ARM-based microcontroller, venting lines in fabric, zero repairability
On the heels of teardowns of both the iPad Pro and its Apple Pencil accessory, iFixit has done a teardown of the Apple Smart Keyboard intended to go with the iPad Pro as well. The keyboard cover uses conductive fabric to cover the keys, and Retina MacBook-style dome switches under the keys. Among the minor discoveries was that the company uses the fabric for both power and data, and that the unit cannot be opened with breaking it.
Stylus designed for iPad Pro scores one out of ten from iFixit for repairability
The Apple Pencil is an impressive technical marvel, details revealed during an iFixit teardown of the accessory have suggested. While it includes the smallest logic board the technical outfit has ever seen, among other interesting aspects, the compact nature of the internals makes the Pencil an extremely unrepairable device, scoring one out of ten on iFixit's repairability, worse than the three out of ten scored by the iPad Pro.
Large quantities of adhesive counts against iPad Pro repairability score
The iPad Pro is a difficult-to-repair tablet, according to a teardown of the device by repair outfit iFixit. The ritual dismantling of Apple's latest tablet has also revealed a few notable items about its construction, with the biggest discoveries being a change in the way the large 12.9-inch display is mounted to the rest of the casing compared to other iPads, and Apple's extensive use of foam to help boost the self-balancing speaker drivers.
Apple Pencil, iPad Pro get government OK ahead of November release
On Thursday, the FCC granted final approval to the forthcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the optional drawing stylus accessory, the Apple Pencil, ahead of a projected November launch. Previously, the FCC had issued approvals for the Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, but to date there's been no sign of paperwork for the Magic Trackpad 2. The iPad Pro-exclusive accessory the Smart Keyboard has also seen FCC approval, but Apple has recently noted that it will only be available in US format for the time being.
Production techniques lower repairability, as well as need to be repaired
The latest version of the 21.5-inch iMac, now sporting a new 4K-capable Retina display, has been torn down by repair tool sellers iFixit and given an expected low score for repairability (1 out of 10) due to Apple's production techniques on the line. The examination revealed little in the way of new information, confirming that the new custom Retina-quality panel was made by LG and that the design of the Wi-Fi antenna had been secured and changed slightly.
Company violated terms, Apple closed developer account
Teardown and repair site iFixit, best known for their examinations of Apple hardware and repair guides, has seen its developer account closed and its app pulled from the App Store because it tore down a developer-only pre-release Apple TV, in direct violation of the terms and conditions of the developer agreement. The site took responsibility for the error, and apologized to app users for "any inconvenience."
Teardown of iPhone 6s Plus estimates display is most expensive component
The materials used to manufacture the iPhone 6s Plus is said to cost less than a third of its retail price, according to an estimate by a research firm. It is believed by IHS Technology that the components and materials used in the larger of the two Apple smartphones cost $231.50, which when combined with the estimated production cost of $4.50 per device, brings the overall, manufacturing cost per smartphone to just $236.
Samsung-supplied 2GB RAM module discovered inside iPhone 6s
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus use smaller batteries than their predecessors, teardowns of the smartphones have revealed. A customary part of major device launches, the teardown by iFixit has discovered the battery inside the iPhone 6s is a 1,715mAh unit, slightly smaller than the 1,810mAh version used in the iPhone 6, with the addition of the new Taptic engine to the device likely to have forced Apple to reduce the physical size of the battery itself.
Notably larger power supply, heat sink powers dual-core A8 processor
Repair site iFixit has gotten ahold of the new Apple TV and remote and posted its usual teardown and report on the device, noting that the touchscreen controller in the remote is the same one used for the iPhone 5s and 5c line, made by Broadcom, and that it includes both IR technology (for controlling volume and power on TVs) and a Qualcomm Bluetooth radio so that the device does not have to be pointed directly at the TV to use Siri.
