Upgrading an iPhone 15 Pro Storage, after purchase!

Interesting to see what all is in there, much less work on it!!

Here are the steps for this after-market upgrade (note: this is not a DIY project and requires highly specialized tools):

  • Remove the screen
  • Remove the motherboard
  • Remove and clean the original 128GB NAND via CNC and manual work
  • Install the new 512GB NAND
  • Reinstall the motherboard
  • Remove the remaining waterproof adhesive
  • Reinstall the screen
  • Perform DFU



The phrase that popped into my mind? No user serviceable parts inside.

Some interesting tools. Whatever it was to remove the remaining adhesive in particular. It looked like a very thin rod, probably tapered, that I think was spinning, or being rolled. The last screws were replaced with a torque driver, the clicks were audible.

I think I’ll just continue to buy my phones with more memory than I expect to need, and then some more.

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Yes, indeed, and using a CNC machine to take out the original memory chip was a bit daunting! Mind boggling that so much can be crammed into that space… (we recently jumped up to a new iPhone 15 for my wife and a 15 Pro Max for me… Never imagine even trying to open either one up…

I remember the days of old where static was a major problem, we wore grounding straps to do anything to motherboards, circuit packs. Does not see to be as big a concern today…

Practically speaking, nobody in their right mind (read as “nobody outside of Asia”) would do this. Instead they would simply trade in their old phone and buy a new one with more storage for $100-200 or whatever.

True, the cost of the tooling alone would buy a replacement, many if the CNC cost was involved… I’ve opened, replaced batteries, keyboards on iBooks, MacBooks, but the tininess of this ribbon cables, connectors takes it out of even considering… That those cables, connectors can survive our daily use or abuse is pretty awesome. Interesting to see the internals…

I’ve a nice older 27" iMac setting nearby, I’d like to replace it’s fusion drive with an SSD, but opening it up is daunting enough, that so far I haven’t gone for it… Have the suction cup to remove the glass, but…


I’d like to upgrade the storage in my iMac, but having done it in an older iMac, I haven’t yet. It’s definitely the hardest upgrade to a Mac I’ve done.

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I used to open up Macs all the time, and not just the desktops. The PowerBook G4 aluminum 12" was a really hard one to work with – before the unibody aluminum laptops, so it had some internal framing pieces and a zillion tiny screws that were easy to lose and hard to keep organized. I swapped out the internal HDs on a couple of those a few times.

The most recent Macs I’ve opened up have been a 2008 MBP that I installed an SSD in place of the HD in, and one of my sons’ Intel MBP – I think it was a 2015 13" Intel MBP, to swap out the SSD for a bigger one.

I did a few DIY iPod repairs – the old clickwheel models. I think I replaced the HD in an iPod Photo, and the battery. More than once.

I’m pretty sure I opened up an iPhone for a DIY repair once, but I don’t remember what I did. I just know I have the prying tools and suction cup to remove the screen. The suction cup wouldn’t have been used for the iPod.

But I got tired of DIY upgrades and learned to embrace Apple’s buy-a-new-machine model. It’s partly why I keep Macs so long. Use them long enough and run them into the ground so that a simple HD/SSD upgrade starts feeling like putting duct tape over a leak in an old tire – or the inner tube, back when tires had inner tubes. I also found I quickly got over that “It’s a whole new machine” feeling I used to get when upgrading internal storage.

That said, I did buy an iFixit SSD upgrade kit for my 2019 27" Retina Intel iMac. I wanted to go from 1 TB to 2 TB on the SSD, and after the PBG4, not much really frightens me in terms of DIY upgrades. For now, I’m not switching to a new Apple Silicon iMac because, frankly, the big screen is why I got the 27" iMac in the first place, so I’m holding out. The programs I use are still Intel compatible.

The upgrade kit has been sitting on a shelf for months, though. I just don’t have the time, and I have ~100 GB space on the internal SSD, so there’s no immediate need to upgrade it. Some day, either I’ll find the time, or Apple will roll out a big screen Apple Silicon iMac.


Our 27" iMac was my wife’s so for now it’s just here in my office, waiting for me to decide what to do with it…SellYouMac only offered $100 for it, so not with the hassle of shipping, really… And I might update its old fusion drive, likely make it somewhat useful, but it’s update life is ended, so is it really worth it? I used to pick up the white iBooks, pass 'em along to Grandkids for school, somewhat challenging to open, and all the screws, I learned early on the sketch the layout on a cardboard lid, poke holes for the screw along with notes as I went along, boosting HDs, memory… But they’ve outgrown them, moved on the MacBooks, given the old iBooks back, or older MacBooks as they’ve moved along, too… One day some recycle time for them, need to wipe the drives, tho… Another boat anchor now is my old cheese rater Mac Pro, served me well for many years, still use the 32" Dell monitor with the new M2 Mac Mini… An HP 25" monitor sets on the Mac Pro as I migrated to the Mini, again, what to do with them? Need a bigger garage! Or bite the bullet and recycle all of 'em! A box of old HDs is on a shelf out there, also need wiping or shredding, not much use for small spinners any more…

So, I’m too much of a gatherer, in to many interests, times have changed, kids, grandkids have no interest in old tools, old computers, etc… Need to pin down an eWaste site locally…

Fun finding, fixing stuff, but then… eBay is a PITA with shipping, don’t need the money, so there it sets…