iPhone 11 Pro Max Teardown – Tiny Motherboard & BIG Battery!

iPhone 11 Pro Max Teardown – Tiny Motherboard & BIG Battery!

The iPhones have always been some of the most
complicated phones to take apart. You’ll see
why over the course of this video, but there’s
no way we can let this iPhone 11 Pro Max flagship
slip by without seeing the insides. This is
the most water resistant mainstream smartphone
money can buy right now. So it’s time to see
what helps keep water out and how repairable
it really is.
Let’s get started.
Since basically day 1 of the first iPhone’s
existence, Apple has been in the business
of trying to keep people out of their phones
and this new iPhone appears to be no different.
It has the same proprietary pentalobe screws
holding the bottom of the screen to the stainless
steel frame of the phone. It uses a screwdriver
that’s pretty easy to find online, but most
people don’t immediately have it on hand.
I’ll leave a link for a good tool kit in the
Looking closely at the screw it has black
threadlocker filling the gaps between the
threads and the phone body. This helps keep
the screw in place as well as helps keep water
out. The biggest opening for water to get
inside the phone though is the screen. There
is adhesive surrounding the whole rectangle.
In order to pull the screen off I’ll need
to use heat to soften that adhesive, and a
strong suction cup to pull on the screen while
adding some leverage with my pry tool between
the plastic lip and the stainless steel frame.
As I work my way around either side of the
phone lifting off the display, you can see
the substantial amount of stingy gooey black
adhesive that holds the parts together. I’m
taking special care to avoid the ribbon cables
hiding along the edge of the right side. These
cables are about as fragile as paper and can
be torn very easily. You’ll get a better look
at them as the screen lifts off. They’re down
there through those gooey strands.
At first glance things look pretty standard
for the iPhone – a ton of screws and the
massive L-shaped battery. Thumbs up to Apple
for adding battery life and thickness to their
phones this year instead of trying to go thinner.
I’m also glad that the ribbons are all off
to the side. Last year had a random ribbon
cable coming from the center that made the
screen removal quite a bit harder.
The front camera and face scanner are tucked
up in the top of the phone. I’ll remove the
6 y triple-zero screws holding the metal plate
over the top of the screen ribbon connectors.
One of those screws is easier to access from
the other side of the screen if you close
in and scooch it over a bit.
And take a look at that motherboard. It’s
Lego connector central up in here. Happy birthday
to myself. I’ll remove another 4 y triple-zero
screws that hold the top protective metal
plate and side ribbon guide down over the
camera units. Then there are two more screws
holding down the tiny plate over the battery
connector. Before I unplug that battery though,
I want to make sure this whole thing still
works and that nothing was damaged during
the screen removal.
Tapping the power button shows the Apple logo,
and the phone turns on. Which app should I
test to make sure the phone still works? Maybe
I should use today’s sponsor Audible. That
was convenient. Audible is actually one of
my favorite apps. The book I’m currently listening
to is called The Man Who Knew the Way to the
Moon, and is one of the Audible Originals
It sounds more like a verbal documentary than
a narration. I usually adjust the speed to
be a tad faster than normal so I can get through
more information quicker. It’s a true story
about the guy who convinced NASA to use space
rendezvous points instead of one gigantically
massive rocket. It’s super interesting. You
can get a free audio book plus two Audible
Originals when you try Audible for 30 days
with the link in the description: audible.com/jerryrig.
Or text the word “jerryrig” to 500-500.
The Audible Original titles come from diverse
categories like theater, journalism, literature,
and the documentary styles like the one I’m
listening to now. Even if you decide to cancel
Audible at some point in the future, you still
get to keep your books. They’re yours to own
forever. Audible.com/jerryrig. Or text “jerryrig”
to 500-500. And thanks to Audible for sponsoring
this video.
I’ll unclip the battery connector like a little
Lego from this smorgasbord of Lego connectors.
The battery actually has two connectors, one
is found down below by the charging port.
So unclipping both of those is a good idea
at this point. I just didn’t know the second
one existed until later. I’ll unclip one of
the charging port ribbons, and then I’ll make
my way down to the three main ribbons holding
the screen to the body of the phone.
The screen is significantly more simple this
year than it has been for the previous years,
which is definitely appreciated. It only has
3 screws holding the earpiece to the back
of the display. Apple throws Phillips head
screws randomly in here and there throughout
the phone, so for those of you following along
at home, this is the third type of screwdriver
we’ve used so far. The earpiece folds down
which lets us pry away the front sensors from
the glass. Replacement parts will become more
common and get cheaper as the phones get older.
I’ll try to link some in the video description
as they become available. Screen replacements
aren’t super difficult on iPhones. And with
the disappearance of 3D touch, the display
is actually thinner and leaves more room for
the larger battery.
Speaking of which, I’ve had a few requests
for a straight up clean video shot of the
internals – so feel free to screen shot
this, crop it, and use it as your phone wallpaper
if you want. Just make sure to tag me on Twitter
if you do.
Let’s remove the front camera and the face
ID depth scanner thingy. It’s got two ribbon
cables to unplug…wait, no, there’s three.
The last one kind of just snuck in there.
This little unit has the front 12 megapixel
selfie camera, the one that can film in 4K
and do those slowfees, and also has the infrared
dot projector and secondary camera for the
face ID. It’s a pretty cool set up, and I’m
glad it’s not attached to the screen. It makes
repairs easier.
The three rear cameras each have their own
ribbon cable attached to the motherboard I
can unclip each of those and then the whole
contraption comes right out of the phone.
Apple really has made their design much more
modular this year and I’m a fan.
Up at the top we get the normal 12 megapixel
camera with optical image stabilizing. Down
at the bottom we get another 12 megapixel
2x optical zoom camera which also has optical
image stabilizing. And over here on the side
we have a 12 megapixel wide angle camera with
no physical stabilizing I feel like this is
the perfect set up and the arrangement I would
personally like to have someday when I upgrade
from my Galaxy S8. I feel like Apple has finally
brought way more features to the table with
smartphones this year and are finally competing
at the same level of other flagships.
Let’s get this motherboard out. I’ll unplug
the charging port ribbon, but before I can
pull that out, once again I need to switch
back to the y triple-zero screwdriver. There
are 3 screws running down the right side,
keeping this cable with the metal bracket
