We went on a teardown bender and made iFixit history by delivering you three live teardowns in one night. Last up on the teardown table: the iPhone 7. Where the headphone jack used to be, we find a beefier Taptic Engine and an audio baffle. According to Apple, this plastic component is a barometric vent. With the added ingress protection afforded by the watertight seal, the iPhone uses this baffle to equalize the internal and atmospheric pressures in order to have an accurate altimeter.
Last time we had an Apple Watch on our teardown table, we encountered the tiniest tri-point screw we’d ever seen. So tiny, in fact, that we had to file down our tiniest bit to finish our teardown. So when Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 2, we expected things to get even tinier. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t, and our screwdrivers were ready this time.) Check out the teardown at iFIxit.com/teardown.
There’s been a lot of buzz about the waterproofiness of the 7 Plus, so we took a look at what contributes to that stellar IP67 rating. A new set of super-sticky adhesive strips keeps the display tightly adhered to the frame. Tons of rubber seals surround points of ingress, like the mute switch and SIM tray. There are also tight seals and fine mesh decking the dual speaker grilles. Check out this and more in our iPhone 7 Plus teardown.
Our team of engineers will be doing back-to-back-to-back teardowns of the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 7, and the Apple Watch Series 2 (if we can get our hands on one)—starting on the eve of Thursday, September 15 through the wee hours of the morning on Friday. And we’ll be doing it live. It’s bound to get real silly, so be sure to follow along on iFixit.com/teardown as our teardown team dismantles and analyzes Apple’s newest offerings. You can also keep up with our team on Twitter and Facebook.
Jamie Frendo-Cumbo lives up in Kuujjuaraapik—a very small, very remote community on the southeastern shore of Hudson Bay in Canada. Kuujjuaraapik is off the beaten path. Literally. As in there are no roads to Kuujjuaraapik. As you can imagine, there’s also not a lot of what you’d call organized entertainment in a town so remote. You’ve got to make your own fun. So Jamie decided to fix 60 devices in 90 days.
Hot (pun intended) on the heels of the iPhone Touch Disease, Apple rival Samsung is experiencing a press blowup of their own. In case you hadn’t heard, at least 35 Samsung Galaxy Note7 batteries have spontaneously combusted. The most likely culprit is a bad batch of batteries that would only affect a small portion of the Note7 population, but Samsung has reacted with a global recall. Samsung’s willingness to recall rather than sweep the issue under the rug is refreshing—especially as counterpoint to Apple’s still unaddressed Touch Disease design flaw.
Apple Insider’s Mike Wuerthele released some compelling research last week examining the prevalence of what we’ve so lovingly labeled Touch Disease. Their analysis covers six days of service data—before and after the Touch Disease headlines—from four highly-trafficked Apple stores. The results? Based on the numbers, Apple’s techs were seeing a significant number of Touch Disease stricken iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses—well before the story broke. In fact, Mike Wuerthele reported that the Touch Disease problem “eclips[ed] all other individual issues dealt with by retail personnel on a day-to-day basis.” After the increased media attention, Apple stores saw an understandable surge of reports—because a minor annoyance was now something endemically wrong with their phones.
Microsolderer Jessa Jones can fix practically anything. But these days, she spends most of her time fixing just one thing. Because every single month, more and more iPhone 6 and (especially) 6 Plus devices show up at her shop with the same problem: a gray, flickering bar at the top of the display and an unresponsive touchscreen. And she’s not the only one. Repair pros all over the country are noticing the same trend. Here’s what we think is killing all those iPhones.
Samsung just launched their latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note7—skipping a generation to align the name with the rest of the Galaxy series. Rumor has it the Note7 is packed with cooler, newer features than its galactic cousins. And from the looks of the hardware, Samsung has been taking some impressive notes on smartphone trends.
VR is hot right now. So hot that we’re finding all kinds of chefs in the VR kitchen—can you smell what Razer and Sensics are cooking? In a not-so-unlikely pairing, Razer, purveyor of PC gaming accessories, and VR heavyweight Sensics teamed up to produce the OSVR HDK 2. Not intended to compete with the likes of Vive or Oculus, the HDK (Hacker Development Kit) 2 exists as a hackable, moddable platform for burgeoning VR developers.
This is the Xbox One Microsoft always wanted to build. The Xbox One we deserve. It fits on your tv table, bosses your receiver and cable box around, and comes in white. But more importantly, it’s built a lot smarter than its big brother. Fewer materials, simpler assembly, and a much cleaner look inside and out, make this the Xbox One of the future, that could have made for a much more successful past.
I found Dina on Instagram, where she makes teardown videos as part of an ongoing project she calls “Tinker Fridays.” At iFixit, we approach teardowns with a sort of surgical precision. Components are sorted and meticulously re-composed on a table, like a scientist pinning specimens to a board. For Dina, objects are like puzzle boxes—mysteries await just beneath the cover. In her hands, objects dance apart and reveal themselves, like a wonderful secret only you’ve been told.