iPhone XS, XS Max have new power chip designed by Apple, extra antenna band

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2018
A second teardown of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max has confirmed the minimal internal changes made by Apple over its predecessor, the iPhone X, but adds that there is an antenna change that may help the device achieve faster connection speeds over cellular networks.

via iFixit
via iFixit


The customary iFixit teardown could be best described as a rerun of the iPhone X's disassembly, performed last year, with the vast majority of components being similar to the previous model, and installed in practically the same way. After taking off the displays, the iPhone XS Max appears to be constructed in a similar fashion to its smaller counterpart, but with slightly more room for component placement.

An external change spotted by the team is the addition of an extra antenna band where the left microphone hole used to reside. It is suggested by iFixit this could be used to add support for "Gigabit LTE," though it would also presumably help with improving reception with carriers in general.

via iFixit
via iFixit


One major difference between the two models is the battery, in that while the iPhone XS has progressed to a single-cell L-shaped unit, the iPhone XS Max retreads last year's design by using two cells in a similar shape. The iPhone XS' battery change was discovered in an teardown on Thursday.

As with the earlier teardown, iFixit found the battery in the iPhone XS to be a slight downgrade from the iPhone X, with 2,659mAh of capacity. As expected, the XS Max battery is bigger, offering 3,179mAh in its dual-cell design.

That battery is charged and power is provided to the iPhone XS Max by an Apple-designed power controller. Apple has been rumored to be designing its own power management chips for some time, rather than relying on components created by third parties, allowing it greater control over the supply chain and how devices function.

via iFixit
via iFixit


The larger XS Max takes advantage of the extra internal space by including a larger Taptic Engine, as well as an extended logic board that shifts one of the display connectors to the base. The wide angle sensor's pixel size increase is also found to have grown the camera bump in the iPhone XS, prompting a warning of compatibility with iPhone X cases.

Getting to the back glass, it is noted to have the same construction as used for the iPhone X and iPhone 8. According to iFixit, this means a single small crack in the back panel would require a whole chassis replacement if repaired.

At the end of the teardown, iFixit issued a "repairability" score of 6 out of 10. While display and battery repairs are identified as a priority of the design, and that the display could be replaced without disabling the Face ID hardware, the waterproofing measures and the issue with repairing the glass back harm the iPhone XS and iPhone XS' score.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Two things that I haven't heard a word on:
    1)   Does it use an Intel or Qualcomm modem?
    2)   How does Gigabite LTE compare to 5G?   Is it worth waiting?
  • Reply 2 of 13
    “You are holding it wrong.”

    Apple has done a good job with antennas since the iPhone 4.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    vadimyuryevvadimyuryev Posts: 159member, editor
    Two things that I haven't heard a word on:
    1)   Does it use an Intel or Qualcomm modem?
    2)   How does Gigabite LTE compare to 5G?   Is it worth waiting?
    Intel, just read the full teardown. 

    No word on the wireless charging coil? The extra speed came from nothing, or they just didn't check for differences?
    GeorgeBMaccaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 907member
    Two things that I haven't heard a word on:
    1)   Does it use an Intel or Qualcomm modem?
    2)   How does Gigabite LTE compare to 5G?   Is it worth waiting?
    AI posted on AI earlier this week, the Xs reportedly has much faster download speeds compared to the X. I also saw this article on 5G speeds. If you believe that article, full 5G speeds are going to be a ways off and very susceptible to interference.

    Personally, If I have a good signal, I'm perfectly happy with the LTE speeds I get now. In my experience/opinion, Tower congestion and signal strength are much bigger issues than the broadcast technology.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    seankill said:
    “You are holding it wrong.”

    Apple has done a good job with antennas since the iPhone 4.  
    Interestingly, the real Jobs quote has none of the corporate arrogance or user-blaming of the bastardized meme-quote.

    Jobs actually acknowledged the issue and suggested a way to prevent any issues. What he really said was “just avoid holding it in that way”.
    GeorgeBMacgeorgie01watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,521member
    seankill said:
    “You are holding it wrong.”

    Apple has done a good job with antennas since the iPhone 4.  
    Interestingly, the real Jobs quote has none of the corporate arrogance or user-blaming of the bastardized meme-quote.

    Jobs actually acknowledged the issue and suggested a way to prevent any issues. What he really said was “just avoid holding it in that way”.
    Mmm. Slightly better, but not by much. 
  • Reply 7 of 13
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,097member
    Two things that I haven't heard a word on:
    1)   Does it use an Intel or Qualcomm modem?
    2)   How does Gigabite LTE compare to 5G?   Is it worth waiting?
    Intel, just read the full teardown. 

    No word on the wireless charging coil? The extra speed came from nothing, or they just didn't check for differences?
    That's a shame, Intel modems are shite compared to Qlualcomms. Can't wait for Apple to make their own modems, we know they are working on them.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,086member
    The L-shaped cell is unusual.  
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 9 of 13
    Rayz2016 said:
    seankill said:
    “You are holding it wrong.”