Stuck 'slide to upgrade' fix posted by Apple
Apple has posted a fix for failed iOS 9 updates, that left iPhones and iPads stuck on a "slide to update" screen. According to the Apple directions posted earlier today, users are directed to connect the afflicted iOS device to a computer, open iTunes, and select the device. Should the device not appear, it should be force restarted. If the user has a backup before updating to iOS 9, the device should be restored to that backup, otherwise, the mobile with the failed update should back up, and then restore from that backup. MacNN has confirmed that the backup post-upgrade and restore returns functionality.
New 64-bit model offers up to 128GB storage, not particularly repairable
A new teardown of the latest sixth-generation iPod touch by iFixit -- a firm that sells repair tools and services -- has ranked the unit as slightly more repairable than the previous model, but continues to criticize the new device for things that would be important only to tinkerers, such as the lack of external screws and the use of adhesive to keep the device together. The teardown revealed some specifics on the new model, including a larger battery.
New model seemingly intended to expand line, lower prices
Accessory purveyor OWC has unboxed and torn down the new 2015 Retina iMac. In a blog post, the company has noted that the new model has retained the two-lane PCIe SSD upgrade slot "whether ordered with a SSD or not," can take up to 32GB of RAM. Additionally, the 3.3GHz model uses a Radeon R9 M290 GPU, versus the M290X in the faster models.
Consumer magazine compares 11 smartwatches, Apple Watch wins handily
Testing by Consumer Reports on some practical and aesthetic aspects of the crowded smartwatch field has shown that the Apple Watch is the best of them all. The magazine tested 11 smartwatches for ease of use, heart-rate tracking, scratch resistance, screen readability, step count accuracy, water resistance, and in other areas. The stainless-steel version of the Apple Watch bested all comers in screen readability, ease of use, pairing speed, scratch resistance, water resistance, and heart-rate accuracy.
Watch battery replaceable relatively easily, in-store watch CPU upgrades unlikely
As is the norm for the iFixit crew, a teardown of a new Apple device has been accomplished -- this time, the 38mm Apple Watch Sport was on the disassembly bench. Alongside the breakdown, the company has disclosed the chipsets accompanying the watch, with a mix of new and old technologies combined in the device. In addition to well-known components, a couple of new discoveries were made.
Tapered batteries, soldered components both improve reliability and frustrate upgraders
A pair of new teardowns from iFixit and Laptopultra have revealed few surprises, and conclude that while the machines are easily openable, they are not easily repairable -- a factor that is likely to be very low-priority among potential buyers, given that the lack of moving parts in the unit also greatly improves reliability. While the new MacBook is completely un-upgradeable internally, the included USB Type C port will offer growing flexibility for any needed external connectivity or expandability.
Fragile curved glass, excessive glue hurts Galaxy S6 repairability score
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a difficult-to-repair device, according to a teardown of the smartphone by iFixit. The latest Samsung flagship scores a lowly three out of ten for repairability, lower than the five scored by the Galaxy S5 last year, with excessive amounts of glue used in its construction and the high probability of breaking the signature glass display counting against the device.
Shares technology with new MacBook, offers double current PCIe reads, writes
A teardown of the brand-new 2015 13-inch MacBook Air by iFixit has revealed a surprising difference between the 11-inch and 13-inch models -- the latter has also inherited the double-speed new PCIe flash storage system that is included in the new MacBook, which Apple says is up to two times faster than even the recent generation of PCIe flash storage seen in recent MacBook Air models, and in the refreshed 11-inch model. Preliminary testing has confirmed the claim.
Lack of antenna for NFC radio hobbles unit for Apple Pay retail buying
A new teardown of the iPad Air 2 has confirmed much of what was speculated about the device, but has also revealed some minor surprises. The team at iFixit have rated the new iPad a "two" on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most repairable. The company says that while the new "fused" display is better visually, and sturdier when opening up the iPad, it will also increase the cost of repair for a cracked screen. The teardown also revealed that the latest full-size iPad features a smaller battery and more RAM.
Internal components considerably changed to accommodate new size
The Australian branch of repair specialists iFixit has obtained an iPhone 6 Plus, and has naturally opted to risk destroying it in the name of doing a teardown for the benefit of its users and gadget fans. The biggest discovery is the confirmation that the iPhone 6 Plus, a 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6, uses a 2915mAh battery -- twice the capacity of the one found in the iPhone 5s -- to power the larger screen and yet provide better runtime life.
