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Inside the iPad 3: Tearing Apart Apple's Latest Creation

By - Source: iFixit | B 36 comments

The iPad 3 launched this morning to queues at stores around the world (unless you went to Walmart at midnight last night). It's a tradition for the most die-hard of Apple fans to camp out for the latest products. Now that the crowds are dispersing, it's time for another tradition -- tearing that sucker apart.

Old favorite iFixit stepped up to the plate yesterday having procured one of the new iPads from a midnight opening in Melbourne, Australia. It's now been officially confirmed that the iPad 3 has twice the RAM of the iPad 2. Aside from 1 GB of DRAM (comprised of two 4Gb Elpida LP DDR2 parts), iFixit found that much talked about dual-core Apple A5X processor with integrated quad-core graphics, a 9.7-inch Samsung-manufactured Retina Display, a Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n Baseband/Radio with Integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS, a Qualcomm MDM9600 3G and 4G wireless modem (not the expected 2nd generation MDM9615), and a Qualcomm RTR8600 multi-band/mode RF transceiver for LTE bands. The iPad also boasts 16, 32 or 64 GB of Toshiba NAND flash memory and a 5 MP HD rear-facing camera.

The biggest thing you'll see when taking apart the iPad is the battery, which is massive. This was expected, considering Apple has beefed up the graphics and added that stunning Retina Display. The battery in the iPad 2 was a 25 watt-hour Li-ion, while the iPad 3 boasts a 42.5 watt-hours battery. iFixit reports that takes most of the space inside the iPad. No kidding, look at that thing.

As far as DIY repairs are concerned, the iPad 3 scores a depressing 2 out of 10 on the repairability scale/ No surprise there, really, as Apple has gained some notoriety for making its products inaccessible when it comes to home repairs. What is surprising is that iFixit is actually downgrading the iPad 2's score from last year, too.

"While the new iPad's design is essentially the same as the iPad 2, which we gave a repairability score of 4, we've learned a lot about the design since then. We've spent the last year trying to repair the iPad 2 with mixed success," writes Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit. "We are awarding the new iPad an abysmal 2 out of 10, and retroactively dropping the repairability score of the iPad 2 to a 2 as well. The adhesive on the front is extremely difficult to remove without damaging the glass, making repair and end-of-life recycling very difficult."

So, don't try this at home unless you have supreme confidence in your tinkering skills.

Check out the full tear down here.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , March 16, 2012 7:31 PM
    For some reason I find pleasure in seeing an iPad in pieces.....
  • 20 Hide
    classzero , March 16, 2012 8:04 PM
    ben850Competition in the technology department does amazing things. Now if only AMD would get their crap together

    Huh? AMD what? Kids, that brings me to my next topic . . . Just say no to crack!
  • 18 Hide
    kawininjazx , March 16, 2012 7:30 PM
    Working on Apple portable devices is a nightmare.
Other Comments
    Display all 36 comments.
  • 18 Hide
    kawininjazx , March 16, 2012 7:30 PM
    Working on Apple portable devices is a nightmare.
  • 25 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , March 16, 2012 7:31 PM
    For some reason I find pleasure in seeing an iPad in pieces.....
  • 9 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 16, 2012 7:46 PM
    Accessibility to repairs is not required, because Apple expects their customers to ship their broken products to them or authorized dealerships, at the cost of an extra organ.

    And that is why I shy away from locked-down products. If you aren't going to make it durable (glass screen *cough*), at least make it accessible.
  • 20 Hide
    classzero , March 16, 2012 8:04 PM
    ben850Competition in the technology department does amazing things. Now if only AMD would get their crap together

    Huh? AMD what? Kids, that brings me to my next topic . . . Just say no to crack!
  • -4 Hide
    Usersname , March 16, 2012 8:06 PM
    A Bad DayAccessibility to repairs is not required, because Apple expects their customers to ship their broken products to them or authorized dealerships, at the cost of an extra organ.And that is why I shy away from locked-down products. If you aren't going to make it durable (glass screen *cough*), at least make it accessible.
    let me see...your TV is "open" is it? and what of your car stereo, etc., etc. Get real, it is a product.
  • -3 Hide
    classzero , March 16, 2012 8:08 PM
    usersnamelet me see...your TV is "open" is it? and what of your car stereo, etc., etc. Get real, it is a product.


