iFixit deems Apple's iPhone SE "pretty repair-friendly" following teardown

Exploded iPhone SE on a table
Exploded iPhone SE on a table (Image credit: iFixit)

What you need to know

  • iFixit has completed its iPhone SE teardown.
  • It's been given a repairability score of 6.
  • That glass back "impractical to replace".

Like all Apple releases, iPhone SE has been through the iFixit lab in the name of science. And to see how easily it can be repaired. Turns out, there's good news and bad news. Overall, iPhone SE gets a repairability score of 6.

As iFixit shares in its full post mortem, repairing the most common parts is fairly easy if you know what you're doing. That means batteries and screens can be repaired without too much trouble, although you'll need the right tools. And the knowledge to go with them.

iPhone SE with taptic engine removed

iPhone SE with taptic engine removed (Image credit: iFixit)

iFixit also hits the nail on the head in terms of Apple's manufacturing process for iPhone SE – it's largely re-using parts and tools that it already had from iPhone 8.

We're pretty thrilled that Apple Frankensteined this phone together with parts from previous models. Replacement parts should be easier to find—and re-using the existing manufacturing lines produces less waste overall.

So what's the bad news? iFixit says that the "fragile glass back is impractical to replace" which isn't great news. Especially considering how often people manage to break them. As ever, we'd suggest considering AppleCare+ if you're someone prone to dropping – and obliterating – their phone.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.