tucked to the side of the phone. The next
three screws are a bit trickier. These are
called standoff screws and they hold the motherboard
in place. If you don’t have a standoff remover,
I can usually take a flat screwdriver bit
and just twist the screw around in the circle
from one side. And as the screw comes out,
you can see that a stand off screw is actually
a screw that has a screw hole inside. A screw
within a screw. They are annoying to work
with but Apple uses them to save space and
stack things on top of each other.
Speaking of saving space, once those screws
are out and the SIM card tray is removed,
the whole motherboard is ready to come out
of the phone. And this, my friends, is it.
This is the whole thing – the brains and
brawn of the whole iPhone operation is sandwiched
between these two stacked boards. One thing
I’m pretty impressed with on the iPhones this
time around is that all the solder connecting
the circuits inside of this motherboard is
made from 100% recycled tin. You might be
thinking, “Nice work Apple on recycling
that tiny drop of tin.” But because Apple
is using recycled tin on not only their iPhones,
but the MacBook Air, the iPad Air, and the
iPad Mini, it adds up to over 29 thousand
metric tons of tin ore that they don’t need
to mine from the earth. It’s a pretty substantial
achievement and I’m glad Apple’s doing it.
Let’s keep going deeper. The taptic vibrator
engine is down here below the battery near
the charging port. It’s got three little screws
holding it in place and I’m going to set those
off to the side to help keep things organized.
A lot of phones you can take apart and just
toss the screws helter-skelter, but since
basically every screw in here is a different
shape and size, it’s very important to keep
them organized.
With the metal plate gone and the vibrator
unclipped from the charging port, we get our
first close up of the taptic engine. It’s
nice of Apple to include their logo in case
we forgot what phone we’re taking apart. This
little guy is also using 100% recycled rare
earth elements. Since we don’t have an unlimited
earthly supply of these magnets, I’m glad
Apple is now going through the effort to reuse
and recycle parts of their phones.
I’ll remove one more screw and pull off the
metal plate over the microphone hole. And
check out all that white adhesive over the
hole to help keep water out of the microphone.
It’s time to remove the battery. Apple once
again has added the magic pull tabs which
I’m thankful for. Prying out permanently glued
batteries is extremely dangerous. And even
if a pried and bent battery doesn’t spark
and start on fire right away, it’ll still
be damaged internally and it’ll start to puff
up and expand over time. These pull tabs make
battery removal much safer. [Stretching sounds]
Yeah, they are still pretty fragile and break
every now and then, but it’s still much better
than what Samsung’s currently doing with the
permanent adhesive and therbones. [Stretching
sounds] Apple has three pull strips at the
end of each side of the battery [stretching
sounds], and I was successful enough with
most of them [stretching sounds] that the
rest of the battery can be lifted up unharmed.
This is a 3,969 milliamp hour capacity. Which
is quite an improvement over last year’s 3,174
milliamp hours. For real, Apple has come out
to play this time.
The loudspeaker comes out next with it’s two
screws holding it in place. You might have
noticed so far that while the iPhone seems
complex, most components are still modular
and come out relatively easily. You can see
the substantial amount of black adhesive holding
the loudspeaker to the frame of the phone.
Like I said in my durability test video, this
iPhone 11 Pro Max is the most water resistant
smartphone on the market right now. While
most manufacturers have water tested their
phones to a depth of 1.5 or 2 meters deep
for 30 minutes just to get that ip68 rating,
Apple has gone above and beyond and tested
the new iPhone 11 Pro’s to 4 meters deep for
30 minutes. Double the depth of what everyone
else is doing.
Hold on for a second though. Check this out,
the loudspeaker is full of a ton of those
little white sound balls. I assume these white
balls help fill the space inside of the tiny
little cell phone speaker to keep it from
sounding like a tiny little cell phone speaker.
I’ll take out the last 9 screws for the charging
port and get back to that ip rating. Even
though Apple went twice as deep as everyone
else, they still only got the same ip68 rating.
You’re probably like, “Why didn’t they just
go up a level to ip69?” And that’s because
ip69 is a totally different test. Instead
of submersion, it’s a high pressure and temperature
water jet test. And pretty irrelevant for
cell phones. Cell phones get accidentally
submerged all the time, but getting accidentally
blasted by a firetruck is far less common.
The charging port is finally out of the phone.
That was definitely a nightmare I don’t want
to repeat. The iPhone has so many intricate
components. It’s not to much a difficult phone
to repair, it’s just a very complex phone
to repair, and one wrong move or screw in
the wrong place could wreck the phone. If
you do end up breaking your back glass and
don’t have insurance, you can either pay Apple
$599 to fix it, or just buy a replacement
housing and swap over each component individually.
Yeah it’s going to be pretty extremely painful
either way. Apple’s still kind of being a
big jerk where that’s concerned. I think you
should just get a case before it breaks.
I’m pretty impressed with Apple for stepping
up and going above and beyond the bare minimum
that they usually do. This time Apple has
given customers the specs and features they’re
paying for, and that always hasn’t been true
in the past. Of course in my opinion, Androids
can still accomplish more. I’m not ready to
switch sides just yet. But I am glad that
Apple has stepped up with enough performance
to match the price tag…and is doing it with
recycled and recyclable materials. We can
all appreciate and support that.
I’ll get the camera units put back into their
slot. They are all housed in the same metal
block so it’s impossible to get them out of
alignment. And the same thing goes for the
front cameras. Finally, the front screen with
it’s three ribbon cables can plug into the
tiny motherboard and I can start throwing
down all those metal plates over the Lego
style ribbon connectors.
The last thing that gets plugged in is the
battery and this little metal bracket that
covers the top. Then we can turn the phone
back on. And once again, I’m just as surprised
as you are that this thing still works. I,
for one, am glad that Apple has started participating
again in the smartphone race. And even more
so for using recycled components. Innovations
in both areas are good for everyone.
I’ll be looking into the recycling efforts
of other manufacturers in the future, so hit
that subscribe button if you haven’t already.
It’s free. And remember that the computer
the astronauts used to land on the moon 50
years ago is less powerful than the cellphone
in your pocket right now.
Don’t forget to check out the Audible link
in the description for your free audio book,
and come hang out with me on Instagram and
Twitter. Thanks a ton for watching and I’ll
see you around.

