iPad 3 4G Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

Is it "The New iPad?" "iPad HD?" "iPad 3?" Who cares? All we know is this: It's here!

Join us for the iPad 3 4G teardown. Follow iFixit on twitter for the latest up-to-date news.

Image #1

Edit Step 1 iPad 3 4G Teardown  ¶ 

  • Luke flew to the Telstra store in Melbourne, Australia and was first in line to get the iPad 3 for our deconstructive pleasure.

  • A big thanks to Macfixit Australia for letting us use their facility for the teardown!

  • Tech Specs:

    • Dual-core Apple A5X processor

    • 9.7 inch LCD, backlit in-plane switching LED with 2048×1536 pixel Retina display

    • Quad-core graphics processor

    • 16, 32, or 64 GB flash memory

    • 5 MP HD rear-facing camera

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • It's go time! What does an iFixit teardown expert need to dismember the newest iPad at midnight on the other side of the world?

  • Despite our office being in the United States, and the iPad 3 being debuted in Australia, we are fairly confident that it will still work.

  • If you want to follow along on your own iPad, our native iOS app is a great way to go.

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • We spoke too soon. It appears that 4G LTE on the iPad 3 does not actually work in the land of Oz.

  • Uh-oh, which iPad is this? iPad 2 3G? iPad 3 4G? iPad N (N+1)G?

    • Luckily for everybody, the model number is unique, unlike some of Apple's other products. The model number is A1430.

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • So this is what the rear panel of a new "new iPad" looks like. Do you know what it sort of reminds us of?

  • The 5 MP iSight rear-facing camera boasts autofocus, face detection, 1080p HD video recording, and video stabilization. Definitely a great improvement over last year's weak 0.7 MP rear-facing camera.

  • The 2048×1536 pixel Retina display doesn't do much to amaze us once we turn the iPad off, but we didn't fly halfway across the world just to play Punch a Hipster.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • A heavy-duty display should only be removed with heavy-duty suction cups.

  • The first legitimately-purchased, legitimately-owned iPad 3 is now also the first legitimately-opened iPad ... in the world.

  • Apparently, the new iPad has a face, and it's not happy. Look familiar?

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Well, this display is screwed...to the case. Luckily, we have a BS degree in removing screws, so this poses no challenge.

  • Rather than enjoy the 264 pixels per inch on this brand new device, we opt to remove the acclaimed display. Why? Because we're iFixit, and that's how we roll.

  • As we lift the LCD, we hear the cries of 3,145,728 pixels being dislodged from their homes inside the iPad 3.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • It's time to cut spudge the umbilical cord on the display and touchscreen.

  • As we mentioned in our sneak-peek video, the display connectors in the iPad 2 and iPad 3 are different, meaning the two displays are incompatible...for now.

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • The model numbers on the back of the 9.7 inch LCD lead us to believe this is a Samsung LCD.

  • Beside the numbers we find three mysterious matrix barcodes. They allure the teardown expert, a dubious distraction indeed. What do they do? Our best guess: crash your iPhone or turn it into an iPad...scan at your own risk.

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Connectors and screws, connectors and screws, to secure a logic board, that's what you use!

  • We might not be very good at writing poetry, but with spudger and screwdriver in hand, we are masters of our craft.

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Come now, iPad. Let go of your logic board, please.

  • Thank you Siri... Siri? Are you there? (silence)

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • The logic board is out!

  • Using some leftover pixie dust from our iPhone 4S teardown, we will remove the EMI Shields to fly off so we can take a peek at the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Chips, Chips, Chips. Here's some of the salsa on the non-A5X side of the logic board:

    • Texas Instruments CD3240 driver device

    • Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n MAC/baseband/radio with integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and FM transceiver

    • 2 x 4Gb Elpida LP DDR2 = 1 GB DRAM in separate packages in a 64-bit configuration

    • Fairchild FDMC 6683

    • Broadcom BCM5973 I/O controller

    • Broadcom BCM5974 microprocessor

    • Apple 338S0987 (Cirrus Logic audio codec)

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • We've got one more message from our vainglorious sponsor.

