iFixit tears down the 2016 Retina MacBook, finds minor hardware tweaks

By Anthony Bouchard on Apr 25, 2016

Just last week, Apple launched the second generation of its Retina MacBook lineup with a bump in CPU and SSD speed performance, as well as in battery life.

iFixit has now torn down the new 2016 Retina MacBook to reveal what kinds of hardware gems could be hidden inside of the very familiar aluminum enclosure.

Unsurprisingly, they have torn down the new rose gold-colored model. For the most part, a lot of the internals are similar, although there are a few tweaks to the design and internal hardware that users will love and hate. Read More

 

iFixit: 9.7-inch iPad Pro uses ‘gobs of adhesive’, making repair ‘miserable’

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2016

Repair wizards over at iFixit have torn apart Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad Pro (model A1673) only to discover that the device is extremely difficult to repair due to “gobs of adhesive” used to keep the components secured in place.

In addition to copious adhesive, the device’s smaller form factor, the addition of four speakers and some “weird cabling choices” have earned the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro a sad 2 out of 10 repairability score, same as the original iPad Air and a point less than the first iPad Pro. “We think this is the most glue we’ve seen in an iPad to date, making repair miserable,” concluded iFixit. Read More

 

iFixit tears down iPhone SE, reveals some interchangeable 5s parts

By Anthony Bouchard on Mar 31, 2016

Following the first day of availability of the iPhone SE, iFixit has gotten their hands on their own unit and has started their ritualistic practice of disconnecting every little screw, cable, and hinge that comes on it.

The iFixit teardown comes a day after Chipworks’ version, which revealed a lot of familiar parts in the iPhone SE that could be found in previous iPhone models, such as the 5s, 6, and 6s.

iFixit has not only confirmed these findings from Chipworks, but also provides some new insight about the iPhone SE‘s parts that is sure to interest its consumers. Read More

 

Teardown of iPhone SE finds hardware is a collage of 5s, 6, and 6s parts

By Anthony Bouchard on Mar 31, 2016

The first legitimate hardware teardown of Apple’s new 4-inch smartphone, the iPhone SE, has been conducted by Chipworks. Apple just unveiled this new handset at its recent ‘Let us loop you in’ event alongside the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The teardown finds that the iPhone SE is more than just a new generation of smaller iPhone from Apple, but that it’s actually a very clever device that takes the best from the performance world and combines it with the economics of older devices. This allows Apple to provide a product at a cheaper cost, but with similar performance.

As the teardown reveals, the iPhone SE is actually a Frankenstein of iPhone 5s, 6, and 6s parts that all work together to create a powerful 6s-like performance experience in a smaller 4-inch package. Read More

 

iFixit tears down the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 10, 2015

It was only a matter of time before the folks over at iFixit got their hands on Apple’s newly-released Smart Battery Case for the proper teardown treatment, and today is the day that we get a peek inside of the case’s innards.

It goes without saying that the $99 Smart Battery Case will score low on iFixit’s repairability scale, as tearing down the case means peeling back the soft lining inside the housing and dealing with lots of sticky adhesive. Read More

 

A9X teardown showcases Apple’s impressive strides in chip design

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 28, 2015

The fine folks over at Chipworks have provided the first up close and personal look at the A9X processor found inside of the recently launched iPad Pro. What it uncovered was yet another impressive design job, one that should, again, make Intel take notice.

Not only is the A9X extremely powerful, besting some laptop machines powered by Intel chips, but it’s also much bigger than the A9 processors supplied by both Samsung and TSMC that are found in the iPhone 6s.

The Motley Fool recently contacted Chipworks for insight into Apple’s newest SoC. What it found was a technical achievement that Apple’s designers should be more than proud of. Read More

 

iFixit gives Apple’s Smart Keyboard the lowest repairability score possible

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2015

Repair experts over at iFixit today pried open Apple’s new $169 Smart Keyboard case for the iPad Pro.

