As expected, iFixit has posted its [teardown of the new iPhone XS and XS Max], this year doing a simultaneous teardown to explore the innards of both new models side-by-side. iFixit notes that from the outside, the new iPhone models don’t suggest much has changed from last year’s iPhone X, other than the new gold color option and the larger version, suggesting a return to the “tick/tock upgrade cycle” typical of “S” models. Despite the new, higher IP68 rating, opening the new iPhone models was no more difficult than last year’s iPhone X. Inside, the iPhone XS Max sports a larger Taptic Engine and an extended logic board, while the smaller iPhone XS switches up the traditionally rectangular batteries for a single-cell L-shaped battery.
The iPhone XS battery actually has a hair less capacity from last year’s iPhone X, coming in at 10.13 Wh (2,659 mAh at 3.81 V) versus 10.35 Wh (2716 mAh at 3.81 V); the iPhone XS Max naturally packs in a larger battery with 12.08 Wh (3,179 mAh at 3.80 V), but remains the more familiar configuration of a pair of rectangular cells. While the L-shaped single-cell design in the iPhone XS is noteworthy, iFixit suggests that the extra corners and edges may make it prone to extra stress.
On the top layer of the logic board, iFixit found flash storage chips by Toshiba, USB power management by Cypress, a display port multiplexor by NXP, and a battery DC convertor by Texas Instruements, accompanied by Apple’s own audio codec chip. On the flip side is Apple’s new A12 Bionic chip, along with three more Apple audio codec chips, and a collection of power management chips by Apple, STMicroelectronics, and TI.
A look at the RF board shows Apple’s expected move away from Qualcomm to Intel cellular modem chips, Apple’s own chip for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth comms, and the same ST Microelectronics eSIM used in the Apple Watch Series 3. The RF board also includes the NXP NFC chip, Broadcom wireless charging module, and a collection of smaller chips by Avago, Murata, and Skyworks.
Looking at the cameras, iFixit notes that the sensor size of the wide-angle camera has been increased by 32 percent, with a corresponding bump in pixel size, although this has resulted in a slight increase in the camera bump on the new models to accommodate the larger sensor. iFixit had little to say about the Face ID array and TrueDepth camera, other than they’ve now essentially become standard equipment.