Video Overview

Introduction

Apple is at it again, trying to win over the workforce with yet another iPad Pro (this time with a brand-new 10.5" screen size). We expect to see Apple put points on the board with some silicon slam dunks, but what else puts this Pro in the big leagues? Is this new iPad a knock out of the park or is it just KO'd? Only one way to know! Let's play ball tear it down!

Care to keep up? We do move fast, but we love our teammates. Stay in the race by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the latest teardown news.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iPad Pro 10.5", use our service manual.

You can relax now—this iPad is a professional.  All kidding aside though, this thing boasts some impressive specs: Fully laminated, 10.5", LED-backlit, Oxide TFT "True Tone" display with 2224 × 1668 resolution (264 ppi), featuring ProMotion Technology
  • You can relax now—this iPad is a professional. All kidding aside though, this thing boasts some impressive specs:

    • Fully laminated, 10.5", LED-backlit, Oxide TFT "True Tone" display with 2224 × 1668 resolution (264 ppi), featuring ProMotion Technology

    • 4th-generation 64-bit Apple A10X custom processor, with M10 motion coprocessor

    • 12 MP OIS rear camera with 4K video recording at 30 fps, and 7 MP FaceTime camera with 1080p video

    • Self-balancing, four-speaker audio

    • Touch ID sensor, 2 microphones, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, barometer, and 3-axis gyro

    • 802.11a/​b/​g/​n/​ac dual band MIMO Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2

    • 64, 256, or 512 GB of on-board storage

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Along with all-new performance specs and screen size, Apple launched a new model number,  giving us a fresh A1701. How much bigger is bigger? Yesteryear's iPad Pro 9.7" measured in at 9.4" x 6.6", while the new Pro is 9.8" x 6.8". (And at 0.24", they are both equally thick thin.)
  • Along with all-new performance specs and screen size, Apple launched a new model number, giving us a fresh A1701.

  • How much bigger is bigger? Yesteryear's iPad Pro 9.7" measured in at 9.4" x 6.6", while the new Pro is 9.8" x 6.8". (And at 0.24", they are both equally thick thin.)

    • In short: not much bigger.

    • That being said, the bezels have been significantly reduced. So, the new Pro won't feel bigger in your hands, but it will look bigger where it counts.

  • Other changes include: a microphone-hole migration, from beside the rear-facing camera to the selfie camera zone.

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  • Like most iPads, entry into this unit is guarded by strong adhesive—but the thinner bezel means it's easier than ever to accidentally jam a pick between the display and laminated glass.

    • Luckily, we're seasoned teardowners, well-equipped with the proper tools for the job.

  • Still, slicing blindly into a new iPad is always scary, since there's always the danger of cutting through a random display cable ...

  • ... except when there's not! Apple put the display cables right down the center, out of harm's way.

    • We've seen this arrangement in an iPad only once before, and it appears Apple finally managed to unify the Pro line around this somewhat more symmetrical design.

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Right about now, Apple's earning a pat on the back for using Phillips screws over  the display cable bracket—unlike those pesky tri-point screws we uncovered in the iPhone 7 (Plus). They also connected the display cable near the Lightning port instead of dead center, making repairs slightly less awkward. But it does look as though we'll have to remove another heavily glued-in logic board. Let's cross our fingers for battery pull tabs!
  • Right about now, Apple's earning a pat on the back for using Phillips screws over the display cable bracket—unlike those pesky tri-point screws we uncovered in the iPhone 7 (Plus).

    • They also connected the display cable near the Lightning port instead of dead center, making repairs slightly less awkward.

  • But it does look as though we'll have to remove another heavily glued-in logic board. Let's cross our fingers for battery pull tabs!

  • While planning our attack, we flip the switch on our X-Ray vision (courtesy of our friends at Creative Electron) to peek behind all those black boxes.

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To the naked eye, this display doesn't look all that different from previous generations. And with a resolution of 264 ppi, it's not the first Retina display iPad. All the same, 120 Hz is a blisteringly fast refresh rate for this many pixels, which is probably why it needs four (!) connecting cables. (Its ginormous older brother got by with just two.)
  • To the naked eye, this display doesn't look all that different from previous generations. And with a resolution of 264 ppi, it's not the first Retina display iPad.

  • All the same, 120 Hz is a blisteringly fast refresh rate for this many pixels, which is probably why it needs four (!) connecting cables. (Its ginormous older brother got by with just two.)

  • The slimmer bezel and True Tone tech also set this display apart—but we're here for the guts. After melting off a couple shields, we find:

    • Intersil 248828 R703CM

    • Parade Technologies DP825 timing controller (likely an upgraded version of Parade ICs we've spotted in previous iPad Pros)

    • Texas Instruments TPS565158

Which manufacturers is the Display? Not Samsung, not LG. A good question.

