iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C repairability judged by iFixit: More difficult to fix than iPhone 5

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ifixit-5s.jpgIf you fancy yourself as a bit of a whizz with a screwdriver, you may have your work cut out for you with the newly-released iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C smartphones from Apple. According to DIY gadget repair experts over at iFixit, the latest phones from the Cupertino firm are even more difficult to fix at home than their predecessor the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5S seems to be the trickier of the two to fix, thanks in part to its new integrated Touch ID fingerprint scanner. A weak connection between the sensor and the phone’s Lightning port area adds a “small element of danger” to the repair process, according to iFixit.

That’s not the only concern with the Touch ID module, with the team worried about its overall durability.

“We worry about how well the sapphire crystal covering can protect it from degrading over time, like most CMOS fingerprint sensors. It could become a ticking time bomb.”

Lastly, the battery unit in the 5S is glued into the casing, unlike the pull-out battery buried under the iPhone 5 chassis, adding yet another difficult element to the repair process.

Similar problems were found with the iPhone 5C, which also suffered from a glued-in battery, a screen that could be damaged if a removal was attempted, and a finicky antenna.

Interestingly, iFixit’s teardown saw the team unable to identify the new M7 co-motion processor (the newly-added feature which will help lead to improved fitness and motion-tracking apps),leading them to speculate that it is part of the new A7 processor rather than a discrete chip.

Overall, the new iPhones both got a repairability score of six out of 10. While not a shocking result, it does see both drop a point to predecessor the iPhone 5 which scored a seven out of 10, while competitor Samsung’s flagship the Samsung Galaxy S4 managed a very respectable eight out of 10.

Gerald Lynch