100 Replies to “iPhone 11 Pro Max Teardown – Tiny Motherboard & BIG Battery!”

  1. I m a content creator plezz support my channel I m active on YouTube please guys 🙌 support to my channel like subscribe if u love my content

  2. I like “getting accidentally blasted by a fire truck is far less common”. True for most, but not true for all of us. A hazard of the job.

  3. You’ve probably answered this question before but what do you do with the “Jerry’d” phones you take apart and put back together? Just curious

  4. Me while watching this video is feeling shock while he doing it to NEW IPHONE 11 PRO.
    While Me if have new phone is very caring to make my phone longer for 3 years. Lol

    (can I have that phone? (kidding))

  5. @Jerry I was just checking your videos an I didn't see a tear down review of the latest Samsung tablet, not sure if you did one and I can't find it but if you didn't can you do one?

  6. Iphone 7 user here.

    I wanted to upgrade my phone this year but absolutely refuse to buy a phone in 2019 that has a giant ugly ass black bar at the top of the screen.

    Once you get rid of that Apple then get back to me.

  7. If you've lot of money must gift me iphone any version i belong to very poor faminly in india and i am using xiomi must gift me if you have lot of iphones 😂

  8. I've heard that phrase alot about how "the computer in your pocket is more powerful than the one that took nasa to the moon"… Sure that may sound amazing, but to me that just makes me doubt we ever went to the moon. If our technology was getting so much better we know have computers more powerful than the ones that "went to the moon".. Then why haven't we been back to the moon yet? hint we never went

  9. I like how anent 47 talks about phones like a documentary , and because of this guy we all know what we pay for , how well our device are build , how easy they can be repaired and so on !

  10. …still waiting for your durability test and teardown videos for Nubia Z20 – that would be some interesting tech to see from the inside.

  11. Seems like the waterproofing is seriously compromised once the case is cracked/parts removed replaced…. but Jerry – amazing coverage of this /work. hat's off… Kudos!!

  12. Oh jerry send me an iphone xs i dont have a phone i am 20 and only have a windows 7 laptop i probably need a phone most😧

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