Earlier this week, do-it-yourself repair website iFixit shared its full teardown of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, providing a closer look at its scissor switch keyboard, new thermal architecture, and other design tweaks.
As it turns out, there is one more change. In an internal document to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, Apple indicates the 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a new “lid angle sensor” that presumably monitors the opening and closing of the notebook and the precise position of the lid.
MacRumors reached out to iFixit to investigate, leading them to uncover a small sensor facing the left-side hinge of the notebook. There is also a magnet embedded in the hinge itself, with an arrow indicating polarity. iFixit has updated its teardown with photos of the sensor, which we’ve shared below.
While previous-generation MacBook Pro models have a Hall effect sensor that determines when the lid is closed for sleep/wake purposes, the lid angle sensor in the 16-inch MacBook Pro appears to be more sophisticated.
Apple’s service document does not provide any clues as to why the sensor was redesigned, but iFixit speculates that it could provide a clever way for Apple to track how often the lid was opened, closed, or adjusted in cases where the display or frayed flex cables need to be repaired — think “Flexgate.”
The lid angle sensor could also be for an unannounced macOS feature, although again, this is merely speculation.
Of note, in the event of a display repair, Apple’s service document indicates that technicians must calibrate both the display and the lid angle sensor in order for the repair to be considered complete. If we learn any additional information about the sensor, we will be sure to provide an update.