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


iPhone 6 Plus teardown reveals 1GB of RAM, high-capacity battery

By Cody Lee on Sep 18, 2014

We’ve still got a good 8 hours or so before the iPhone goes on sale here in the US, but it’s already begun flying off the shelves in Australia. And as usual, the folks over at iFixit were on hand at the launch to grab one of the new iPhone 6 Plus models for their customary teardown.

After popping the handset open, the team discovers what it says is a very similar layout to the iPhone 5s, albeit a much bigger battery. In line with the rumors, the battery is rated at 3.82 V and 11.1 Wh of energy, for a total of 2915 mAh—nearly double the capacity of last year’s 5s. Read More


Google using Apple’s PrimeSense in ‘Project Tango’ smartphone, beating Apple to the punch

By Jake Smith on Apr 16, 2014

Google has beat Apple to the punch by using PrimeSense’s Capri PS1200 3D imaging system-on-a-chip in the Project Tango smartphone, before Apple could in its iPhone line-up, the teardown specialists over at iFixit found.

PrimeSense is the 3D technology sensing company Apple acquired for $350 million late-November 2013, and its chips weren’t expected to be found in Google’s Project Tango smartphone given the fierce competition between the two companies. Only Movidius Myriad 1 3D-sensing chips were expected, but Apple’s PrimeSense showed up as well… Read More


iFixit performs the ultimate teardown, rips apart the original 128k Macintosh

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 24, 2014

Repair wizards over at iFixit have decided to do something insanely great in honor of the 30th Macintosh anniversary – they tore apart the vintage 128K Macintosh, the original Mac system that jumpstarted the personal computer revolution.

Back then (in 1984), the Mac had an 8MHz (that’s megahertz, not gigahertz like today’s processors) 68000 CPU from Motorola and a nine-inch black and white CRT display sporting a very non-Retina resolution of 512-by-342 pixels, just thirteen percent more pixels than the original 2007 iPhone.

The operating system and applications purred along happily using just 128KB of DRAM. 1,024 kilobytes is one megabyte and to give you some context – 128KB is less RAM than the iDownloadBlog logo image.

Its then revolutionary Sony-made 3.5-inch floppy disk provided 400 kilobytes of total storage. Jump past the fold for a remarkable blast from the past… Read More


Retina iPad mini teardown: LG Display Retina panel, larger battery, A7 and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013

Yesterday, I wondered on Twitter what was taking the repair magicians over at iFixit so long to do their ritual teardown of Apple’s stealthily-released iPad mini with Retina display. My prayers have been listened to as iFixit has torn apart the device, revealing its guts and components for the whole world to see. As you could imagine, they found an Apple-designed A7 chip inside, slightly underclocked versus the iPad Air.

On top of that, there are usual suspects in terms of wireless and supporting chips. As for the titular update to this iPad mini – the Retina display – the teardown analysis has identified an LG Display-supplied 7.9-inch in-plane switching LCD with a 2,048-by-1,536 screen resolution.

While the resolution is the same as the iPad 3/4/Air, the images are crisper at 326 pixels per inch (264 ppi on the iPad Air) due to a shrunken form factor, as noted MacStories editor Federico Viticci noted in his hands-on article.

Other tidbits follow… Read More


iFixit gives iPad Air the teardown treatment

By Cody Lee on Nov 1, 2013

The iPad Air launched online and in retail stores around the globe this morning, and like clockwork, the folks over at iFixit have already ripped it apart. The teardown gives us a closeup look at the components inside the tablet.

And this is particularly interesting this year, as Apple has completely redesigned the 5th gen iPad to be thinner, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. You’ll find photos of its A7 chip, 5mp camera and more after the fold… Read More


iFixIt tears apart the iPhone 5c

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 20, 2013

Just a few hours ahead of the iPhone 5s/5c launch in the United States and an additional ten major international markets, the repair wizards over at iFixIt gave the flagship iPhone 5s its usual teardown treatment. But wait, these guys are really quick – they’ve also posted their ritual teardown of another new iPhone, the gorgeous plastic iPhone 5c. I’ve included the most interesting tidbits and a nice video right after the break… Read More


iFixit gives the iPhone 5s the teardown treatment

By Cody Lee on Sep 19, 2013

Though we’ve still got a good 10 hours or so before the iPhone 5s officially goes on sale here in the US, the handset has already landed in Australia and other countries. And from what we’re hearing , stock is extremely limited.

But wouldn’t you know it, the folks over at iFixit managed to snag one, and have already started their teardown ritual. And you know what that means: hi-res photos of the new A7 chip, Touch ID sensor and more coming up… Read More


The new AirPort Extreme can house SATA hard drive, teardown reveals

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 12, 2013

Apple at Monday’s WWDC 2013 keynote briefly mentioned its refreshed AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule wireless appliances which now support Gigabit Wi-Fi, also known as 802.11ac, for three times throughput of 802.11an. In unveiling the sixth-generation AirPort Extreme, Apple’s marketing honcho Phil Schiller somewhat cryptically alluded that the redesigned base station might accept internal storage.

