iFixit iPhone 14 Teardown: Square Plastic Replaces SIM Card Tray on U.S. Models

BY Dave Johnson

Published 21 Sep 2022

ifixit teardown

In a recent teardown of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, iFixit, noted that Apple replaced the SIM card tray with a square piece of plastic. 

Earlier this month, Apple announced that all four iPhone 14 models would launch in the U.S. without a SIM card tray. Instead, users would have to rely entirely on eSIMs to stay connected to a network. 

Unsurprisingly, some Apple fans hoped that removing the SIM tray could mean space for something extra — a new feature or battery capacity. A few even had a far-fetched dream that Apple might fill the space with a 3.5mm headphone jack. But that’s not the case. 

A recent teardown video from a popular repair website, iFixit, closely looks at the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s internals. 

The teardown confirms that Apple did not use the space from removing the SIM tray for anything component or feature. Instead, the Cupertino-based tech giant added a square piece of plastic to fill the gap. 

“Looking at how dense the logic board is, you’d thing Apple would come up with a use for this [SIM tray space] beyond a gram of nothing,” says iFixit. “How about this pitch — maybe a little extra storage?”

Meanwhile, all iPhone 14 models outside the U.S. still have a physical SIM card tray. 

A Closer Look at the iFixit iPhone 14 Pro Max Teardown

Like previous teardown videos, iFixit provided a closer view of the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s logic board. Expectedly, it wasn’t a straightforward process. 

The reviewer had to remove a ton of connectors and screws first. These include the iPhone’s upper speaker and the front-facing camera with autofocus.

iFixit also replicated the back camera vibration that has plagued the iPhone 14 Pro models since its release. The reviewer downloaded the TikTok app and flipped the camera several times to initiate the rattling. She also pointed out that the most recent iOS update still doesn’t fix the issue. 

After removing a few other components, iFixit finally reached the logic board to reveal the square-shaped plastic, a faster A16 Bionic chip, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X65 modem. 

In the end, iFixit gave the iPhone 14 Pro Max a repairability score of six out of a possible ten. 

Watch the full video here: