iPad 2 GSM & CDMA Teardown

March 29, 2011 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Apple decided to offer the iPad 2 in a number of flavors that would make Baskin Robbins proud: two colors, three drive capacity sizes, and three connectivity choices (Wi-Fi only, 3G GSM on AT&T, and 3G CDMA on Verizon). All in all, that’s 18 different versions of essentially the same device.

Our original iPad 2 teardown featured the black, 16GB, Wi-Fi only version. There’s absolutely no reason why we’d take apart 17 other iPads, but we felt it worthwhile to at least document the differences between the Wi-Fi only, GSM, and CDMA versions. Enter the iPad 2 GSM & CDMA teardown, which compares the three major versions of the new iPads!

Apple still managed to infuse something different for each iPad 2 flavor. The logic boards are probably the best example: both the CDMA and GSM variants had WWAN boards — which of course contained completely different chips — attached to the logic boards, while the Wi-Fi version had empty space. But the empty space was magical, per Apple rules, although startlingly devoid of anything.

Logic board comparison. From top: Wi-Fi, GSM, and CDMA models.

Logic board comparison. From top: Wi-Fi, GSM, and CDMA models.

But not all differences were restricted to the logic boards. There GSM, CDMA, and Wi-Fi units also had different numbers of antennas that handle the WWAN reception for each model. Notice that the CDMA version has one additional antenna connector when compared to the GSM version:

Back cover comparison. From top: GSM, CDMA, and Wi-Fi.

Back cover comparison. From top: GSM, CDMA, and Wi-Fi.

For more iPad on iPad on iPad goodness, you’ll have to take a look at the iPad 2 GSM & CDMA teardown!

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