Apple Pencil Pro is about as repairable as you think it is

Posted:
in iPad edited May 19

The tech mavens at iFixit has posted a new video featuring a teardown of both the 13-inch iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil Pro.

Man using a sonic cutter to slice open an Apple Pencil Pro's plastic housing.
It takes a sonic cutter to get into the guts of the Apple Pencil Pro. Image credit: iFixit



The popular site posted a video featuring what it calls the "destruction" of the Apple Pencil Pro and the latest iPad Pro model. The video shows significant changes to the design of the iPad Pro that make it more repairable, but the new Apple Pencil Pro's design is quite the opposite.

The new video follows a previous teardown of the M4-based 13-inch iPad Pro by YouTuber Phone Repair Guru. That video noted that while it was more difficult to get into the new iPad Pro, once the screen was separated the other design changes made it more repairable than previous models.

The new teardown video from iFixit confirms this about the 13-inch iPad Pro. Host Shahram Mokhtari mentions that the change will save self-repairers "hours" on repair time.

Man lifting one of the two battery packs out of a disassembled 13-inch iPad Pro
Apple has made it easier to remove the battery in the 13-inch iPad Pro. Image credit: iFixit



Specifically, the video details the procedure for removing the battery of the iPad Pro. Mokhtari calls it a "massive improvement" over the previous iPad Pro versions, since it no longer requires removing all the other components first.

The Apple Pencil Pro teardown



Following the iPad Pro teardown, the focus shifts to a teardown of the new Apple Pencil Pro. After trying to remove the "eraser" top of the Pencil Pro by cutting it off, the host is forced to use an ultrasonic cutter to slice open the plastic body of the stylus, rendering it un-restorable.

The device's "barrel" electronics do -- with difficulty -- come out from the plastic housing, allowing for closer examination. The video shows the two sets of magnets in the Apple Pencil Pro, as well as the inductive charging coil.

Man holding a disassembled Apple Pencil Pro part with tweezers
The inner workings of the Apple Pencil Pro make for difficult disassembly. Image credit: iFixit



The screws to separate the main circuit board are extremely difficult to find and remove. The taptic engine that provides the feedback on the device, however, is able to be separated from the rest of the electronics by simply breaking the micro-weld points.

The inductive charge coil likewise sits in a tray that has likewise been welded to the frame. The pressure gauge sensor that wraps around the lower half of the Apple Pencil Pro, on the other hand, is easily removable.

With great effort and much cutting, Mokhtari was able to remove the PCB board from the lower portion of the Apple Pencil Pro. The last item removed from the device was its battery.

The video refers to the new Apple Pencil Pro's internal layout as a "slight" improvement over the first-generation Apple Pencil. That original model had all its parts epoxied into the body of the device.

From a user-fixable point of view, the video concludes that the new Apple Pencil Pro being called "an unrepairable pile of e-waste" once it is disassembled. Mokhtari did, however, praise Apple for its general "baby steps" towards more consumer repairability overall in its recent devices.

AppleInsider has recently posted hands-on overview of the 13-inch iPad Pro, as well as a guide to choosing the right Apple Pencil model for you. The 13-inch iPad Pro starts at $1299, while the Apple Pencil Pro is priced at $129.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,323member
    Is there any pen or pencil made by other companies that can be disassembled to repair?
    I haven’t seen any. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 3
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,383member
    I put repairing a Pencil in the same category as repairing AirPods — disposable. This applies to every other manufacturers small bits and bobs. It just doesn't make economic sense to build this little stuff to be repairable. Yes it's probably possible. The products would probably be larger and certainly more costly to purchase.

    These little bits should be recycled but repairable/repaired? I don't think so, Tim. 
    macxpresswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 3
    XedXed Posts: 2,668member
    I don't understand why people get hung up on these tiny devices not being repairable. iFixit clearly goes into it not expecting it to user-repairable, but they do it because it's good marketing for them, it's interesting to see inside, and if they didn't people would be wondering just how difficult it is to do it.

    Is there any pen or pencil made by other companies that can be disassembled to repair?
    I haven’t seen any. 
    Possibly. Wacom's pens are thicker than the Apple Pencil, and since they go back to 1987 they may very well have been simple enough to be repaired. I looked for a video or website that clearly showed the SD Series pen but I couldn't find one.
    watto_cobra
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