Apple Pencil: Crammed full of tech you're never meant to see

On the outside, the Apple Pencil looks like, well, like a disposable plastic pen, but a teardown shows that it's crammed full of tiny technology.

On the outside, the Apple Pencil looks like, well, like a disposable plastic pen, but a teardown by repair specialists iFixit shows that it's crammed full of tiny technology that you'll never be able to see unless you smash it open.

In order to get into the Apple Pencil a Dremel power tool had to be appropriated to cut the outer casing and expose the metallic innards. This is clearly not a user-repairable device.

Taking up the bulk of the space inside the Apple Pencil is a miniscule 3.82V/0.329Wh lithium-ion battery which holds just 5 percent of the charge of the battery found inside the iPhone 6s. This battery can power the device for up to 12 hours.

The heart of the Apple Pencil is a tiny circuit board weighing in at only 1 gram. But built onto this board are several components, including an ST Microelectronics STML151UCY6 Ultra-low-power 32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3 microcontroller unit.

Apple Pencil teardown
iFixit

At the business end of the Apple Pencil is another tiny circuit board, on which are three diminutive contacts that are used to mechanically determine how hard the pencil is being pressed.

Apple Pencil teardown
iFixit

There's also a tiny antenna that's used to communicate with the iPad Pro (the uppermost component in the image below). This is housed at the top of the Apple Pencil, below the Lightning connector.

Apple Pencil teardown
iFixit

As you'd expect of a device where you need a Dremel to get inside it, the Apple Pencil scores a distressing 1 out of 10 (where 10 is the easiest to repair). Apart from the nib or cap covering the Lightning connector, there's nothing to repair or fix.

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