  • We also make software for teaching people to do things. Dozuki makes it easy to create vibrant how-to manuals.

  • Dozuki is great for:

  • Lots more: Dozuki shines in any situation where you need to harness the knowledge of experts to teach people to do things in the real world.

Image #1

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • ...and here's some more salsa on the other end of the non-A5X side:

    • Qualcomm PM8028 Power Management IC

    • Qualcomm RTR8600 multi-band/mode RF transceiver for 3G and 4GLTE bands

    • Toshiba Y0A0000 Memory MCP

    • Triquint TQM7M5013 quad-band linear power amplifier module

    • Avago A5904

    • Skyworks SKY77468-17 front-end module

Image #1

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Some crafty spudgering reveals the A5X processor in all its glory.

  • Like the A5, the A5X system features a 1 GHz dual-core CPU. The upgrade that earns it an 'X' is the new GPU, which Apple claims outperforms even Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor.

  • This particular chip was manufactured in the first week of 2012. Maybe our iPad marks the start of the end of the world.

    • Not prepared? There’s an app or two for that...

Image #1

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • An entirely-new side of the logic board:

    • Apple A5X processor

    • Apple 343S0561 - This IC looks like an updated version of the 343S052 that we found in the iPad 2, and is used for power management.

    • The NAND, part number THGVX1G7D2GLA08 is a 16 GB 24 nm MLC Flash from Toshiba

    • Qualcomm MDM9600 - 3G and 4G wireless modem

    • Skyworks 77469

    • Avago A7792

  • A big and hearty thanks to Chipworks for helping us ID these chips!

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • So here's a bonus for all of you: the A5X cover removed.

  • Underneath the cover we find the A5X processor flip chip mounted onto the carrier PWB.

  • It's a safe bet that the A5X cover is a heat sink for the CPU, given there's thermal paste underneath and a thermal pad on top of the cover.

  • The A5X measures 12.82 mm x 12.71 mm (162 mm^2) which is 36% larger than the A5.

Image #1

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • As is the case with most tablets, the iPad 3 is really just a giant battery.

  • Some help from our spudger allows us to remove the battery from the device for further inspection.

  • While the iPad 2 housed a formidable 25 watt-hour Li-ion battery, the iPad 3 has upped the ante to the tune of 42.5 watt-hours.

  • Its 3.7 volts and estimated 10 hours of use (9 with cellular data network) are comparable to that of the iPad 2, but we assume the extra 17.5 watt-hours are put to good use powering the extra RAM and greatly improved GPU.

  • The battery has three cells, each approximately 12.5 cm x 6.5 cm x 4 mm. The iPad 2's battery cells were 10.8 cm x 6.3 cm x 2.7mm.

Image #1

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Each separate cell lists its rating of 3.78 volts and 14.60 watt-hour. They're graced with some more matrix barcode tags and wonderful inscriptions that read 741-0065-A P11GG9-01-F01TS. Swoon.

  • Chris Foresman at Ars Technica compared the energy density to the battery in the iPad 2, and it comes out about the same—around 0.0014 watt-hour / mm^3.

  • Apple physically increased the size of each cell by about 70%, explaining the big jump from 25 to 42 watt-hours.

  • Apple claims the new iPad is environmentally friendly with a "Recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure." The materials may be recyclable, but the assembled unit is not. We spoke yesterday with Steve Skurnac, president of SIMS Recycling Solutions—one of the largest electronics recyclers in the world. He told us, "Sealed units make it difficult to remove the batteries. From a recycler's point of view, the hazardous components [like batteries] need to be easily separated or removed."

Image #1

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • As we progress through the teardown, what remains is just the carcass of a once mighty iPad.

  • Being the vultures that we are, let's continue picking away at the remains of this aluminum beast...first on our list is the dock connector.

  • The dock connector seems to have the same pin layout as the iPad 2, we have yet to determine whether or not the dock connectors are swappable.

  • Pesky, finicky screws! Be gone and let us remove the antenna in peace.

Image #1

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Get out of the way, ribbon cable! Let us get a look at that micro-SIM card slot.