    Apple has done a good job with antennas since the iPhone 4.  
    Interestingly, the real Jobs quote has none of the corporate arrogance or user-blaming of the bastardized meme-quote.

    Jobs actually acknowledged the issue and suggested a way to prevent any issues. What he really said was “just avoid holding it in that way”.
    Mmm. Slightly better, but not by much. 
    Disagree. I think there’s a big difference.  Also, other phones had/have the same issue, i.e. certain grips affecting antenna performance. 
    GeorgeBMacStrangeDaysavon b7watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Rayz2016 said:
    seankill said:
    “You are holding it wrong.”

    Apple has done a good job with antennas since the iPhone 4.  
    Interestingly, the real Jobs quote has none of the corporate arrogance or user-blaming of the bastardized meme-quote.

    Jobs actually acknowledged the issue and suggested a way to prevent any issues. What he really said was “just avoid holding it in that way”.
    Mmm. Slightly better, but not by much. 
    Disagree. I think there’s a big difference.  Also, other phones had/have the same issue, i.e. certain grips affecting antenna performance. 
    I mean there really isn’t a difference. If the suggestion is to not hold it a certain way, that way is defined as the “wrong” way or not the proper way, AKA “the wrong way.”  Plus, how do you hold your phones? I generally cover the base of the phone with my hand. 

    Anyway, Apple has done a great job correcting the antenna flaws of the iPhone 4. 

    Sure other phones had had similar issues but I think the iPhone 4 was uniquely bad (likely due to the steel frame). Plus, Apple charges a premium for their phones, it is only logical to expect a premium product. If you want to excuse a flaw on an Apple phone because it’s on another phone, how do you justify the premium cost? 


    Also have to remember this was only Apple’s 4th smartphone, they were still learning how to design them, so mistakes were to be expected. Just like the easier bending of the iPhone 6 series that was addressed in the iPhone 6s series. 
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 11 of 13
    seankill said:
    “You are holding it wrong.”

    Apple has done a good job with antennas since the iPhone 4.  
    Nah. Keep in mind the 4 controversy was about a deathgrip causing bars to visually drop, not actually dropping the call. In the media event Jobs said that the stripe ("x marks the spot") may indeed cause bars to drop, but noted their display algorithm wasn't quite accurate and would be changed, but he made a point to show it didn't result in immediate dropped calls:


    ...he shows at 18:45 that carrier data proved it dropped <1 % more often than the 3GS, and had 2/3s less returns than the 3GS, and while <1% was more than they'd like it to be, it showed the deathgrip signal attenuation wasn't actually a problem IRL.

    In short there was no "uniquely bad" flaw as you put it, just a lot of whining. Besides the call drop data as evidence, I also point to the fact that they didn't recall it and in fact continued to sell it for *years* after, unchanged. If it were actually a bad flaw as you say the phone would have been a disaster and wouldn't sell for years. It wasn't and it did. Great phone. Still have one as a backup.
    edited September 2018 georgie01GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    seankill said:
    “You are holding it wrong.”

    Apple has done a good job with antennas since the iPhone 4.  
    Nah. Keep in mind the 4 controversy was about a deathgrip causing bars to visually drop, not actually dropping the call. In the media event Jobs said that the stripe ("x marks the spot") may indeed cause bars to drop, but noted their display algorithm wasn't quite accurate and would be changed, but he made a point to show it didn't result in immediate dropped calls:


    ...he shows at 18:45 that carrier data proved it dropped <1 % more often than the 3GS, and had 2/3s less returns than the 3GS, and while <1% was more than they'd like it to be, it showed the deathgrip signal attenuation wasn't actually a problem IRL.

    In short there was no "uniquely bad" flaw as you put it, just a lot of whining. Besides the call drop data as evidence, I also point to the fact that they didn't recall it and in fact continued to sell it for *years* after, unchanged. If it were actually a bad flaw as you say the phone would have been a disaster and wouldn't sell for years. It wasn't and it did. Great phone. Still have one as a backup.

    I had an iPhone 4 and loved it. Great phone for it’s time. But nothing is prefect. It had a problem, Apple literally offered bumpers to circle around the flaw and the iPhone 4s had an antenna design to counteract this problem. Just like the aluminum upgrade the 6s got. 

    Car companies sold a bunch of trash in the 90s and early 2000s, just because it sells doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a flaw. Look at Android if you disagree. It’s okay to admit Apple isn’t prefect, it’s run by humans. I have to remember some people here won’t hear of any criticism against Apple. 

    Check this out: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RD188LlRBGM

  • Reply 13 of 13
    I just did a comparison of my Xs Max again an X using AT&T LTE in rural Tennessee. The X downloaded at about 70 Mbps and the Xs downloaded at 130 Mbps. Granted this is anecdotal, but it seems like a pretty decent speed jump to me.
    watto_cobra
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