The new iPad teardown surprises

The new iPad teardown surprises

Summary: Three surprises from iFixit's teardown of the new iPad.


The guys and gals over at iFixit got their hands on a brand new 'new iPad' (aka, iPad 3) and guess what they did with it? Yep, they took it to pieces! Contained in that teardown are some interesting surprises.

First major surprise is the battery. We already know that the battery was a massive upgrade over the one in the iPad 2, holding 42.5 watt-hours of power as opposed to 25 watt-hour in the older model. How did Apple accomplish this trick? With new battery chemistry? Magic? Nope. Apple fitted a much bigger battery.

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Each cell is about 70 percent bigger compared to the battery in the iPad 2 but the power capacity of the cells remains about the same at around 0.0014 watt-hour/mm3.

Another interesting result of the teardown for me is that Samsung is still supplying parts for the new iPad despite being locked in patent disputes with Apple. There are rumors that both Samsung and LG are supplying the 2048x1536 'Retina' display panels so we have to be careful in drawing too many conclusions from a single teardown. However, for now it is confirmed that Samsung is still supplying parts for the iPad.

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Final surprise is that the leaked photo of the new logic board and processor for the iPad actually turned out to be real.

Here was the leaked image:

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And here's a shot of the logic board from the teardown:

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I wonder how that one slipped past Apple's wall of secrecy.


Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPad, Mobility, Samsung

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  • Do you still think the battery is revolutionary?

    Because you said in a previous article that the true revolution of the new iPad was the battery. I commented that I didn't agree because the thicker and heavier iPad pointed to it simply having a larger battery pack.

    Looks like I was right and your were not.
    • As I did to that blog

      Battery technology energy density hasn't undergone any real changes for years.

      If the battery had been removeable, it would have had to have a stronger, bulkier case to remain self-supporting. As it is, the outside case only had to deal with 30g extra (probably due to weight savings in other components), and so did not really need any extra strengthening.

      Really, none of the 'surprising' things cited were so, but another beat up by this once-respected blogger.

      Basically, he has sold out. Why?
    • Meeee Toooooo

      I thought that whole blog was ridiculous. The battery is 70% bigger with 70% more capacity. Some revolution. Talk about click bait.
    • good one

      nice :)
      other *
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  • Yep...

    Word is, that the display isn't IPS anymore either but rather Samsungs PLS display technology... And of course, it isn't truly Retina because it never makes it to 300 ppi let alone beyond that magic number.
    • When it sucks it blows

      In addition to being The Keeper of the Seventh Sword and the Guardian of the Royal Chalice, Peter fancies himself the Knower of the Retina, the guy who gets to define for the rest of the world what one of Apple's marketing terms means.

      There is of course no definitive answer to the question "what is a retina display," since it is a marketing term and nothing else, sort of like the "root cyclone" found on Dyson vacuum cleaners.

      Somewhere in the world there is surely someone as pedantic as Peter who is ranting on some forum that Dyson does not actually have a "root cyclone" in their vacuum cleaners. Let us hope that he does not join us here.
      Robert Hahn
      • WRONG

        Retina Display is a scientific terms that some Apple wonk thought sounded cool and Steve Jobs LIED, falsified scientific facts, to make the iPhone 4 qualify. The iPhone 4 never had true Retina Display -- it would need 477 dpi to qualify and falls far short. The new iPad probably does not have it either. More Apple lies.
      • Umm, nope...

        First, as others pointed out, it was defined elsewhere... Of course, Steve himself defined it as greater than 300 PPI... As you can see from specs this display meets neither definition... Of course, that does not mean it is a bad display and to the contrary, it is one of the best displays in a tablet period (I still favor Super Amoled).
    • It is not PLS technolgy; Samsung only started PLS year ago, and iPad IPS

      ... displays were produced for more than two years already. The point is that Samsung produced IPS displays only for Apple, since for themselves they never acquired license for IPS technology from Hitachi Displays, which is inventor of IPS. So they made their own IPS clone (to not pay license fees) year ago.

      As to Retina display, it is called that only depending on resolution and distance on which the device is used. These two circumstances make people see dots or not. So, of course, iPhone 4/4S has Retina for 10", and iPad (3) has Retina for 15" distance.
      • I was thinking of the rumored 7"

        I was think of the rumored 7" iPad for the PLS.

        As for Retina, sorry but that's a joke right? That is like saying the iPad 2 was a retina display at 30"! I get that wired spoke in terms of measure distance but really, the PPI doesn't change and not all eyes are the same... Ted Williams was said to have incredible eye sight (some say he could count the stitches on a fastball to exaggerate this claim) and mine is 20/20 with glasses so, does that mean that Retina has now changed for Ted Williams? Yes, I know he's dead but humor me.

        Here's the idea behind the standards of PPI and DPI.

        The PPI of 240 is considered minimally accepted for sharpness approaching what our eyes can distinguish... And, 300 PPI is considered optimal for sharpness, which means anything above that is Gravy. However, some spetrums of light allow for a much higher visibility to the eye.

        The iPhone 4/s, HTC Rezound, and LG have all crossed the 300 PPI marker but the iPad 3 has not.
  • If the battery did not become any more effective than before, then it means

    ... iPad minus battery became 25g lighter, even though the enclosure became slightly thicker/heavier.

    This might be due to:
    1) use of new generation of Gorilla glass, which offers the same firmness at 80% of thickness/weight;

    2) decrease in size of the circuit board, which now has only two places for flash memory chips. This explains why the new iPad has the same maximum flash memory limit despite flash memory itself got much higher density lately, comparing to year ago (and what allowed iPhone 4S bear 64 GB of flash memory).
    • Does the iPad use Gorilla glass?

      Not listed on the Corning site:
      • Apple has a rule that it should not be listed as client

        The thing is that Corning returned to making Gorilla glass after more than thirty years only because Jobs was wearing iPhone prototype with himself and noticed how screen got all these micro scratches, which make the image blurry. So he made Corning to re-install Gorilla glass production for iPhone (it is described in details in Isaacson's biography of Jobs). And, since then, not only Apple, but its competitors use these screens.
      • Go watch the drop tests, they don't lie...

        The drop tests and micro scratches on unprotected iPhones and iPad/2 show that the devices scratch and crack way too easy to be Gorilla Glass and I Doubt that Apple changed this for the iPad 3... I am however not willing to test this with the iPad 3 I have in my possession.
      • What drop tests?

      • Wow, still no citation

        EPIC FAIL
  • Margins beaten down

    Another research for IHSuppli I think, tore one down and estimated the cost of making one at around $316. That's a gross margin of less tha 50%, a a first for Apple, which clearly shows Apple is feeling some pressure -