iPhone 7 Plus teardown reveals what Apple did with the headphone jack's space

Some new additions seem to be in place solely to hinder user repairs.

Apple’s latest round of iPhones have received some criticism as being merely an incremental upgrade, but that hasn’t stopped the iPhone 7 Plus from completely selling out before it hit store shelves. If you weren’t able to grab the iPhone 7 Plus this weekend, you can still experience the device vicariously through the latest teardown from iFixit.

The masters of gadget deconstruction tore down a Japanese model of the iPhone 7 Plus to see what secrets this gadget held. Overall, they gave the iPhone 7 Plus the same repairability score as its predecessor, at 7 out of 10.


iFixit’s gadget teardowns. Now with X-ray images.

That’s despite the use of tri-point screws surrounding the battery cover and two display cables, which iFixit argues are being used “to simply hinder the two most common user repairs: battery and screen replacements.”

The teardown gurus report that the iPhone 7 Plus’ controversial missing headphone jack has been replaced with a mystery component “that seems to channel sound from outside the phone into the microphone... or from the Taptic Engine out.” The Taptic engine's footprint also grew to fill the space.

On the plus side (sorry), the new solid state home button is completely removable. It too has tri-point screws that will have to be removed before accessing it, but iFixit is glad to see there’s no longer a “delicate” gasket that needs replacing as with the physical home buttons.

Apple made improvements to the physical button in the iPhone 6 and 6S, iFixit says. Nevertheless, the DIY repair site says there were still nearly 100,000 people who used the iFixit’s iPhone 6 home button repair instructions. That is, of course, not a large number when you consider how many millions of iPhone 6 devices there are in the world. Still, it appears the solid state home button may be easier to replace—though the expense of that repair is likely another matter.

While Apple may have removed the gasket associated with the home button, it added several others—and made the display's removal more difficult—in its quest to make the iPhone waterproof. To see the location of those gaskets and many, many more interesting details, be sure to read the full iFixit iPhone 7 Plus teardown.

The story behind the story: One issue that iFixit’s Japan-based teardown doesn’t address is the question of the new iPhones using Intel components. Specifically, the cellular modem. The version of the iPhone 7 Plus that iFixit saw used a Qualcomm modem, which is thought to be in the bulk of iPhones worldwide. However, Chipworks recently carried out a teardown of the non-Plus iPhone 7—model number A1778. Inside that phone, Chipworks found an Intel baseband processor PMB9943, which the company suspects is the Intel XMM7360 modem. Chipworks also saw two Intel RF transceivers, and a power management integrated circuit.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleiPhone 7qualcommintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?