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iPad Air teardown reveals smaller battery, separate LCD & cover glass

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
A new dissection of Apple's latest tablet shows an iPad mini-like construction and several parts shared with the iPhone 5s.

iPad Air teardown


Repair experts iFixit found a new two-cell design design for the iPad Air's 32.9 watt-hour battery, a change from the fourth-generation iPad's three-cell, 43 watt-hour configuration. The iPad Air maintains its impressive battery life despite the lower charge capacity thanks to efficiency improvements in iOS and the new A7 processor, according to Apple.

Also going on a diet, the device's 9.7-inch LG-manufactured Retina display has reportedly lost 20 percent of its thickness. Unlike the newest iPhones, the iPad Air's display is not laminated to the cover glass.

iPad Air teardown


As they dove deeper, iFixit noted the similarities in construction between the iPad mini and iPad Air, saying that it "seems like Apple took an iPad Mini and transmogrified it to a regular iPad's size."

In addition to the similar construction, the iPad Air also gains a mini-like stereo speaker arrangement. The speakers contain no manufacturers identification, making it likely that they are a custom part.

iPad Air teardown


The iPad Air gains the nano SIM introduced with the iPhone 5, and swaps out the formerly Murata-made Wi-Fi module for a USI part, likely thanks to the tablet's new use of MIMO technology.

Lastly, the iPad Air carries a slightly different model of Apple's A7 processor than the one found in the iPhone 5s. Benchmarks have shown that the iPad's variant of the chip has a minimally increased clock speed --?about 100 megahertz --?from the version found in Apple's handset.

iPad Air teardown


A full list of silicon found soldered to the iPad Air's logic board:

  • Apple A7
  • Elpida F8164A1MD LPDDR3 SDRAM
  • Toshiba THGBX2G7B2JLA01 16 GB NAND Flash
  • Apple M7
  • Apple Dialog Power Management IC
  • USI 339S0213 Wi-Fi Module
  • Apple 338S1116 Cirrus Audio Codec
  • Broadcom BCM5976C1KUB6G Touch Screen Controller
  • Qualcomm M9616M Baseband Processor
  • TriQuint TQF6514 RF Power Amplifier Module
  • Three Skyworks SKY77-series LTE RF Power Amplifier/Duplexer Modules
  • Two Avago A79-series LTE RF Power Amplifier/Duplexer Modules
  • Murata Antenna Switch/Filter Module
  • WTR1605L Transceiver Module
  • Qualcomm PM8018 PMIC
post #2 of 36
What no Samsung parts? HAPPY DAY!!!
post #3 of 36

You mean the same smaller battery Ive already told us about in the iPad Air marketing video?

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiD View Post

What no Samsung parts? HAPPY DAY!!!

 

Samsung manufactures the A7.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 36
Happy that "transmogrified" is still in use.
post #6 of 36

Why would they not laminate the glass?  I'm not familiar enough about the process- what's the advantage (why would they do it on the iPhone)?

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #7 of 36

Amazing how little the components are and especially when you consider that the GeekBench scores of the iPad Air clobber the MacBook Air up and until 2010 and equal the Macbook air of 2011. 

post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Why would they not laminate the glass?
It could be for any number of reasons. Repair costs might be a significant factor.
Quote:
 I'm not familiar enough about the process- what's the advantage (why would they do it on the iPhone)?
The advantages of lamination is likely reliability and thinness.
post #9 of 36
Glued in battery?
No memory expansion?
No room for a hard drive?
Low repairability score?
No IGZO?

I'm disappointed with the new iPad... /s

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

Amazing how little the components are and especially when you consider that the GeekBench scores of the iPad Air clobber the MacBook Air up and until 2010 and equal the Macbook air of 2011. 
Amazing isn't it. Most of the machine is in the battery. Just imagine what 14 nm will do for the iPad in 2015.

Speaking of the Mac Book Air, this performance is why I think a Mac OS running, A7 based laptop is very possible. Think about it the clock rate on the chip is only 1.4GHz, bump it to 2 -2.5GHz and you have an extremely competitive laptop. This especially the case when put up against low end hardware.
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotScott View Post

Happy that "transmogrified" is still in use.

Yep, those iFixit guys are so old school. They actually use their hands to do real things like take apart, repair, and put back together. Have to go look up "mogrification" . . .

Edit: Turns out it's a "jocose blend" of transmigrate and transmute. I imagine a jocose blend is like "humongous," for example. This is from Eric Partidge's Origins.
Edited by Flaneur - 11/1/13 at 8:23am
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Glued in battery?
No memory expansion?
I understand your sarcasm here but I was actually bummed out that Apple didn't give us a step increase in flash storage. It has been awhile as such Apple needs to realign the capacities of these machines to reflect cost realities.
Quote:
No room for a hard drive?
Low repairability score?
No IGZO?

