody else stumble over that? It is a f'ing huge beast, surely not size "XS"..."

      Size "excess"? Sounds about right to me.

    2. JRS

      Re: Variation

      XL sounds too much like a Microsoft product...

  15. Douchus McBagg

    I'm just waiting for ZX

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