updated 08:36 am EDT, Fri November 1, 2013
Glued front panel and battery, taped LCD causes low repairability score
A teardown of the new Apple iPad Air on the day of its launch has shown it to be difficult to repair. Just like the disassembly of the 2012 iPad and the new Retina MacBook Pro notebooks, iFixit has declared that the iPad Air can not easily be serviced by customers, and gives the tablet a low repairability score of 2 out of a possible 10.
Just as with earlier models, the front panel is held in place with glue, with the 9.7-inch display immediately behind it being supplied by LG but is taped to the front glass, increasing the risk of damage. Underneath is a 32.9WHr two-cell battery that is glued to the back panel and takes up the majority of volume inside the device, though it is noted that it is not soldered to the accompanying logic board, and is smaller than the three-cell, 43WHr version in the previous iPad.
The A7 APL5698 processor is said to be a slightly different version from the APL0698 used in the iPhone 5s, and is seen alongside the Apple M7 Motion Co-Processor, 1GB of Elphida SDRAM and Toshiba-sourced NAND Flash storage. USI supplies the Wi-Fi module, while the same Apple Cirrus Audio chip from the iPhone 5c makes an appearance. Broadcom touch screen controllers, Qualcomm LTE processing with its own DRAM allocation, and dual Wi-Fi antennas are also seen inside the tablet.
The low repairability score may be disheartening to some, but it is worth pointing out that the majority of users needing to repair their tablets send their devices away for servicing, rather than attempt to fix it themselves.