Study concludes again that Apple-made chargers are better-made, safer
Engineer Ken Shirriff, who has previously torn down and compared the safety and engineering behind dozens of USB chargers, iPhone chargers and MagSafe chargers, posted on Monday the results of his investigation into counterfeit and genuine iPad chargers. Unsurprisingly, his findings fall in line with warnings issues on his previous studies: counterfeit and cheap knock-off chargers can be dangerous due to shoddy construction and inadequate safety measures.
Design of first Mac still as admirable and clever as Apple's latest devices
To celebrate the Mac's 30th anniversary on Friday, repair site iFixit posted a teardown guide for the original 1984 Macintosh 128k, using a model loaned to them by Adam Rosen's The Vintage Mac Museum. While not revealing anything previously unknown about the model, the opportunity allowed the company to take fresh, high-resolution photos of the innards and detail specifics of some parts, such as original component manufacturers.
Minor improvements in repairability, but still rates a 2 out of 10
Repair firm iFixit has already gotten its hands on a new Retina iPad mini and deconstructed it, revealing many technical details of the construction, bemoaning Apple's continued trend of minimal repairability, and noting that the unit has a much bigger battery capacity than the previous iPad mini. While praising the reduced use of glue to secure components in the Retina Mini, iFixit still rates the new Retina Mini as a 2 out of 10 for repairability.
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.
More glue for battery, A7 processor, camera notably different
The team at iFixit have gotten a hold of a gold iPhone 5s and published a short teardown guide for the unit, revealing very few changes (as expected) from the iPhone 5 apart from a slightly bigger battery, a new processor and a new camera assembly, now revealed to be supplied by Sony. Apple has kept the camera at 8MP but increased the size of the sensor and pixels to be larger, allowing more color and light in.
Bigger-capacity battery, dual mics, Samsung-provided storage
Two initial teardowns of the latest MacBook Air model by Mac specialists OWC and iFixit have revealed a number of small changes but mostly similarities between the latest revision and the current model. Overall, no huge changes were made to the interior layout of the 11-inch device, apart from a completely redesigned Airport card and other minor tweaks. The investigation did turn up that the battery in the unit features a 6.7 percent capacity increase in the same space, aiding the dramatically increased battery life.
Receives repairability score of 1 out of 10
The construction of the Microsoft Surface Pro has been judged to be highly unrepairable, after being dissected by iFixit. The repairability score of 1 out of 10 is the lowest on the firm's scale, and places it as harder to repair than many other competing products, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Samsung Galaxy Note, and the RT version of the Surface.
Japanese blog finds new model well-designed inside too
The latest version of the iMac is just 5mm (0.2 inches) thick at its thinnest point, and yet the redesigned machine has revealed quite a bit of empty space in a teardown by Japanese enthusiast site Kodawarisan, which took apart a high-end 21.5-inch iMac just hours after the new version had debuted in Japan. The interior layout and engineering matches the sparse, elegant outside -- with a clean organization of components, an emphasis on airflow design, and a central fan distributing and channeling air.
Scores eight of 10, still has second drive expansion option
Repair and tool-selling site iFixIt has done a teardown of the very latest Mac mini and found it basically unchanged from last year's model in terms of repairability. The company revealed that the RAM, hard drive and even the power supply can be replaced or repaired, with only the processor and graphics not able to be upgraded. The teardown also revealed that the new Mac mini still has an extra SATA connection and room for adding a second hard or sold-state drive. The unit received an overall repairability "score" of eight out of 10.