I'm disappointed with the new iPad... /s

I'm impressed actually.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Yep, those iFixit guys are so old school. They actually use their hands to do real things like take apart, repair, and put back together. Have to go look up "mogrification" . . .

This reminds me about one of my loved iOS features. That is the ability to highlight a word and hit define! I mis that feature at work in a MS world.
post #14 of 36
Any idea how much RAM the Elpida F8164A1MD LPDDR3 SDRAM is?

The iFixIt guys said 1GB, but I'm hoping they bumped it to 2GB. 1cool.gif
post #15 of 36

LG display panel, huh?

I'd better get AppleCare, just in case!

 

(PS, Huddler is acting up again)

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

Amazing how little the components are and especially when you consider that the GeekBench scores of the iPad Air clobber the MacBook Air up and until 2010 and equal the Macbook air of 2011. 

It was not reported in the keynote but Apple is using shorter bits in the new iPads. This is doubly important since the new A7 processor uses 64 bits to a byte, twice as many are required to fit in a space reduced by a third in volume. Using Plank's constant you can easily see where Apple was able to lower the weight of the data while doubling the word length. An amazing feat no one has alluded to before!

Some have postulated that Apple didn't really shorten the bits but has somehow managed to fold them nearly completely back over on themselves, but this wouldn't account for the reduction we see in the finished device weight. Moving so much data depth around like it does, Apple is also having to deal with the momentum of the electrons put into motion. I am reaching here, so I may be in error, but I think Apple has found a way to use the angular motion existing in Newtonian space to actually "lift" the device somewhat and making it appear to weigh less than it should. Watch for a patent on this if I'm right.

I hope this has helped explain away some apparent paradoxes your observation brought to the discussion.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiD View Post

What no Samsung parts? HAPPY DAY!!!

The A7/M7 are still mfg by Samsung and I think Samsung is one of their panel suppliers, but that's the extent of it, from the looks of it.  It's the era of relying on Samsung less and less.   That's one way to hurt Samsung's sales/profits.

post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


It was not reported in the keynote but Apple is using shorter bits in the new iPads. This is doubly important since the new A7 processor uses 64 bits to a byte, twice as many are required to fit in a space reduced by a third in volume. Using Plank's constant you can easily see where Apple was able to lower the weight of the data while doubling the word length. An amazing feat no one has alluded to before!

Some have postulated that Apple didn't really shorten the bits but has somehow managed to fold them nearly completely back over on themselves, but this wouldn't account for the reduction we see in the finished device weight. Moving so much data depth around like it does, Apple is also having to deal with the momentum of the electrons put into motion. I am reaching here, so I may be in error, but I think Apple has found a way to use the angular motion existing in Newtonian space to actually "lift" the device somewhat and making it appear to weigh less than it should. Watch for a patent on this if I'm right.

I hope this has helped explain away some apparent paradoxes your observation brought to the discussion.

 

I am nearly delirious with the flu.... so you response.... well needless to say it took me over the edge... took me a while to understand it instead of thinking I had lost it.  LOL...  thank you... tears to the eyes.

post #19 of 36
good catch ipilya, I was at the Apple store the other day and even though the ipad air wasn't on display yet, I can't help thinking how they could do same thing with Macbook Air 11", as it has a huge rim around the screen.. then we could have macbook 13" in 11" format! that would be truly awesome, as my 13" retina is still a bit too heavy to lug along with a couple of books.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

The A7/M7 are still mfg by Samsung and I think Samsung is one of their panel suppliers, but that's the extent of it, from the looks of it.  It's the era of relying on Samsung less and less.   That's one way to hurt Samsung's sales/profits.

"Keep your friends close, and keep your enemies closer."

 

Samsung seeing that less and less of a cash cow is theirs... yet keeping them in the loop for a taste of what they could have if they played well with others....

 

I'm still amazed that it's the A7/M7 that they allow Samsung to make... although it's the critical component and therefore Apple is pretty much tied to someone who can deliver strategic components on time, in quantity, and with quality.   That said, it could be 2 years that they are completely out, especially now with Intel opening up their fabs for non-Intel product.

