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Teardown shows iPhone 12 Pro Max's enlarged camera module

iPhone 12 Pro Max

The latest teardown of the iPhone 12 Pro Max has revealed just how different the camera system is to the one used in the iPhone 12 Pro, with the physically larger sensor and OIS mechanism resulting in a much bigger camera module package.

Following after other customary teardowns of the other iPhone models, the latest examination by iFixit reveals there are still a few differences in the model compared to dismantling the iPhone 12 Pro. The larger body gave Apple the opportunity to do things a little differently, given the extra internal space available to it.

The most important change is with the camera module, which is physically larger than the one found in the iPhone 12 Pro due to Apple changing one of the sensors. The iPhone 12 Pro Max's wide-angle sensor is 47% larger than in the Pro while remaining the same resolution, allowing the larger pixels to capture more light and provide better low-light performance.

Apple's use of the sensor-shift optical image stabilization system on the sensor means it needs more room, with four magnets used to move the sensor thousands of times per second.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max's camera module, with a larger section for the wide-angle camera [via iFixit]
The iPhone 12 Pro Max's camera module, with a larger section for the wide-angle camera [via iFixit]

On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first immediately-apparent difference is the battery, as Apple has continued using the L-shaped version employed in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, instead of switching to a more standard rectangular version as observed in the iPhone 12 Pro.

Retaining the shape also gives it the most capacity out of the four models at 14.13Wh, far higher than the 10.78Wh used in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and the 8.57Wh version in the iPhone 12 mini. However, this is still a reduction compared to the 15.04Wh unit used in the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

While largely containing the same components, the design of the logic board is also different in the Pro Max, with it being deemed highly compact by the firm. Like the mid-sized models, it also benefits from a modular SIM reader, which makes the component more repair-friendly.

The extra space also allowed Apple to slip in some other components that could benefit from more legroom. A larger Taptic Engine and speaker are included in the model, though there's also seemingly a black-plastic element that is believed be included to just fill "unused" space.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max was given a "repairability" score of 6 out of 10. While iFixit praised the prioritization of screen and battery repairs, as well as the modularity of most components, the use of uncommon screws, waterproofing measures, and the potential full case replacement for a broken glass back work against the model.