How "new" is the new Apple iPad, exactly? iFixit dismantled it and confirmed the obvious


Apple's new $329 iPad got lots of people suspicious as it looks and feels exactly like the iPad Air, a late 2013 tablet. And with a spec sheet based on Apple's late 2015 A9 chip, it was clear that the new iPad is a mix of various degrees of old – the old, the really old, and possibly "old with improvements." iFixit's teardown confirms that this is the iPad Air with a chip swap, Touch ID, a brighter display and no lock switch. There are subtler differences – shrunken microphone slots and a single row of speaker holes, in particular, but that's it.

iFixit even took the liberty of swapping in the digitizer and LCD from the original iPad Air. The digitizer worked, while the LCD has backlight problems. However, the Air 1 can take the new iPad's LCD, and the same display timing controller is found in both tablets. The LCD unit on the new iPad is different – it's not the old LG panel, but a new and unmarked one. iFixit also observed that the unfused display design with no lamination and coating makes for a brighter display than the iPad Air 2's, and its tests confirmed the panel is 44% brighter than the iPad Air's. The tablets have an identical battery pack as well.

While the revelation might seem anti-climactic, it's just how business works. Apple won't profit by building budget models from the ground up. That's why it dusts off old tech that's grown cheap to manufacture and is still good for effective use, then markets it in its typical fashion. This is Tim Cook's Apple for you – all calculated, big margin, low risk, cautiously innovative products. Sometimes outright lazy products like the new iPad and the iPhone SE. Thankfully, they are still great for what they are, just like Apple's big hitters.

The article was updated shortly after publishing to reflect follow-up information posted on iFixit's Twitter account.

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source: iFixit

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25 Comments

1. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Apple is turning into a recycle company

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Apple new slogan "What is old is new again! No one would know the difference!"

6. Unordinary unregistered

Still better than 99% of the tablets out there. heck... my iPad 2... yes. The 2. Not the air 2. My iPad 2 is still better than 99% of the tablets out there today.

11. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

What are you talking about? The iPad 2 can't even get through a single day without lag. It's outdated tech, best you should upgrade if you want a quality tablet.

16. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

If you want to lie, lie something that isn't absurd.

17. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Youre dreaming. 2 was a great tablet. Had one for four years. But you're downright delusional if you think its better than 99% of tablets. By the time i sold it the thing couldnt play a tv show on VLC without crapping out.

19. LilJokr unregistered

I was with you, but then you went full stupid when stating the iPad 2 is still better than most tablets today. Be real.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I also had the iPad 2 and as soon as Apple updated it when the iPad 3 came out, it was sluggish as hell. Why lie dude? Maybe you only have 3 apps on it. The iPad Air is the bes the made with the TriCopre CPU. But then they gimped the iPad Pro which is again dualcore. Bastards. I already told the wife you need to really take care of the iPad we have because it is most certainly the last. I am hoping the iPhone 8 will be a really nice device, because it will likely be the last iPhoen I ever buy. Apple is goign down and its just a matter of time before you gusy see it. The iPAd sales have drop double figures year after year. The Surface now is catching up whiel the iPad is falling. As more hybrid phones and tablets and laptops appear, if APple doesnt change iOS into iMacOS, then APple is gonna fall hard. That's spaceship is gonna be an abandoned expensive reck to take care of with no money. Microsoft may end up owning the properly if Apple doesn't wake up. APple has no vision. The iPad and iPhone have remain almost unchanged since day one. Same limited boring OS. I love my iPhone 7+, but I'm bored with it already. I got it because its the last high spec'd iPhone that will run all my games I have on it before they dont work as devs wont be updating them. So I bought it. I have no regrets its a cool phone. But it is stale and has been since my last iPhone purchases. Both 4's.

24. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Did autocorrect fail on you today?

25. manzer

Posts: 60; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

Just buy this new iPad at least

2. mahima

Posts: 743; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

exactly what isheep deserve... not for every apple fan though

3. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Everyone who I know uses the iPad Air are still quite happy with their device, so it should still be a good buy even if it doesn't include at least a A9x. If only Apple's policy of 64GB minimum applied to this device too.

4. mixedfish

Posts: 1563; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Not designed to be a 'new' tablet, it's a strategy to up sell people to the iPad pro. Tablet market is a 'first one to the bottom race', this is priced cheaply to attract the bottom feeding market with the rest ponying up big cash for the pro model.

7. ciprian.ruse

Posts: 320; Member since: May 13, 2014

Apple is all about profits. That's been since day one.

9. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"All companies are all about profit...that's been since day one." FTFY

22. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Not in the same context. They all need money to exist. But at least other works hard and bring you today's technology. Not yesterdays or 2 years ago in a new case...lol. Why is the new iPad thick than the previous model? Because that old stuff wont even fit and Apple isnt even spending the money to make it smaller. THIS shows why Apple makes so much money. You all brag about their money. For you to sit and justify Apple selling you 2 year old stuff for the price of almost a later product is insane bruh. This is why I criticize them. But enough of us dont and that si why they do this, because as long as it has an Apple logo you fools will buy it and Apple thinks we dont need to do better because they will buy it anyways. Just drop the cost and make it look good and that is enough. Apple is not the company I grew up on that I loved. That I went and work odd jobs as a kid and teen to buy there products, When it was Job and Woz I loved those products. Every product Apple has made after Woz left has been nothing more than Steve's ideas at a asking price not worth its asking price.

8. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 300; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

well I just like the fact that they're making iPad cheaper

10. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

I don't know why some people are bashing this device. It's clearly not meant to be the next new thing. Besides, the iPad Pro is still present. People always abandon any flicker of common sense and turn to ignorance. To think that most people here are actually adults is sad.

14. redmd

Posts: 1947; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Is this like a refurbished iPad?

23. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Hell yeah it is! They took the ones that didn't sell and pull the parts and simply reused them and gave the product a new name and lowered the price. They will sell millions because people "think" its a new iPad at a lower price and wont ask questions or ever see this website.

15. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Only iSheep buy the same products over and over again!

18. kerginaldo17 unregistered

Using 2013 chipsets, huh Apple? Great chances of being rusty.

20. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Where is the the guy trying to defend APple's $329 price drop on the iPad? This is why they could drop the price. Recycled BS! APple did this with the Mac too. The first time I wanted a Mac Air, the Air came with Core2Duo for $1300, and yet most PC OEM's at the time were already using the Intel Ivy Bridge Platform with ther new Core chipsets. Yet the Air was more than many laptops with far better specs and newer hardware. Then they did the same thing with the Mac Pro. The latest one was $4000, but is using highend "CONSUMER" grade GPU's, when they use to use ATI/AMD FirePro cards. Yet you could get a Dell Precision Desktop with FirePro cards for less than $3500 with no discounts. APple has always done this, which is why I stopped buy the iPod Touch which was my favorite. For what it cost, it hardware should have always matched the iPhone, just minus the cellular hardware. But no, the iPod Touch would get upgraded to a 2 year old iPhone chip and they still cols it for way to much money. I stopped buying it after the iPod Touch 4th Gen. This is how Apple makes so much money. Selling old garbage. Lets see all the fans come and defend this BS.

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