“There’s also room in there for a hard drive,” he quipped. Sure enough, teardown wizards over at iFixit bought a brand spanking new unit and tore it apart, finding 3.5 inches of empty space inside… Read More


Teardown of 16GB iPod touch reveals few internal changes

By Cody Lee on Jun 1, 2013

Earlier this week, Apple released a new version of its fifth generation iPod touch. It features 16GB of storage space, and no rear iSight camera or lanyard hook. But other than that, and a few minor cosmetic details, it looks fairly similar to its larger siblings.

And it turns out, the new touch looks familiar on the inside as well. The repair experts over at iFixit just finished up their usual new device teardown ritual, and found very few notable internal changes… Read More


Inside 2013 Apple TV: redesigned power-savvy A5 chip, cost optimizations

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 15, 2013

Apple shipped five million Apple TVs last year for a nearly $500 million in additional revenue. That’s a very successful hobby and while talk of Tim Cook & Co. building a standalone HD TV set remains just that – rumor mongering – Apple has quietly retooled the $99 set-top box, with most of the under-the-hood tweaks aimed at optimizing production costs.

AnandTech took a peek inside the gadget and found some minor changes. The publication found a significant reduction in the new model’s power consumption, directly related to the optimized A5 chip, leading AnandTech to speculate that perhaps Apple could use this chip for another device, “perhaps one powered by a battery” (hint: iWatch)… Read More


Teardown reveals the Pebble isn’t repairable at all

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2013

Perhaps in a slight indication of the kinds of limitations we could expect from Apple’s rumored iWatch, repair wizards over at iFixit tore apart the Pebble smartwatch, having concluded that the components are so densely packed in such a tiny space that the gizmo is not repairable at all. As a result, iFixit refrained from giving the Pebble a repairability score in the first place.

And because the makers of the Pebble smartwatch had to use excessive adhesive for waterproofing, the battery is “very inaccessible” and there’s no way of prying open the device “without compromising the display”Read More


Teardown finds iPad mini cost at least $188 to build

By Cody Lee on Nov 4, 2012

The iPad mini went on sale around the world on Friday, and though the official numbers aren’t in yet, it appears to be selling rather well. This in spite of its lack of a Retina display, and its higher-than-average price tag.

In fact, Apple’s had to defend the mini’s pricing a couple of times now, claiming that its profit margins on the device are lower than on any of its other products. And according to a new teardown, that seems to be the case…

Read More


Teardown of 4th gen iPad reveals LG Retina display and more

By Cody Lee on Nov 2, 2012

With the newly-unveiled fourth generation iPad now on sale in some parts of the globe, the inevitable teardowns have begun. As usual, iFixit was first on scene, and has posted a detailed breakdown of the tablet’s innards.

As you might expect, there aren’t many internal differences between the new iPad and the one Apple launched 6 months ago. But it does have a new processor, and a few other changes, so it’s certainly worth taking a look at… Read More


iPad mini teardown reveals Samsung display, stereo speakers

By Cody Lee on Nov 1, 2012

We’ve still got about 24 hours or so until the iPad mini goes on sale here in the US, but the i-teardown experts over at iFixit have already scored their test subject. And they’re ripping it apart as we speak.

This has become a bit of a ritual for the do-it-yourself repair site, with new Apple products, and it usually reveals some interesting things about the devices. So let’s see what they’ve discovered thus far… Read More


Microsoft’s Surface is more repairable than iPad 3

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2012

The repair experts over at iFixit pried open Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet (model number 1516) and awarded the device a repairability score of four out of ten (ten is the easiest to repair), thanks to several components being modular and replaceable without requiring desoldering. Plus, the battery can be removed “pretty easily”, iFixit notes.

This is better than a score of two out of ten for the third-generation iPad with Retina display, but lower than Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which has an impressive eight out of ten repairability score. Google’s seven-inch Nexus tablet is the easiest to repair among these tablets with a nice seven out of ten score. More tidbits and teardown analysis right below… Read More


The new iPod nano teardown analysis finds five Apple-branded mystery chips

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2012

Solutions provider iFixit tore apart Apple’s seventh-generation iPod nano which was released alongside the iPhone 5 and the fifth-generation iPod touch at the September 12 media event. In addition to a Broadcom Bluetooth module and a touchscreen controller from Texas Instruments (whose mobile arm could be acquired by Amazon), the music player also packs in five Apple-branded mystery chips and scores a lower repairability score than the iPhone 5… Read More


iPod touch teardown: cheaper display assembly, weaker home button, low repairability

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 11, 2012

Apple’s fifth-generation iPod touch, which debuted alongside the iPhone 5 during the September 12 keynote, is on sale now, first reviews are great and already the wizards at iFixit have done what they do best: they tore apart the device to peek under the hood and analyze its innards.

Unlike the iPhone 5 that runs the latest A6 chip with 1GB of RAM, Apple’s ultra-thin (just 6.1mm) media player packs in the Apple-designed A5 processor with 512MB of Hynix-supplied RAM. The same silicon also powers the iPad 2 (the iPad 3 runs a souped up variant labeled the A5X). Perhaps unexpectedly, the new iPod touch has a weaker home button than that on the iPhone 5… Read More

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