iPhone 14 Pro Max Teardown Provides Closer Look at Unused SIM Tray Area on U.S. Model and More

Repair website iFixit today shared an in-depth teardown of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, providing a closer look at the device's internals. Notably, the teardown includes a photo of the plastic spacer that replaced the SIM card tray on the U.S. model.

iPhone 14 Pro Max SIM Card Plastic Spacer
All four iPhone 14 models sold in the U.S. no longer have a physical SIM card tray and rely entirely on digital eSIMs. The teardown confirms that Apple is not using the internal space freed up by the tray's removal for any other component or added functionality, and instead filled in the gap with a square piece of plastic. Outside of the U.S., all iPhone 14 models are still equipped with a SIM card tray in this space.

As seen in previous teardowns, iFixit provided close-up images of the iPhone 14 Pro Max's logic board, which is equipped with a faster A16 Bionic chip and Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 modem that provides both 5G and satellite connectivity.


While the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus can be opened from the back side, and feature a more repairable design with an easily removable display and back glass panel, these design changes do not extend to the Pro models. The teardown shows that the iPhone 14 Pro Max continues to open from the front and does not have removable back glass. The internal design of the device is largely unchanged from the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The lack of removable back glass on iPhone 14 Pro models makes repairs more expensive. Without AppleCare+, Apple Stores charge $499 to $549 to fix cracked rear glass on iPhone 14 Pro models, compared to $169 to $199 for standard iPhone 14 models.

iFixit shared a teardown of the iPhone 14 earlier this week.

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Top Rated Comments

sw1tcher Avatar
22 months ago
So much for all the people who said getting rid of the SIM tray is a good thing as it would mean extra space for Apple to give us something extra (e.g. features, battery capacity, etc.).

We got something extra alright... a chunk of plastic ?
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
22 months ago

eSim is cool but I still prefer the old sim card tray. I wonder what the extra space will be used for in the iPhone 15.
3.5mm headphone jack? ?
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
22 months ago

So is there any real benefit for the U.S. models? Better water resistance? (Speaking of, where will they put the ingress indicator?) Or, is it just cost cutting?
Pure cost cutting. But good morning!



Attachment Image
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
22 months ago
Kinda funny since that plastic spacer serves no meaningful purpose at all.

Apple preaches environmental benefits when they removed the power adapter and EarPods. With no SIM slot on the U.S. model, they decide to generate plastic waste by putting in a spacer. It serves no purpose except hope nobody remembers what's supposed to be underneath it.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deathcab Avatar
22 months ago
Odd decision to remove but not utilize the space, especially since it limits carrier choice in many instances - including in the US as many prepaid and MVNO carriers do not yet support eSim (and can’t until the Big 3 allow them to since most run on their networks). This move also disables hardware-based unlocks that worked with physical sims such as R-Sim, though those workarounds are admittedly sketchy in their own right.

I still wonder if the Big 3 carriers influenced this change to limit competition and create friction for switching to other carriers.

(post edited for clarity)
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mihirdelirious Avatar
22 months ago
the COURAGE. What a shame ! All advantages of the eSIM were still present in the previous iPhones; 13, 12, 11, as well as the XR/XS back in 2018. And they all also had a physical SIM slot
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)