9.7" iPad Pro teardown finds 12.9" model's tech crammed into smaller, less repairable package

Posted:
in iPad
In order to compress technology from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro into a 9.7-inch form factor, Apple had to make some significant internal design changes, a teardown of Apple's new flagship tablet reveals.




Whereas a significant amount of the space in the 12.9-inch Pro is taken up by four speaker enclosures, the 9.7-inch model fits those speakers in at the margins, iFixit noted. Instead, most of the new tablet's space is consumed by its 27.91 watt-hour battery, slightly better than the 27.62 watt-hours of the iPad Air but much less than the 38.8 watt-hours of the 12.9-inch Pro.

Other elements have been rearranged, such as display cables. The tablet is additionally said to use more glue to keep parts together -- in fact more than in any other iPad so far, making the tablet extremely difficult to repair. Its battery further lacks convenient pull tabs that are not only in the 12.9-inch Pro, but every current iPhone.

The LCD and the front panel glass are fused together, which simplifies opening, but increases the cost of any screen repair, as well as the risk of damaging the LCD when prying the tablet apart.




Chips found in the product are said to include the likes of Samsung RAM, NAND storage by SK Hynix, wireless modules from Apple and Broadcom, and an NXP-made NFC controller.

The 9.7-inch Pro launched on March 31. While sharing some features of its 12.9-inch sibling -- like four speakers, a Smart Connector, Apple Pencil support, and an A9X processor -- the new product makes additional upgrades, including a color-shifting True Tone display and a 12-megapixel rear camera, complete with flash. It does, however, downgrade to 2 gigabytes of RAM, putting that spec on par with the iPad Air 2.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    miniaturized appliance-computer difficult to repair yourself, news at eleven.
    edited April 2016 ai46stevehargonautmartinworldmike1pscooter63jony0[Deleted User]
  • Reply 2 of 12
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    A smaller battery in a much smaller enclosure... Say it isn't so Joe (sic).
    This gets pretty absurd.
    Considering the battery is bigger than the Air despite this thing having more speakers, a thicker screen (for digitizer), smart connector, a camera that takes more space and a smaller enclosure, a faster chip/gpu this thing is a minor miracle.

    Got the feeling that the Air will change name to "Ipad", will stay at its current resolution and get the A10 and lose 130g of weight and 2 mm to get to 300g and 5mm.
    That would make it the perfect tablet ever; right now it's still just a tad too heavy if you hold it a very long time.

    That way, what would differentiate the Pro and regular model would features requiring a less compact device (a bit like the pro laptop vs other Apple models.).
    edited April 2016 nolamacguyargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Wait, an NFC controller?
  • Reply 4 of 12
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    AppleInsider said:

    NXP-made NFC controller.

    What is the NFC controller used for? 
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    volcan said:
    AppleInsider said:

    NXP-made NFC controller.

    What is the NFC controller used for? 
    Good question. 

    Use as a sales terminal maybe?
  • Reply 6 of 12
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    Rayz2016 said:

    Use as a sales terminal maybe?
    Perhaps, that would be nice. I guess we'll have to wait for the next developer release or for someone to dig through the Xcode libraries for any reference to NFC for iPad.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    The screen consumes the largest fraction of power. The screen area of the 9.7" model is about 43% less than that of the 12.9" model, but its battery power is only 29% less. It seems to me like the 9.7" model has a relatively generous battery.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    It's like these damn transistors ... no ability to swap out the valves!  ;)
  • Reply 9 of 12
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,397member
    volcan said:
    AppleInsider said:

    NXP-made NFC controller.

    What is the NFC controller used for? 
    Apple Pay. Mine asked me to add cards when I set it up.
    anome[Deleted User]
  • Reply 10 of 12
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    evilution said:
    volcan said:
    What is the NFC controller used for? 
    Apple Pay. Mine asked me to add cards when I set it up.
    That is what I thought originally but I went to Apple.com and in the tech specs it says Apple Pay through apps only, no mention of retail point of purchase. It prompted you for credit cards because it does support Apple Pay, just not at retail. That is why I found it unusual that it had NFC.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    normmnormm Posts: 637member
    volcan said:
    evilution said:
    Apple Pay. Mine asked me to add cards when I set it up.
    That is what I thought originally but I went to Apple.com and in the tech specs it says Apple Pay through apps only, no mention of retail point of purchase. It prompted you for credit cards because it does support Apple Pay, just not at retail. That is why I found it unusual that it had NFC.
    As far as I know, all of Apple's current iPads have an NFC chip, but no antenna for it.  Used just for storing the secure element for Apple Pay online.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,633member
    Would have been interesting if they did the teardown of the cellular model.
    Then we could see if the embedded-SIM is a distinct thing or just a function of the NFC secure chip as well.
    likethesky
Sign In or Register to comment.