As you know, the Smart Keyboard is covered in Apple’s mysterious conductive fabric that actually connects the keyboard to the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector and allows for a “two‑way flow of power and data.”

But more important than that, the accessory is completely glued together, which makes servicing next to impossible. In fact, the Smart Keyboard files as one of the least repairable devices iFixit has ever analyzed so small wonder they gave it a repairability score of zero out of ten, ten being the easiest to repair. Read More

 

Apple Pencil packs in the smallest logic board iFixit has ever seen

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2015

According to a teardown analysis of the Apple Pencil performed by iFixit, Apple’s optional Bluetooth stylus accessory for the iPad Pro packs in the smallest logic board that the repair firm has ever seen. Despite its minuscule appearance, Apple’s engineers had to fold it in half to fit inside the Pencil’s tiny enclosure.

As if that weren’t enough, the Apple Pencil is choke full of other radical technological solutions, said iFixit. Read More

 

Teardown analysis of Magic accessories finds chips from other Apple products and more tidbits

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2015

Repair experts over at iFixit have performed an interesting triple teardown of Apple’s latest Magic accessories—the Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Keyboard—and found that all three devices are outfitted with many of the same chips also found in other Apple products.

On the downside, Apple’s unified approach to engineering the new Magic devices has resulted in just 3 out of 10 in iFixit’s Repairability ratings due to high level of integration and excessive amount of adhesive. Read More

 

iPhone 6s Plus teardown reveals a 165 mAh battery downgrade versus last year’s iPhone 6 Plus

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2015

After taking apart the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s, repair wizards over at iFixit have now disassembled its bigger brethren, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus (model A1687/A1634) After popping the handset open, the iFixit team immediately discovered a largely unchanged layout from the iPhone 6 and a slightly smaller battery versus last year’s iPhone 6 Plus.

In line with the rumors, the battery inside the iPhone 6s Plus is of a 2,750 mAh variety, representing a modest 165 mAh downgrade versus the iPhone 6 Plus battery rated at 3.82 V and 11.1 Wh of energy, for a total of 2915 mAh. Read More

 

iPhone 6s teardown: smaller battery, heavier display, fewer chips and same repairability

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2015

Repair wizards over at iFixit have performed their teardown routine by prying open the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s (model A1688/A1633) in an effort to identify its components, analyze their internal layout and calculate the device’s repairability score.

While the new phone does feature a slightly smaller battery due to a heavier display with additional capacitive sensors, Apple’s new Taptic Engine and a bigger ‘A9’ system-on-a-chip, the device packs in fewer chips overall and has the same repairability score as last year’s iPhone 6. Read More

 

Teardown: new Apple TV + Siri Remote

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2015

Following the teardown analysis of Apple’s fourth-generation iPad mini, repair wizards over at iFixit have torn apart the new Apple TV and its Bluetooth-based Siri Remote with touch trackpad.

The new box has a high repairability score thanks to a fairly modular design and just a few major components, which simplifies repair. It’s also a half-inch taller and more than fifty percent heavier than the third-generation model.

On the inside, it features a beefier heatsink and power supply to support the speed monster that is the dual-core A8 microchip with 2GB of RAM, clocked at 1.8GHz. Read More

 

Teardown reveals iPad mini 4 has 2GB of RAM, smaller battery and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2015

A teardown analysis performed by repair experts iFixit has confirmed that the iPad mini 4 (model number A1538) ships with two gigabytes of RAM, twice as much as the previous-generation and the same amount of RAM found inside the iPad Air 2, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

In addition, the device sports a fully laminated 2,048-by-1,536 pixels LED-backlit LCD IPS screen, an improved eight-megapixel iSight camera out the back, faster Touch ID and a thinner 19.1 Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery of lesser capacity. Read More

 

iPod touch 6th generation receives the teardown treatment

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 17, 2015

The iPod touch 6th generation may have taken forever to finally arrive, but it took almost no time for the boys and girls over at iFixit to give it a proper teardown.

