Teardown finds Apple's new iPad largely similar to first-gen iPad Air

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in iPad
Apple's new 9.7-inch budget iPad is in many respects the original iPad Air with a few key upgrades to keep it relevant in 2017, according to a teardown published on Thursday.




The tablet for instance uses the same screen as the Air, which is thicker and easier to repair since the LCD and digitizer aren't fused together, iFixit observed. The firm was in fact able to swap in the same parts from a genuine Air and make the connectors fit, although it has yet to test them.

The display also uses the same LCD timing controller from the Air, and is said to look the same in action. Apple is marketing the new tablet as being "brighter," but iFixit suggested that if the company is comparing against the iPad Air 2, an unfused display may explain the difference.

The new iPad even has the same 32.9 watt-hour battery as the Air 1, beating out the 27.6 watt-hour unit in the Air 2 and the 27.9 watt-hour supply in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The key difference with the old tablet is an A9 processor paired with 2 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, versus the Air's A7 chip and 1 gigabyte of DDR3. Apple has also boosted base storage to 32 gigabytes, and added a Touch ID sensor, notably linking it to a "real" button instead of the solid-state button introduced on the iPhone 7.




There is also no lock switch, and speaker holes have been reduced to a single row. Earlier microphone slots have been scaled down to holes, and Apple is using the same NFC controller and USB charging circuitry found on the iPhone 7.

AppleInsider will be giving first impressions of the new iPad on Thursday afternoon.

The first online orders of the new iPad should be shipping today. Prices start at $329, making it the cheapest iPad option outside of refurbished models.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 999member
    Isn't pluming inside new ipad comes with the updated spec ? Than, how can it be same as old ipad air ?
  • Reply 2 of 25
    wood1208 said:
    Isn't pluming inside new ipad comes with the updated spec ? Than, how can it be same as old ipad air ?
    Typo? Auto-correct?
  • Reply 3 of 25
    adm1adm1 Posts: 323member
    was it ever discussed why the iPad has an NFC chip? I don't think it can be used for NFC based apple-pay payments?
    rich gregorywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,609member
    Sounds like a well thought out product, and a great value. 
    patchythepiratebb-15brakkenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 25
    If I wasn't totally satisfied with my Air 2, this would be an attractive option. Now who do I know that needs an Ipad that I can recommend this to ...?
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    adm1 said:
    was it ever discussed why the iPad has an NFC chip? I don't think it can be used for NFC based apple-pay payments?

     The NFC chip found inside is only being used as a Secure Element for Apple Pay purchases in apps. It doesn't contain any NFC antennas, only the chip. It cannot be used for contactless transactions.
    chiaretrogustorich gregorypatchythepiratepscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 25
    holyoneholyone Posts: 261member
    They should have called it ( iPad SE - budget device ) and rename the air to ( iPad Light - general purpose "light" use device ) then ( iPad Pro - high end large screen mammoth for .... what ever ) and ( iPad Pro mini [with the 10'' display ] - second largest screen device )
  • Reply 8 of 25
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 449member
    I wonder why the return to a thicker, heavier form factor for the iPad? Were there problems with the iPad Air 2's laminated display or structure? My iPA2 has been flawless.
    brakken
  • Reply 9 of 25
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,924member
    Still getting jerked around with delivery date. Told 4//4-4/5 when ordered, later updated to 3/30 (hooray!), later corrected to 3/31 (boo!), later updated to 3/30 again, then finally this morning said that because of weather conditions it's back to 3/31. Ordinarily this wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm going to be gone on the 31st, so have asking and calling-off my neighbor repeatedly to rescue the box from porch pirates. What really irks me is that UPS sends California packages from Anchorage to Louisville! Into the tooth of the storms, then back to the coast. No wonder they're delayed. There must be a very large number of pads going to the west coast, why not use some of the two days they sat in Shanghai to sort them into west coast and east coast planes?
    albegarc
  • Reply 10 of 25
    holyone said:
    They should have called it ( iPad SE - budget device ) and rename the air to ( iPad Light - general purpose "light" use device ) then ( iPad Pro - high end large screen mammoth for .... what ever ) and ( iPad Pro mini [with the 10'' display ] - second largest screen device )

