Apple iPad 4 teardown finds guts, but no repair glory
After the iPad mini teardown already behind out backs
, now it's time for the overhauled big brother to lie on the dissection table of iFixit with all its adhesive-bound glory, that makes it tough to repair.
The good gals and guys over there are quick to sooth the emotions of new iPad
owners, saying that the 4th generation iPad
has barely changed compared to it, except for the connector, of course, and the faster processor, which they may or may not be that giddy about anyway. The improved FaceTime front camera, however, might tip the scales in the iPad 4 favor.
Overall Apple didn't save much space inside the iPad 4 by switching to the smaller Lightning connector, but the connector is on its own ribbon cable now, so it can be fairly easily replaced if something happens.
* One of the major differences between the 3rd and 4th generation iPads is the connector. The 3rd gen has the 30-pin dock connector, while the 4th gen has the Lightning connector. But Apple didn't save any space by switching to the smaller Lightning connector; rather they let the Lightning cable sit in a frame the same size as the 30-pin dock connector.
* Continuing the trend of previous generations, this iPad is glued shut. This isn't our first adhesive-riddled iPad, and we've been working to figure out how to make the painful opening process a lot easier. Our new iOpener tool lets us apply heat just where it's needed, softening the troublesome adhesive. Once we've snuck a few guitar picks in the seam, we're nearly home-free.
* As opposed to the Samsung display we found in the iPad 3, the new iPad LCD is manufactured by LG. Apple has reportedly been working to move away from Samsung as a primary supplier, so this LG display is not surprising. However, Apple often relies on multiple suppliers for a single component, meaning there are likely other LCD manufacturers lurking inside other iPad 4s.
* The battery is labeled with the same model number (A1389) as in the last round, so it's no surprise that it's another 3.7 V, 43 Whr package. Like the iPad 3, the battery is adhered very securely to the rear case. Since batteries are consumables that wear out, the trend of guled-in, hard-to-access batteries in iPads and other Apple devices is unfortunate.
* Chips inside include:
* Apple A6X Processor
* Hynix H2JTDG8UD2MBR 16 GB NAND Flash
* 2 x 4Gb Elpida LP DDR2 = 1 GB DRAM in two packages
* Apple 338S1116 Cirrus Logic Audio Codec
* 343S0622-A1 Dialog Semi PMIC
* Apple 338S1077 Cirrus Logic Class D Amplifier
* Broadcom BCM5974 Touch Screen Controller
* Broadcom BCM5973A1 Touch Screen Controller
* Texas Instruments CD3240B0 Touch Screen Line Driver
* 2 x Fairchild BCHAH/FDMC Voltage Regulator / Reference
* Murata 339S0171 Broadcom BCM4334 WiFi Module
* Repair techs, DIY-ers, and clumsy iPad-users, rejoice! The Lightning connector is on its very own ribbon cable, meaning that procuring a replacement connector should be fairly inexpensive.
* We found a 1.2MP Facetime HD camera lurking inside, with the ability to shoot 720p HD video. That's a big improvement from the .3MP Facetime camera in the iPad 3. Compared to the iPad 3, this camera is actually slightly thicker (an extra .4 mm), but it still manages to fit into the same space.