Brian Wehrhahn - Reply

In our Wi-Fi version of the 10.5" Pro, Apple left some mysterious plastic blocks where the LTE antennas might be found. To add to the mystery, these weren't present in the Wi-Fi 12.9" iPad Pro...
  • In our Wi-Fi version of the 10.5" Pro, Apple left some mysterious plastic blocks where the LTE antennas might be found.

    • To add to the mystery, these weren't present in the Wi-Fi 12.9" iPad Pro...

    • We are speculating that it adds support to the display assembly, as opposed to being empty space as seen in earlier iPads.

  • Nothing much to see until we remove the large shield covering the logic board. Time to unzip it and see what we find.

What is on the other side of the front-facing camera? (I assume that's the top there - but what are the "microphone holes" next to the audio jack doing at the *top*?) My guess is that the plastic block is not just support for the display, but to balance the weight.

What are the regularly spaced "black bosses" (the engineering sense..) behind the spacer? They look like rubber shock absorbers for the screen. To reduce errant motion if the thing is being flung hither and thither when used when hunting flying Pokemon? (Courtesy of ARKit of course)

And - ahoy! Are those normal **Phillips** screws I see there? Inconceivable!

jimwitte - Reply

Remember, there are four speakers—two on top, and two on the bottom. ;) That's what the row of holes is for (you can see them in Step 8). The plastic blocks are hollow and weigh virtually nothing, so I tend to favor the "display support" theory.

Jeff Suovanen -

As we delve deeper into the shallow device, we realize we haven't spotted any internal cabling yet. We find this 3.5 mm headphone jack and speaker driver right where we expect ...
  • As we delve deeper into the shallow device, we realize we haven't spotted any internal cabling yet.

  • We find this 3.5 mm headphone jack and speaker driver right where we expect ...

  • ... but instead of routing their ribbon cables over the top of the speaker resonance chamber like in their 12.9" counterparts, Apple has tucked the cables rather inconveniently underneath—that is, sandwiched between the speaker and rear case.

  • Lifting up a strip of padded conductive tape, we find screws! Last time we had a sad time removing Pro speakers, so screws are a good sign.

  • Psych—those screws didn't save us from fighting through nasty adhesive to remove the speakers.

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Sure enough, allllllll the connecting cables are hiding out under this overturned rock speaker chamber. At least the speaker chamber itself comes out intact, with the driver attached—unlike in the 12.9" Pro, this is a nondestructive process. The speaker even has little spring contacts, so it lifts out cleanly.
  • Sure enough, allllllll the connecting cables are hiding out under this overturned rock speaker chamber.

  • At least the speaker chamber itself comes out intact, with the driver attached—unlike in the 12.9" Pro, this is a nondestructive process. The speaker even has little spring contacts, so it lifts out cleanly.

    • Not so for the ribbon cables that remain glued to the rear case, however.

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The fight with the speaker adhesive on the opposite side rewards us with access to the rear-facing camera and light sensor. The light sensor is covered by a green/white/clear filter that might help with the True Tone system. The 10.5" Pro adopts the same formidable cameras found in the iPhone 7.
  • The fight with the speaker adhesive on the opposite side rewards us with access to the rear-facing camera and light sensor.

    • The light sensor is covered by a green/white/clear filter that might help with the True Tone system.

  • The 10.5" Pro adopts the same formidable cameras found in the iPhone 7.

    • The rear-facing camera now shoots up to 12 MP stills and 4K video at 30 fps, all with the benefit of optical image stabilization. This is up from the 8 MP stills and 1080p video capable cameras found in the 2015 12.9" Pro.

    • The front-facing selfie camera is no slouch either, as it can take 7 MP photos and has 1080p video recording.

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A tablet is only as powerful as its processors. Here's what's powering this one: Apple APL1071 Apple A10X Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and embedded M10 coprocessor Micron MT53B256M64D2PX-062 1600 MHz 2 GB LPDDR4 (2 chips for 4 GB of RAM)
  • A tablet is only as powerful as its processors. Here's what's powering this one:

    • Apple APL1071 Apple A10X Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and embedded M10 coprocessor

    • Micron MT53B256M64D2PX-062 1600 MHz 2 GB LPDDR4 (2 chips for 4 GB of RAM)

    • Toshiba THGBX669D4LLDXG 64 GB NAND flash memory

    • NXP 67V04 NFC controller (as seen in the iPad 5, iPhone 7, and Apple Watch Series 2)

    • Murata/Apple 339S00249 wireless module

    • 2 x Broadcom BCM15900B0 touchscreen controller

    • Apple 343S00118-A0, 343S00120-A0, and 343S00121-A1

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Teardown Update—A closer look at the logic board reveals something interesting: Cypress CYPD2104 USB Type-C Port Controller
  • Teardown Update—A closer look at the logic board reveals something interesting:

    • Cypress CYPD2104 USB Type-C Port Controller

  • What’s a USB-C controller doing in here? The iPad doesn’t have a USB-C port.