    While I understand your thinking with this, it's just too many names and choices. I think they're smart to head in the iPad/iPad Pro, MacBook/MacBook Pro direction for simplicity along their computer lines. Maybe the iMac will head in that direction too. Just Mac/Mac Pro. Who knows, maybe the "i" desgination will be for iOS devices going forward, rather than consumer products as it used to be when the iMac and iBook were first released.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,356member
    zroger73 said:
    I wonder why the return to a thicker, heavier form factor for the iPad? Were there problems with the iPad Air 2's laminated display or structure? My iPA2 has been flawless.
    Cost, in order to make the new $329 price. 
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    zroger73 said:
    I wonder why the return to a thicker, heavier form factor for the iPad? Were there problems with the iPad Air 2's laminated display or structure? My iPA2 has been flawless.
    edited March 30
  • Reply 13 of 25
    It was done to attain a certain price point. iPad Air 2's display and other components would have costed a bit more than iPad Air. Not that we should be complaining. For that price, it delivers much more than what you can possibly expect.
    StrangeDaysbb-15watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    misamisa Posts: 796member
    adm1 said:
    was it ever discussed why the iPad has an NFC chip? I don't think it can be used for NFC based apple-pay payments?

     The NFC chip found inside is only being used as a Secure Element for Apple Pay purchases in apps. It doesn't contain any NFC antennas, only the chip. It cannot be used for contactless transactions.
    It's very likely that they just used the same parts as a cost saving option. 

    As far as branding goes, the Pro basically became what the original iPad was, and the "mini" is the distinctively smaller version.

    Edit: taking a look at the website, the iPad 2017 is essentially an iPhone 6S in an iPad chassis.
    edited March 30
  • Reply 15 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,770member
    It was done to attain a certain price point. iPad Air 2's display and other components would have costed a bit more than iPad Air. Not that we should be complaining. For that price, it delivers much more than what you can possibly expect.
    Yes, but it strikes me as old-school thinking ... depreciating an iPhone with older features offering a lesser user experience. The display is already a substantial compromise over the previous Air 2. I get trying to meet a price pint using older materials, but other than attracting an entry level market for someone who previously had an iPad 3 through Air (1), there's not a huge value in upgrading here. My iPad 3 is still a workhorse, with surprisingly good battery life for it's age, and I want for nothing, except a bit more speed. So I'll hang onto it a little longer, and various factors will influence whether I upgrade or not, including whether Apple introduces something in iOS 11 I must have for my iPad. But I will opt for features like True Tone display, if nothing else, over investing in the same basic technology I'm currently using. But then, that's likely what Apple is counting on -- this tablet is the SE of iPads to expand the halo for first time Apple customers. Existing customers will likely want to enhance their experience with newer hardware features, over just enhancing speed.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    holyone said:
    They should have called it ( iPad SE - budget device ) and rename the air to ( iPad Light - general purpose "light" use device ) then ( iPad Pro - high end large screen mammoth for .... what ever ) and ( iPad Pro mini [with the 10'' display ] - second largest screen device )
    MacBook, MacBook Pro
    iPad, iPad Pro

    They're simplifying the lines. Good move.
    My guess is that the September iPhone will be just "iPhone', but don't think they're done normalizing the names for that line yet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,770member
    stickista said:
    holyone said:
    They should have called it ( iPad SE - budget device ) and rename the air to ( iPad Light - general purpose "light" use device ) then ( iPad Pro - high end large screen mammoth for .... what ever ) and ( iPad Pro mini [with the 10'' display ] - second largest screen device )
    MacBook, MacBook Pro
    iPad, iPad Pro