  • Like the other iPads with micro-SIM cards, the iPad 3 4G has a user-accessible micro-SIM card slot that can be ejected with the help of a handy SIM card eject tool.

  • Sorry, former Amp'd Mobile users, this iPad can only be used on AT&T and Verizon networks.

Image #1

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • The headphone jack and one of the many wireless antennas come out as a single unit. Bummer.

  • Well hello there! Fancy to meet you here iSight camera.

    • You have what specs? Oh, a 5 element lens, an IR filter, and auto exposure. Stop it iSight, you're making us blush...

  • UPDATE: Chipworks found out that the primary camera is indeed the same image sensor Apple used on the iPhone 4: Omnivision OV5650, 1.75 um pixel pitch, 5 MP back illuminated CMOS Image Sensor.

  • The secondary image sensor is also an Omnivision, the OV297AA. 0.3 Mp, 3.0 um pixel pitch CMOS Image Sensor

Image #1

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Pulling out other fine parts, such as the front-facing camera and antenna.

  • Whether you're video chatting or fixing your hair, the front-facing camera is sure to meet all of your low resolution photography and video needs.

Image #1

Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • What an array of buttons and switches! This truly is a sight to see. Buttons of all kinds. Switches of all types. So many!

  • The speaker assembly is the next victim on our list. Farewell speakers!

Image #1

Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • iPad 3 Repairability Score: 2 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • The LCD is easy to remove once the front panel is gone.

    • The battery is not soldered to the logic board, making the replacement process a tad less difficult.

    • Just like the iPad 2, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass when trying to remove it.

    • Gobs, gobs, and gobs of adhesive hold down everything in place, including the prone-to-start-a-fire-if-punctured battery.

    • The LCD has foam sticky tape adhering it to the front panel, increasing chances of it being shattered during disassembly

    • You can't access the front panel's connector until you remove the LCD.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Heat Gun

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups (Pair)

$14.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 40 In stock

Popular Device Products

iPad Retina Front Panel

$84.95 · 36 In stock

iPad Retina Adhesive Strips

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

iPad 3rd Gen Front Panel Assembly

$94.95 · 15 In stock

SIM Card Eject Tool

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

No 4G in australia on the LTE model?

OY MATE!

That makes Russel Crowe want to FOIGHT!

Come on Tugger!

Nick Kustreba, · Reply

could you measure the battery pack ? x,y,z ? that would be amazing !

Jhon, · Reply

The new battery has 3 cells, each about 12.5 cm x 6.5 cm x 4 mm.

Kyle Wiens,

acho bem legal o que vocês estão fazendo. olhando todos os conteúdos "íntimos" do IPAD. mas juro que chorei na hora que visualizei o IPAD desmontado, eu aqui sonhando em um dia no futuro possuir um IPAD 1 pelo menos, e vocês violaram um imaculado IPAD 3. fiquei desconsolado agora. :(

helton, · Reply

Can you weigh the entire battery as well?

Eric Allison, · Reply

We don't have a scale in Australia; we'll weigh it tomorrow once we get one in California.

Kyle Wiens,

The revised three-cell design appears to be just slightly larger than the battery in the iPad 2—each measures about 125 x 65 x 4 mm, according to iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens. The cells in the iPad 2 measure 108 x 63 x 2.7mm, so the iPad 3 battery is actually about 70 percent larger.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/0...

Serdar, · Reply

Did the cover sensor for the magnets change? A third party case maker was claiming that they moved it so some third party cases might not turn the iPad off without modifications for the new location.

Adam Gibson, · Reply

Re step 15 and 22.

Apple 338S0987 (Cirrus Logic audio codec): what can you tell us about the quality of the chip's DAC?

About the headphone jack - is this an optical out jack like those in iPods?

Anyone's input would be appreciated. Thanks!

Jon Brulloths, · Reply

The spectra used for LTE by Apple are currently consumed by SD-TV (700Mhz) or 3G (2100MHz) and not scheduled to be handed back for another 1-3 years which is why local carriers have had to use 1800MHz for LTE which is less popular (but hardly unique) than those other 2 spectra. Still, our 3G peaks at around 21Mbps which is good enough for virtually any use so it isn't a big deal. Apple chooses not to support 1800MHz since it is less popular than the other frequencies and they don't tend to localise devices.

