updated 01:45 pm EDT, Wed June 30, 2010
Gap present on tablet's motherboard
The iPad may have originally been meant to have a gyroscope like that in the iPhone 4, says UBMTechInsights. A senior analyst with the firm, Steve Bitton, points out that an empty slot is present on the iPad motherboard, conveniently sized to the dimensions of the STMicroelectronics gyroscope found in the latest iPhone. The pin arrangement is different, though, matching that of another gyroscope chip made by InvenSense.
"When Apple's iPad first came out, the InvenSense gyro was the only three-axis digital gyro on the market," Bitton writes, "so Apple may have designed its board with that component in mind. Indeed, Apple may have included it in the iPad initially, but may have ultimately decided against using it in either device." The part would not be the only one dropped from the iPad before release; scrutiny earlier revealed that the tablet's frame has space for a camera.
Meanwhile, in a teardown conducted with help from Chipworks, iFixit says it has learned that the iPhone 4's gyroscope (seen below) is close to STMicro's standard L3G4200D. As a "proof mass" in the chip is disturbed by motion, capacitive signals are triggered that a processor can interpret. Very few apps support the technology at the moment, as a result of needing extra features and special coding.