iPhone 7 teardown: iFixit solves the mystery of Apple flagship's disappearing headphone jack

iFixit got their hands on all the new Apple devices, including the Watch Series 2, and stripped them to their core. In doing so, iFixit also solved the mystery of the disappearing headphone jack.


Give iFixit a brand new iPhone and the first thing they’ll do is tear it down. And that’s exactly what they did.

iFixit got their hands on all the new Apple devices, including the Watch Series 2, and stripped them to their core. In doing so, iFixit also solved the mystery of the disappearing headphone jack.

It’s clear from the tear down the “Taptic engine” is taking up at least some of the space allotted to the headphone jack. There’s also some kind of “component that seems to channel sound from outside the iPhone into the microphone…or from the Taptic Engine out” that sits where the jack would have been.

Apple claimed that they removed the headphone jack so they could clear up some space in the iPhone for a bigger battery and more hardware. iFixit reports that the Taptic Engine is larger than on the previous iPhone.

I don’t think the tradeoff was worth it, however.

I haven’t used the iPhone 7 yet of course, but no matter how good vibration feedback is, I doubt it’s worth the sacrifice of the headphone jack. The same goes for the battery. Sure, the iPhone 7 Plus has a 2,900mAh battery as opposed to the 2,750mAh one in the 6s Plus, but I’d like to point out the iPhone 6 Plus came with a 2,915mAh battery. Oh, and the iPhone 6s Plus is thicker than the iPhone 6 Plus. Granted, the 3D Touch enabled panel is thicker, but I want my headphone jack back!

Anyway, this is just my own rant. If you’re happy with Bluetooth or Lightning audio or are particularly impressed by Taptic feedback, you’ll have no complaints.

The rest of the teardown is quite staid. The only notable point is that Apple is using ever more glue in their phones. iFixit speculates that this is to improve waterproofing. Another, less notable, point is that Apple is using tri-point screws on the inside, preventing easy repair of the iPhone.

The teardown and service guide isn’t complete at the time of writing and so, iFixit hasn’t yet rated the devices for repairability. Judging by the previous teardowns however, it seems like the pesky tri-point screws and increased use of glue.


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