Smart Battery Case Teardown Confirms Battery is Difficult to Replace

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iFixit has completed a Smart Battery Case teardown, providing a closer look at the case's brushed aluminum inner shell, rechargeable lithium-ion battery and tiny logic board housing two Lightning connectors.


The inner aluminum plate serves as a door for the battery compartment, which houses a 1,877 mAh battery (7.13 Whr) that more than doubles the iPhone 6s battery capacity of 1,715 mAh. iFixit says the battery is "very strongly adhered in place" with a connector rather than soldering.

Much of what makes Apple's Smart Battery Case "smart" is powered by the iPhone, as the case only has a few other components, including a NXP NX20P3 load switch, also found in Lightning to USB cables, and a NXP 1608A1 charging chip.


iFixit awarded the Smart Battery Case a repairability score of 2 out of 10, with ten being the easiest to repair. While the battery pack can technically be replaced, the case has a strong adhesive lining, and all other repairs would destroy the accessory.

Article Link: Smart Battery Case Teardown Confirms Battery is Difficult to Replace
 
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pgiguere1

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It's an accessory, I don't think people would expect it to be repairable to begin with.

I'm not sure Apple themselves would bother repairing them, they probably just give you a new one and recycle what they can.

We might as well give Apple's cables, adapters and headphones a repairability score as well while we're at it.
 

ArtOfWarfare

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I can’t wait until the day you take your car for a cam belt change and they tell you that the engine is sealed and you need a new car.
Low repairability isn't universal across Apple's devices, is it? Isn't the Mac Pro pretty easy to repair and upgrade?

What a surprise
I too am surprised. I was expecting a 0 or 1 out of 10. 2 out of 10 is much more repairable than I would have expected for an accessory like this.
 

dearfriendx

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I can’t wait until the day you take your car for a cam belt change and they tell you that the engine is sealed and you need a new car.
He was referring to the repairability of Apple products not repairability of everything in life... If we bring car logic into it, many will be electric in 10 years. No need for belts, oil changes, etc.
 
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0098386

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I guess I fall into a minority where I don't hate a website because they gave my favourite company a bad score.

Still such a weird concept to me. I've found iFixit to be very useful in fixing my iPods and iMacs over the years (instead of just binning slightly broken devices). And now very interesting as I learn how well designed some of their newer systems are. But eh, some people just aren't into that it seems.
 

b.inazawa-fan

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I guess I fall into a minority where I don't hate a website because they gave my favourite company a bad score.

Still such a weird concept to me. I've found iFixit to be very useful in fixing my iPods and iMacs over the years (instead of just binning slightly broken devices). And now very interesting as I learn how well designed some of their newer systems are. But eh, some people just aren't into that it seems.
I still like their pictures and teardowns (Though the quality is falling sharply as they rush to make the headlines for clicks. For example, they didn't even notice the iPad Pro had more pins in the connector the first time around). It's just the holier than thou attitude that gets to people.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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Repairability is a thing of the past (as we meanwhile know it's close to 0). A durability and recyclability scale would be much more interesting..
This. No one is going to consider ripping apart their battery case or MacBook Air. In a couple years when the battery case battery dies they'll have gotten a new phone long ago and won't care.

It should be no surprise that as things become more miniaturized, the repairability becomes more difficult. We see this with cars and all electronics.

I still like their pictures and teardowns (Though the quality is falling sharply as they rush to make the headlines for clicks. For example, they didn't even notice the iPad Pro had more pins in the connector the first time around). It's just the holier than thou attitude that gets to people.
They certainly seem to be rushed as they see their market shrink and lose revenue. Seems they're far more interested in getting the headline out there quick and making it click-bait than providing the best writeup possible.
 

longofest

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Is it wrong that my first thought was, "I can't believe they spent the time and money to do this"?
In my mind, while I wouldn't necessary want to replace the battery myself, the reason that I would want it to be more easily replaceable is so that I know that professionals can replace the battery without destroying the case, thinking more from a reusability and a green point of view than a user serviceability point of view. If any time the battery dies you have to toss the entire thing, that is potentially a big waste.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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I'm sure there is a simple explanation for this, but how come the 1,877 mAh battery can't charge the internal smaller 1,715 mAh battery to 100%, instead of only around ~85%?
Energy transfer isn't 100% efficient (if you can make it so then there are billions of dollars in your future). Some is lost as heat and in other ways when transferring from one spot to the other. A bit of that power has to go to the charging circuit that monitors the charging activity also.
 
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