    They're simplifying the lines. Good move.
    My guess is that the September iPhone will be just "iPhone', but don't think they're done normalizing the names for that line yet.
    Until they release a new product with new features they need to distinguish from the previous generation ...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,817member
    zroger73 said:
    I wonder why the return to a thicker, heavier form factor for the iPad? Were there problems with the iPad Air 2's laminated display or structure? My iPA2 has been flawless.
    What StrangeDays said about cost reduction, and because there's the iPad Pro in the 10" size for those that want/need something more advanced.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    holyoneholyone Posts: 261member
    holyone said:
    They should have called it ( iPad SE - budget device ) and rename the air to ( iPad Light - general purpose "light" use device ) then ( iPad Pro - high end large screen mammoth for .... what ever ) and ( iPad Pro mini [with the 10'' display ] - second largest screen device )

    While I understand your thinking with this, it's just too many names and choices. I think they're smart to head in the iPad/iPad Pro, MacBook/MacBook Pro direction for simplicity along their computer lines. Maybe the iMac will head in that direction too. Just Mac/Mac Pro. Who knows, maybe the "i" desgination will be for iOS devices going forward, rather than consumer products as it used to be when the iMac and iBook were first released.
    Agree with you 100% I think that would be fantastic but that's not Tim's Apple, Today's Apple seems less concerned with product line simplicity then profit maximization which my thoughts were aligning with. Two lines of product would restrict profit prospects I think, and that's the hole point with the iP SE, it's less for market share that for dumping old components on a slightly cheaper budget model, a model that already has a  designation  SE. The "Light" was to suggest level of use "light general use to heavy pro use" because the "air" puts them in a conner to where every model would be expected to be thinner and lighter from the previous model, a downward road to no where fast, hence being dropped from all product designation as a suggestion of weight and portability to a more suitable reference to communications technology ' Air Play, Air Pods etc '

    But I agree with you're postulation and hope it turns out that way but on going trends at Cupertino leave little confidence that it will
    jbishop1039
  • Reply 20 of 25
    holyone said:
    holyone said:
    They should have called it ( iPad SE - budget device ) and rename the air to ( iPad Light - general purpose "light" use device ) then ( iPad Pro - high end large screen mammoth for .... what ever ) and ( iPad Pro mini [with the 10'' display ] - second largest screen device )

    While I understand your thinking with this, it's just too many names and choices. I think they're smart to head in the iPad/iPad Pro, MacBook/MacBook Pro direction for simplicity along their computer lines. Maybe the iMac will head in that direction too. Just Mac/Mac Pro. Who knows, maybe the "i" desgination will be for iOS devices going forward, rather than consumer products as it used to be when the iMac and iBook were first released.
    Agree with you 100% I think that would be fantastic but that's not Tim's Apple, Today's Apple seems less concerned with product line simplicity then profit maximization which my thoughts were aligning with. Two lines of product would restrict profit prospects I think, and that's the hole point with the iP SE, it's less for market share that for dumping old components on a slightly cheaper budget model, a model that already has a  designation  SE. The "Light" was to suggest level of use "light general use to heavy pro use" because the "air" puts them in a conner to where every model would be expected to be thinner and lighter from the previous model, a downward road to no where fast, hence being dropped from all product designation as a suggestion of weight and portability to a more suitable reference to communications technology ' Air Play, Air Pods etc '

    But I agree with you're postulation and hope it turns out that way but on going trends at Cupertino leave little confidence that it will
    Yeah I'd be nice to return to the simplicity as it once was. I was just watching the unveiling of the iBook in 99 last night and it juts brought back memories of the old 2x2 matrix. Consumer devices always started with "i", professional devices always started with Power and computers ended with Mac and laptops ended with Book. You could tell what you were buying from the name alone. I understand a lot has changed since then, i just really like the simpler naming convention. Guess we shall see what the future holds!
    zroger73watto_cobra
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