Michael Wolff, · Reply

Step 19:

Skyworks SKY77469 Front End Module was not highlighted. Skyworks has not 1 but 2 front end modules on the new ipad. Please update the slide to show for this.

RFdude, · Reply

Why cant i zoom with the ipad on this site?? Plz fix it ^^

3gfisch, · Reply

Hate to burst your bubble tech men. But the a5 is actually only 800mhz dual core. Ripped off

Steven Varley, · Reply

What is the "pixel density" of the "Digitizer"? By that I mean, if I am creating a "notepad" type application using a fine-tip touch-panel pen, what kind of granurality (or clarify) am I going to draw on the LCD panel? Is the digitizer the same density as the display pixel density? I hope so!!

pnanda, · Reply

what is the digitizer pixel density? If I want to use a "notepad" type application, what clarity am I going to get on a line I draw with a touch-panel pen? drawing, network diagrams etc would be great on this iPad if its digitizer density matches its display pixel density.

pnanda, · Reply

Where's the GPS chip? It's not even mentioned.

el Rafa, · Reply

dose it take so long or wht do I need tools + Red Bull?? or ist the Red Bull for the F-1 race this weekend???

zymeflowvenca, · Reply

The lack of LTE compatibility in Australia is due to the historical set of frequencies that the carriers (mainly, Telstra) are using here for it. It's well known to anyone who pays attention to these things in Australia. It's interesting they ship the same model though.

Scot Mcphee, · Reply

What temperature did you have to take the heat gun up to to make the adhesive come loose?

the13thsaint, · Reply

After you removed the screen, you should've had a photo of the guts sitting inside before removal.

Player Onesix, · Reply

Can you tell if the LCD panel is using the dual LED light bar as speculated?

John, · Reply

Those aren't QR codes, they're Data Matrix codes. From left to right, they decode to MA1C24VBE2HHT1392, DLN1533001WDL63AE, and 6CBL35515K.

Rob, · Reply

Are you guys going to disassemble the screen? I'm very curious about wether or not two LED backlights are being used to pump enough light through the Retina display.

The "remorsphere" was always mentioning that getting enough backlight in the iPad was one of the main challenges to overcome to integrate a Retina display.

paulius, · Reply

The PDF linked from Step 11 of this links to a display with the designation LTN097XL01-A01, not the LTN097QL01-A02 listed on this page. Could be a variant, but the tech info also lists the resolution as "1024 x 768 pixels".

richard29, · Reply

3.7V 43.0Whr 11560mAh

Li-ion Polymer Battery

Korantin, · Reply

Having pictures of both sides of the logic board would be impressive.

Tom McIntosh, · Reply

Based on the specs (http://www.broadcom.com/products/Wireles...) the WiFi chipset is capable of 5 Ghz 'N'. Can anyone confirm if that's the case? Previous iOS devices are all 2.4 Ghz only

carlosoliva, · Reply

The original iPad and iPad 2 are also capable of 5GHz WiFi.

Ian Scott,

...where is A5X?

tune, · Reply

The TriQuint chip appears to be the TQM7M5013 Quad-Band GSM / GPRS / EDGE-Linear Power Amplifier Module.

I cannot quite tell what models the Avago and Syworks chips are.

Daniel, · Reply

FM transceiver? Is this being utilized by something not obvious? Or is this just an artifact of an off-the shelf chip. It would be amazing if developers could write FM transmitter apps (for broadcasting to a car stereo like external devices can do). Or maybe receive FM transmissions and use a 'Radio Tuner' app.

cwaldrip, · Reply

If I'm making it out right, the Elpida RAM has a -8D marking making it LPDDR2-800. That means RAM speed/bandwidth is unchanged from the Apple A5 which is disappointing considering the greater need to feed the GPU.

ltcommanderdata, · Reply

has the RAM moved aout oft the A5? Or ist this an additional ram what would be great..?