Battery cells redistributed throughout housing
The crew at iFixit has dissected Apple's new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, revealing the internal changes necessary to achieve its thinner profile. The redesigned notebook takes inspiration from its larger counterpart, transitioning to soldered RAM that cannot be easily swapped at a later time. Users are currently limited to 8GB of RAM, without the 16GB option offered with the 15-inch model.
iFixit begins teardown work within an hour of first availability
The repair and disassembly experts at iFixit have completed a preliminary teardown of the new iPhone 5. Highlights of the teardown include confirmation of the Qualcomm MDM9615M 4G LTE processor and the Broadcom BCM976 used in the MacBook Air's trackpad, the latter of which has been repurposed for the touchscreen on the iPhone. Also notable is reverse disassembly in the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4 series -- the screen and digitizer come off first, rather than the back panel.
PS Vita gutted, reveals complex back panel set up
Following the huge Japanese launch of the PS Vita this week, it was inevitable that teardowns would follow. The first has come from Tech-On, which has gutted the innards of the ARM-based quad-core handheld gaming powerhouse. In addition to the silicon, the pictures (embedded below) also highlight the complexity of the device also apparent in the rear panel.
RAM still not upgradeable
Repair and technology website iFixit has posted images, tutorials and a video of their teardown of the latest 13-inch MacBook Air, announced just yesterday. Under the hood, the unit revealed some obvious changes, some not-so-obvious revelations -- but on the whole was similar in "repairability" to the previous version, garnering a poor rating from the company of four out of 10.
HP TouchPad made like a PC, not like iPad
An early teardown of the new HP TouchPad has revealed that it has been made in the same way that a PC is built, in contrast to the iPad, which is manufactured in a less PC traditional manner. The upside of this approach, according to TechRepublic, is that it makes the HP TouchPad much easier to repair. The downside is that this approach contributes to making the device bulkier.
Dissection shows 1GHz ARM processor, 802.11n
Several days after the Meizu's M9 handset arrived on the market in China, the device has already been dissected to reveal its internal components. The teardown shows hardware very similar to the Samsung's Galaxy S-series handsets, which share the same 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 "Hummingbird" processor, despite earlier reports suggesting the M9 utilized a slower 800MHz chip.
Dual speakers contained in large housings
Samsung's Galaxy Tab has already been dissected ahead of its launch in North American markets. The teardown, posted on jkkMobile, reveals a massive battery, which dominates the housing interior. The 14.8 W-h lithium-ion cell is claimed to reach approximately eight hours of typical usage, compared to the iPad's 10-hour rating on a 25 W-h battery.
Most components similar to original Droid
Motorola's Droid 2 has already been dissected by the iFixit team, revealing the new CPU and overall construction. Texas Instruments' 1GHz OMAP processor is tucked underneath the DDR Mobile RAM on the motherboard, which also now holds 8GB of on-board flash memory.
Battery rating improves, tri-wing screws continue
iFixit has released its MacBook Unibody Mid 2010 teardown. The MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Mid 2010 has a new battery, which has gained in rating, improving from 60Wh to a 63.5Wh rating, with no change in size, but a minimal increase in weight. Tri-wing screws are still used for securing the battery, to the dismay of iFixit engineers. The overall impression is one of little change in structure and design. The NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics (256MB sharedDDR3 SDRAM) is new, replacing the GeForce 9400M.
Housing measures nearly 20mm thick
iFixit has already dissected Microsoft's new Kin Two handset, revealing the internal components. Although images from the teardown show vague references for the CPU, Chipworks utilized x-rays and other advanced methods to confirm the placement of Nvidia Tegra components underneath a Numonyx package on the main board. The processor and memory stack span four dies mounted together in two layered packages.
Logic board much smaller than that of iPhone 3GS
The purported next-generation iPhone prototype has already been dissected to reveal its internal components. The images, posted on Gizmodo, show a housing that can be halved after removing two screws. The new battery appears to be larger than that of earlier iPhone models, filling nearly half the volume of the internal cavity.
Chip explored using scanning electron microscope
Following iFixit's recent iPad teardown, the company has proceeded to delve one step further by dissecting Apple's A4 chip. Chipworks, a semiconductor reverse-engineering company, helped destroy the device and explore its components using professional lab equipment such as scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) and high resolution x-ray machines.
Pictures follow earlier report detailing internals
Following an earlier report showing FCC pictures of the iPad's internal components, additional images of the external housing have surfaced. Although Apple's website provides pictures of the 3G-enabled model, most of the marketing material shows the Wi-Fi-only variant that maintains the solid aluminum surface across the entire back panel.
A4 CPU, Infineon 3G baseband chip visible
The FCC has published several photos detailing the internal components of an iPad. The teardown shows the interior surface of the aluminum housing, which appears to be machined out of a solid block with material removed in a step pattern.Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios are built onto a rigid strap that runs from the top of the device and terminates at the dock connector.
Teardowns reveal unique engineering, new parts
iFixit has completed teardowns of Apple's new 27-inch iMac and Magic Mouse. The dissection of Apple's newest iMac reveals a revamped set of components used to create the largest iMac ever. The 27-inch display, with a 16x9 aspect ratio and 2560x1440 resolution, is an LG-branded (LM270WQ1) IPS-based LCD panel, weighing nearly 11 pounds. IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology offers better color reproduction and wider viewing angles compared to Twisted Nematic technology. The new all-in-one can be used as an external display, however the signal routes through the circuit board and requires the iMac to be turned on.
Form factor now matches aluminum unibodies
iFixit has already dissected the new polycarbonate-unibody MacBook, exposing several minor changes to the internals. Externally, the redesigned housing features curved surfaces similar to the MacBook Pro models with aluminum unibodies. The device also adopts the multi-touch glass trackpad and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics components.
Teardown revels processor, memory information
iFixit has dissected the new fifth generation iPod nano, showing the internal components. Apple introduced the Nano at its iPod press event held on Wednesday. The overall design appears to closely match the fourth-generation iPod nano, but with the new camera and a click-wheel that is not permanently affixed to the case as it was in the previous generation. The new video camera is video-only, as the size of the Nano reportedly limits the ability to integrate still-photo capable circuitry. The video camera captures H.264 640x480 video at 30 frames-per-second and captures AAC audio.
New MacBook teardown
A teardown of Apple's new aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro systems reveals a "beautiful" layout, according to iFixit. Both computers are said to have extremely well-arranged interiors, which in the case of the Pro is said to be "cleaner" and with much better flow than previous versions. Regarding the basic MacBook, iFixit claims that Apple may be right to promote the workers involved in its new manufacturing process.
iPhone 3G geared for gains
Despite the iPhone 3G's more modern wireless communication standards, arguably thinner design, and inclusion of GPS, its overall cost of manufacture has dropped just over $50, according to iSuppli. The company's Teardown Analysis Service reveals that the device is geared towards cutting costs, while increasing worldwide presence, rather than simply filling the iPhone with the latest and greatest. The iPhone 3G is assessed at $174.33, almost exactly the predicted $173 issued in June.
iPhone 3G teardown
The iPhone 3G has substantial differences within its hardware beyond 3G and GPS chips, one of the first teardowns shows. A model obtained early from New Zealand reveals, for example, that unlike the first iPhone, the glass and LCD in the display are separate, mimicking the construction of the iPod touch. The display assembly is also no longer used to anchor miscellaneous components, but rather just the main board.
iPhone 3G teardown
The iPhone 3G carries a lower price, but it also costs about half as much to make, according to a report in the EETimes. The report says tests by teardown specialist Portelligent put the bill of materials for the new model as low as $100. That should help offset the 3G’s lower $199 price point. Portelligent estimates that based on materials alone, Apple’s gross profit on the iPhone 3G totals about $99, compared to $229 for the previous version. Apparently, Apple is counting on sales volume to make up the difference and Apple may also be receiving a payut for each carrier activation, although the revenue sharing plan with carriers, as with the original device, is no longer in place.
MacBook Air inefficient
Japanese engineers from the Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad judge the MacBook Air as being wasted space inside its otherwise efficiently designed chassis. According to TechOn the engineers claim the ultra-portable uses entirely too many screws to secure various pieces, counting over 30 to secure the keyboard, for example. The engineers say that they could produce the same computer with fewer screws, and a resulting lower cost.