It seems that the hardware responsible for Galaxy S10-ish bilateral charging on the new iPhone 11 Pro Max is on board after all.
Although Apple has denied it, there have been rumors that the new iPhones support bilateral charging.
iFixit has taken the iPhone 11 Pro Max apart and identified a second connector to the phone's monstrous L-shaped battery. That's a new design for an iPhone.
"There could be a number of reasons for this extra cable to exist, but bilateral charging is certainly one of them," iFixit comments.
The team did some testing: The phone will function without the charging-port-end connected. While that lower cable is disconnected, the phone will charge via the Lightning port, but not the wireless charging coil. When the teardown team disconnected the "main" cable that goes directly to the logic board, the phone shut down as normal and would not boot, even with the other cable connected.
The new phone has a "mystery" board spotted in the X-ray below the battery that serves as an interconnect for the battery, wireless charging coil, and Taptic Engine. So we have a secondary battery connector for the first time ever in an iPhone, plugging in directly adjacent to the wireless charging coil.
Apple did post a new support document today, stating that iPhone 11 Pro contains new hardware for monitoring and managing battery performance. So maybe that's all this is, but it just looks suspiciously like bilateral charging hardware.
The teardown also confirmed that the device has 4GB of SK Hynix LPDDR4X RAM, along with an Intel modem, a hude 3969 mAh batrery at 3.79 V, plus some RF antennas.
iFixit also confirmed that critical display and battery repairs remain a priority in the iPhone's design, giving the device an overall repairability score of 6 out of 10.