Thx

3gfisch, · Reply

As per this data sheet (http://omapworld.com/4430_8Gb__DDR_PoP_1...), each SDRAM chip has two 32-bit data channels, meaning that there is actually twice as much bandwidth as the iPad 2 / A5!

Two chips, each with two 32-bit interfaces means the A5X has a 128-bit wide interface (backed up by the UBM die floorplan analysis). At 800MT/s (on a 400MHz clock), that corresponds to 12.8GB/s!

Alex Taylor, · Reply

an extra 0.2 GHz? So it's a 1.2 GHz A5? I thought it wasn't supposed to have changed.

Jerry Ross, · Reply

It seems DRAM is not any more inside processor Package-On-Package Module of A5X:

- the package is of different type

- existence of both DRAM packages

Thermal dissipation could have played role in making the decision to separate CPU and DRAM

Dimitar, · Reply

Sorry, still stuck on the 0.2 GHz here... the Geekbench scores from Tinhte showed a 1 GHz A5 chip. Can anybody confirm or deny this??

Jerry Ross, · Reply

Could you compare the sizes of the A5 vs. the exposed A5X die? If the A5X is bigger, that would seem to indicate Apple stayed on the same Samsung 45nm process and didn't go 32nm.

ltcommanderdata, · Reply

Lol...The battery gets 60mAh more in Chinese...

Leo Zhang, · Reply

I'm really interested in the physical size difference between the iPad 2 and this battery. Mostly the weight. Is this some new battery "tech" or is it the same technology just more battery material? Since it is almost double the capacity 42 watt-hours versus 25 of the iPad 2.

Thanks-Todd

Todd, · Reply

Second the request for the battery weight and comparison to the iPad2.

Eric Allison, · Reply

I'd also be interested in knowing if the battery is more massive than the iPad 2's. A lot of battery "tech" is in the electrochemistry, and if there isn't a significant difference in mass between the old battery and the new one, then Apple's gone to a more advanced LiIon chemistry.

Rob, · Reply

that's super cool guys thanks a lot!

Jhon, · Reply

The new display may also require more power than the old. 4X as many transistors, after all.

cityzen, · Reply

If you took a picture right after removing the retina LCD, you could give us a direct impression of the size of batteries. Just like you did in the iPhone 4 teardown - "holy battery".

Jim, · Reply

Those look like DataMatrix codes, not QR codes, in case you want to try them. They usually just contain a machine-readable version of the numbers printed next to them, though.

samkass, · Reply

@samkass — You've got it. That data matrix decodes to S2032J02AAE4S1.

Rob, · Reply

If one wasn't planning on repairing, and thus didn't have to be delicate, could two massive suction cups on opposing flat surfaces pop this open without, for example, breaking open the batteries?

Richard, · Reply

Will you please take a picture after remove the black seal on the battery module board?

What kind of parts are used on the battery module board?

Masa, · Reply

Where is the WiFi antenna located? (In Apple's iPad announcement, there was a picture of the various wireless technologies which indicated that the WiFi antenna would be in the lower third of the iPad, and not behind the Apple logo.)

sru, · Reply

Obviously the main chassis is still aluminium but is there any sign of any liquid metal parts anywhere?

raghbir2000, · Reply

Is there any indication of the 5MP camera module sensor being the Omnivision OV5690 ?

Tim Millea, · Reply

The headphone jack assembly is also a hub of sorts that brings together many smaller connectors into a single large connector for the motherboard.

cityzen, · Reply

Camera manufacturer?

john, · Reply

Does the new iPad come with any LCI?

Wong, · Reply

Do you plan to take apart the front-facing camera? I'd very much like to know who is making the 5 megapixel sensor.

Thanks. Jim

W James Kitchens Jr, · Reply

Second the request on who the CMOS image sensor manufactures are.

Mike Moore, · Reply

Third that.

Sir Null, · Reply

Looks like there's a proximity sensor underneath the camera.

cityzen, · Reply

Will you reassemble the ipad?

Steve Burnett, · Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 55

This Week: 666

This Month: 1,730

All Time: 927,247