 

Apple plays everyone in their supply chain (up and downstream) into a commodity player.   This is the strength of having minimum product SKUs, ability to scale manufacturing of the their products, and a cash pile where they can 'buy' your loyalty (ala the Flash memory scare of 2007/2008, when Apple bought up Samsung's and Sharp's 'market capacity' to feed the needs of iPod, the MBA, and the original iPhone.).   This is Tim Cook's  strength, and as CEO, he's got his lieutenant's improving his strategies.   

 

This is Apple's long game... make a compelling product to the consumer, and get every supplier and partner to align to Apple's view of consumer delight... You're seeing it in music, in cell phones, and hopefully in TV content and Internet as well (and books... although Amazon bought more political clout than Apple did in that arena... but eventually, that decision will be reconsidered).     This downstream profit source makes it more and more compelling for everyone to play nice with apple lest they get none of the pie.

post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

I am nearly delirious with the flu.... so you response.... well needless to say it took me over the edge... took me a while to understand it instead of thinking I had lost it.  LOL...  thank you... tears to the eyes.

I'm glad I was able to "lift" your spirits and take your mind off the gravity of your illness, even if it was for only a short bit with my weighty explanation. But, somehow, I sense that you didn't take my short discourse completely seriously?
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #22 of 36
Quote:
 "seems like Apple took an iPad Mini and transmogrified it to a regular iPad's size."

Someone at iFixit is a Calvin & Hobbes fan. LOL

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

The A7/M7 are still mfg by Samsung and I think Samsung is one of their panel suppliers, but that's the extent of it, from the looks of it.  It's the era of relying on Samsung less and less.   That's one way to hurt Samsung's sales/profits.

Why hurting Samsung's sales/profits is good?  Many financially less fortunate people depends on Samsung to provide less expensive products.

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

Amazing how little the components are and especially when you consider that the GeekBench scores of the iPad Air clobber the MacBook Air up and until 2010 and equal the Macbook air of 2011. 

The 11" model.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Also going on a diet, the device's 9.7-inch LG-manufactured Retina display has reportedly lost 20 percent of its thickness. Unlike the newest iPhones, the iPad Air's display is not laminated to the cover glass.

A lot of early owners are reporting that the screen seems ''flexy''.

Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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post #26 of 36
It's great it has smaller battery, meaning quicker charge and less wasted.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post
 

A lot of early owners are reporting that the screen seems ''flexy''.

"flexy"?  You mean flexible?  Well, when you have a screen and glass at those thicknesses, sure they'll have some degree of flexibility.   But don't TRY to flex it , since that's not a normal way of using it.

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View Post
 

Why hurting Samsung's sales/profits is good?  Many financially less fortunate people depends on Samsung to provide less expensive products.

And some just get used Apple products or refurbished Apple products.  And some places have been known to discount Apple products from time to time, especially when a new product comes out.

 

Heck, if they can't afford a higher end tablet then you can get those cheap knockoff POS for less than $200, they'll do the same thing as a Samsung since they run the same OS, or get a Kindle at $200 or less.

 

The perception for some is that they are the same thing, when they aren't. Apple has ALWAYS had more apps, apps that aren't on the Android platform and apps that are specifically written for a tablet screen rather than a smartphone.

post #29 of 36
I believe transmogrify came from Calvin & Hobbes. Calvin built one out of a cardboard box to create clones to do all his chores and go to school so he could play with Hobbes.
post #30 of 36
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post
I believe transmogrify came from Calvin & Hobbes. Calvin built one out of a cardboard box to create clones to do all his chores and go to school so he could play with Hobbes.

 

Calvin and Hobbes were around in 1650? Thomas Hobbes was, but John Calvin died in 1564. ;)

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post

A lot of early owners are reporting that the screen seems ''flexy''.

Betcha late owners will report the same thing. Guess what—it may be something they call inherent in the design.
Edited by Flaneur - 11/2/13 at 3:06am
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Calvin and Hobbes were around in 1650? Thomas Hobbes was, but John Calvin died in 1564. 1wink.gif

Interesting. First known use of "transmogrify" was in 1656. I ran across it almost exactly 300 years later, in high school in Indiana.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It could be for any number of reasons. Repair costs might be a significant factor.

That doesn't make sense. Cracked glass happens way more on the iPhone than the iPad.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

That doesn't make sense. Cracked glass happens way more on the iPhone than the iPad.

That's because the user is far more likely to learn they were dumped on their iPhone then on their iPad.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post

A lot of early owners are reporting that the screen seems ''flexy''.
I have one and the screen certainly isn't flexing. But it doesn't feel like a thick piece of glass like the 4th gen. It feels like the iPad mini screen. Apple can't get super thin and 1 pound by battery alone.
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

It's great it has smaller battery, meaning quicker charge and less wasted.

Less wasted what?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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