    Well said
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , March 16, 2012 8:20 PM
    Proprietary devices suck, in your car, and your living room....
  • 13 Hide
    Tab54o , March 16, 2012 8:38 PM
    Should have done this Gordon Freeman style, with a crowbar.
  • 12 Hide
    Tab54o , March 16, 2012 8:40 PM
    usersnamelet me see...your TV is "open" is it? and what of your car stereo, etc., etc. Get real, it is a product.


    A tv doesn't have a battery that needs to be replaced. Nor is it something that you carry around that could get dropped is it?
  • 10 Hide
    freggo , March 16, 2012 9:18 PM
    If I need a service center to change a battery it is very unlikely that I will be buying your product... !

  • 6 Hide
    dr1337 , March 16, 2012 10:19 PM
    usersnamelet me see...your TV is "open" is it? and what of your car stereo, etc., etc. Get real, it is a product.


    ........I've repaired a number of TV's.................. and car stereos........... and etc.,etc get some skills man its a product.
  • 1 Hide
    vider , March 16, 2012 10:39 PM
    Overpriced, limited, proprietary and behind times is what APPLE is.

    http://www.cnet.com/8301-17918_1-20123375-85/android-ice-cream-sandwich-versus-ios-5-killer-features/
  • 8 Hide
    cookoy , March 16, 2012 10:42 PM
    No wonder the people at Foxconn are depressed. They have to assemble this thing and are getting very low pay.
  • -2 Hide
    Usersname , March 16, 2012 10:57 PM
    Tab54oA tv doesn't have a battery that needs to be replaced. Nor is it something that you carry around that could get dropped is it?
    Swap iPad for Walkman or laptop PC's and mobile phones. Certainly you could replace a battery but should you break the unit it is either unserviceable or a returns job. Most people, let's say 99.9% do not have the requisite engineering skills to repair any of their domestic appliances. Most parts are not even available to consumers. Warranties can be invalidated by DIY repairs. Products fail. Products get broken accidentally. Most people in most instances would either have to call in a service engineer or return an item for repair. People on Tom's who constantly pick at Apple should have a careful think about all the manufacturers and sources for all the products they buy.
  • 2 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 16, 2012 11:32 PM
    I would like to see a Blendec blender tear apart apple's latest creation. Let's see how tough that battery is
  • 4 Hide
    Au_equus , March 17, 2012 12:39 AM
    Quote:
    ...9.7-inch Samsung-manufactured Retina Display...

    first, their MBA ssd, now their new iPad's widely advertised "retina display"
    When you call something "Resolutionary" and is, in fact, made by your main competitor is extremely ironic.
    +100 to sammy
  • 5 Hide
    halcyon , March 17, 2012 12:52 AM
    viderOverpriced, limited, proprietary and behind times is what APPLE is.http://www.cnet.com/8301-17918_1-2 [...] -features/


    Absolutely, because all the competition is sooooo far ahead...yeah...now about that bridge....
  • -1 Hide
    ericburnby , March 17, 2012 1:54 AM
    au_equusfirst, their MBA ssd, now their new iPad's widely advertised "retina display"When you call something "Resolutionary" and is, in fact, made by your main competitor is extremely ironic.+100 to sammy

    Just because you make the raw ingredients that go into a product doesn't mean you know how to make a good product. Anyone can go to the grocery store and buy everything needed to create a 12 course dinner. Doesn't mean they can actually COOK that dinner.

    Samsung provides tools. The same way Fender makes guitars that people like Hendrix or Clapton then used to make great music. Samsung is Fender. Apple is Hendrix. Both are responsible for making the final product, but Hendrix (Apple) is responsible for MOST of the end result.

    Too bad Samsung doesn't know how to make a tablet despite being able to make the components that go into one. How about that just-announced (at MWC 2012) Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with the same internals as last year, a case that's almost 2mm thicker and....wait for it.....an SD card slot. One year later and that's all you can bring Sammy?
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , March 17, 2012 2:51 AM
    ericburnbyJust because you make the raw ingredients that go into a product doesn't mean you know how to make a good product. Anyone can go to the grocery store and buy everything needed to create a 12 course dinner. Doesn't mean they can actually COOK that dinner.Samsung provides tools. The same way Fender makes guitars that people like Hendrix or Clapton then used to make great music. Samsung is Fender. Apple is Hendrix. Both are responsible for making the final product, but Hendrix (Apple) is responsible for MOST of the end result.Too bad Samsung doesn't know how to make a tablet despite being able to make the components that go into one. How about that just-announced (at MWC 2012) Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with the same internals as last year, a case that's almost 2mm thicker and....wait for it.....an SD card slot. One year later and that's all you can bring Sammy?


    Great analogy!
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