iPhone 7 teardown reveals speaker grille that does nothing

16 Sep 2016

A teardown of the iPhone 7 revealed all of the phone’s secrets, and the second speaker grille that replaced the headphone jack is nothing more than an aesthetic fake.

Pre-orders reveal the iPhone 7 is selling like hot cakes with Apple struggling to keep up with demand. But, for the first time, the phone’s innards have been revealed as part of a detailed teardown from iFixit.

Following the phone’s reveal earlier this month, the company’s decision to drop the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and introducing its odd-looking AirPods Bluetooth headphones was made fun of online.

Future Human

On-stage during the launch, Apple’s Phil Schiller tried to ease any fears of a downgrading of the phone’s capabilities by confirming that, for the first time, the phone will come with dual speakers: one at the top and bottom of the phone.

Looking at the phone’s design, the area where the headphone jack was found has now been replaced by a speaker grille of the same, familiar design.

However, iFixit’s teardown has revealed this second speaker grille is nothing more than an aesthetic choice with no sound being emitted from it.

“Closer inspection shows a new, second lower speaker grille that leads … nowhere? Interesting,” iFixit said.

While it would seem a strange decision to create more holes in a phone that proclaims itself to be water resistant, its water resistance standard of IP67 would appear to show it has no detrimental effects.

As Apple said, the headphone jack was removed not only to make it more water resistant, but also to put in more technology to increase the phone’s haptic technology capability.

iPhone speakers. Image: chinnapong/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic