Apple's New iPad Air Gets the iFixit Teardown Treatment, Gets 2 Out of 10 Repairability
team has been busy digging into another one of Apple’s latest devices, the iPad Air
. Apple's iPad Air is the thinnest, lightest, and fastest iPad to date. Apple notes the iPad Air is 20% thinner than its predecessor, with a bezel that is 43% thinner than its predecessor. It also only weighs 1 pound, while carrying the 9.7-inch retina display, 64-bit A7 chip, and 10-hour battery.
iFixit’s findings are that the iPad Air carries a slightly modified A7 chip from the iPhone 5s; the iPhone 5s’ A7 chip (APL0698) differs from the iPad Air’s A7 chip (APL5698). Both are 64-bit chips and offer great performance. The iPad Air also carries Apple's M7 co-processor for movement, as well as 1GB of Elpida-branded memory. Toshiba is found to be the manufacturer of the iPad Air's flash storage.
The iFixit team also found some changes in the battery, which is now a two-cell battery rather than a three-cell battery, and a change to the SIM card slot, which now accepts nano-SIM cards rather than micro-SIM cards.
In taking the device apart, iFixit found numerous obstacles with the device’s construction that would make repairing it very difficult. For example, the front display being glued down to the device makes removal without breaking it difficult, the glue holding down the battery makes removing it without puncturing it a tough job, and issues with adhesive on the LCD display makes it a challenge to remove it without shattering it.
On the bright side, iFixit notes that the battery isn’t soldered to the logic board and that the LCD is reasonably easy to remove from the front glass panel, so unlike Apple’s 2013 MacBook Pro with retina display, which received a 1 out of 10 repairability score, iFixit is giving Apple’s iPad Air a 2 out of 10 repairability score, where 10 is the easiest to repair and 1 is the hardest to repair.