As we noted in yesterday’s full review of the 6th-gen iPod touch, this device is a marked improvement over the previous generation, and features the same powerful A8 processor as the iPhone 6, and double the RAM of the 5th-gen iPod touch. But that’s not all that’s new in this refresh. Be sure to check out iFixit’s teardown for a full breakdown of all of the music player’s components. Read More

 

Apple Watch reportedly has onboard hardware for measuring blood oxygen saturation

By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2015

Currently, your Apple Watch learns about calories you burn by applying some math magic to your heart rate readings and values obtained from its sensors.

The method provides reasonably accurate estimates of resting/active calories. However, even more precise calorie-burning readings could come soon if Apple decides to enable the hardware feature which can reportedly measure oxygen levels in your blood.

As an iFixit teardown has identified, the Apple Watch heart rate sensor has onboard hardware for detecting blood oxygen saturation. Read More

 

Here’s what Apple’s custom designed Apple Watch ‘S1’ chip packs in

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 30, 2015

The Apple Watch is driven by Apple’s in-house designed system-in-package (SiP) processor, called S1. Laying flat in the bottom of the Watch casing, it integrates many subsystems into one remarkably compact module, essentially miniaturizing an entire computer architecture onto a single chip.

Because it’s completely encapsulated in resin to protect the electronics, neither experienced teardown wizards over at iFixit nor semiconductor experts at Chipworks were able to take a detailed look at the S1 innards without basically destroying the package.

Thankfully, ABI Research saw to that.

Thursday, the research firm has published its teardown analysis which delves into the S1 to identify a number of individual components that make up the SiP. Here’s what they found. Read More

 

Apple Watch teardown exposes Taptic Engine, Digital Crown, battery and more

By Cody Lee on Apr 23, 2015

Customers in Australia and other time-forward countries began receiving their Apple Watch orders earlier today, and the folks at iFixit have acquired a 38mm Sport Apple Watch, and have begun their customary teardown process.

After prying the display off, the team gained access to the battery—which at 205 mAh is tiny compared to the Moto360’s 300 mAh battery—the new Digital Crown and Taptic Engine, and yes—the mysterious diagnostic port is still there. Read More

 

iPad mini 3’s ‘hastily glued’ Touch ID Home button makes screen repairs difficult

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2014

Following their analysis of the iPad Air 2’s innards, repair experts over at iFixIt have now perfumed their ritual teardown dance with Apple’s iPad mini 3. As you know, the iPad mini 3 is basically the iPad mini 2 with the addition of Touch ID and a gold color option so there isn’t much to be analyzed here.

That being said, iFixIt was able to make a few noteworthy observations regarding the new tablet’s repairability. Specifically, they found that Apple engineers glued the Home button bracket to the front panel assembly, making Touch ID and Home button repairs difficult. Read More

 

iFixit finds smaller battery, reworked internals in iPad Air 2 teardown

By Cody Lee on Oct 22, 2014

As the new iPads begin arriving in stores and on doorsteps, iFixit has gotten its hands on an iPad Air 2 and performed its usual teardown ritual. Upon popping the tablet open, the team discovered a more powerful processor, 2GB of RAM, and a smaller battery.

The processor is of course the new A8X, which is similar to the A8 in the iPhone 6 but with improved graphics. The RAM is comprised of two 1GB Elpida F8164A3MD sticks placed on either side of the A8X, and the battery is of the 27.62 Whr; 7,340 mAh variety. Read More

 

New iPhones use two accelerometers for better power management

By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2014

Apple is using two accelerometers in both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Chipworks has discovered in its extensive teardowns of the two handsets. The first is the three-axis BMA280 accelerometer, made by Bosch, and the second is believed to be InvenSense’s six-axis MPU-6700.

Why two? Interestingly enough, Chipworks believes that Apple decided to go with two accelerometers to improve power management and overall user experience. The InvenSense is more sensitive, and can do more things, than the Bosch, but it also draws a lot more power. Read More

 
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