  • Ah, but if you pair this little chip with a Lightning-to-USB-C cable and Apple’s 29W USB-C charger, you unlock a bonus feature: USB Power Delivery, a.k.a. fast charging.

  • Previously featured only on the 12.9” iPad Pro, fast charging cuts your battery charging time in half. (This was an especially big deal on the 12.9” model, which otherwise needs up to five hours to drink enough electrons for a full charge.)

Do you know if fast charging would work with a 87w TouchBar MacBook Pro charger?

Joshua Karns - Reply

Do these Type-C controllers present in the smaller iPad Pro 9.7 (before this time), 'cause I am buying a referbrished iPad Pro 9.7

Xavier Jiang - Reply

Because of the pull-tab adhesive securing its battery, we deemed the original iPad Pro the first really recyclable iPad. Hoping for lightning to strike twice, we apprehensively peel up some tape on the edge of the battery. Foiled! More plastic spacers, and only nasty gooey adhesive instead of nice clean peel-out stickums. How about next time Apple? Cherry on top?
  • Because of the pull-tab adhesive securing its battery, we deemed the original iPad Pro the first really recyclable iPad. Hoping for lightning to strike twice, we apprehensively peel up some tape on the edge of the battery.

  • Foiled! More plastic spacers, and only nasty gooey adhesive instead of nice clean peel-out stickums.

    • How about next time Apple? Cherry on top?

  • This Pro gets a 3.77 V, 8134 mAh, 30.8 Wh battery—a slight downsize from the 38.8 Wh battery found in the 12.9", but an upgrade from the 27.91 Wh battery in the 9.7".

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Oh, and one more thing. The last time we tore down one of Apple's smart keyboards, it didn't go so well. This time though, things are different—we've got superpowers. (Okay, we've got friends with superpowers.) The Smart Connector is that dark bar at the top of the stand roll. Also featured in black: the various magnets that keep this guy in position.
  • Oh, and one more thing.

  • The last time we tore down one of Apple's smart keyboards, it didn't go so well. This time though, things are different—we've got superpowers. (Okay, we've got friends with superpowers.)

  • The Smart Connector is that dark bar at the top of the stand roll. Also featured in black: the various magnets that keep this guy in position.

  • Hopefully the single switch on that spacebar doesn't make it a pain to use, but look at that lovely tracery. Sigh.

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That's all folks! Special thanks to Creative Electron for lending us their X-ray goggles!
  • That's all folks!

  • Special thanks to Creative Electron for lending us their X-ray goggles!

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Final Thoughts
  • While not soldered in place, the battery is very solidly adhered—no more pull tabs like we saw in the iPad Pro 12.9".
  • The Smart Connector port is virtually impossible to replace—but incorporates no moving parts and is unlikely to fail.
  • The LCD and front panel glass are fused together. This slightly simplifies the opening procedure.
  • The fused front panel increases the cost of screen repair, and the risk of damaging the LCD when opening.
  • Gobs of adhesive hold everything in place, making all repairs more difficult.
Repairability Score
2
Repairability 2 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

23 Comments

Hey Guys! I would love to know what's the RAM memory of the new iPad Pro 12.9... When can we see a teardown of that iPad? cheers!

hansdesigns - Reply

Both 10.5" and 12.9" iPad Pro use Apple A10X processor, the system memory 12.9" uses should be same as 10.5", LPDDR4.

JJ Wu - Reply

I was waiting for iFixit.com to teardown the iPad Pro 10.5 but the LTE version because it could let us know what's Apple's plan with next iphone modem. This new iPad is supposed to support CDMA Network so I want to know if it is using an INTEL modem or a Qualcomm modem. If this iPad uses an Intel modem with CDMA it means intel is ready to substitute Qualcomm on Verizon/Sprint iPhone. The specs in Apple website shows this new iPad Pro supports up to 450 Mbps so it could be using Intel XMM 7480 modem. It also could be using Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem (600 Mbps) and Apple slowed the speed down to 450 Mbps just to have equal specs for both iPads (GSM and CDMA).

Piogan Dominicano - Reply

From the tech spec of new iPad Pro Apple released on product web site, most likely, it is still Qualcomm modem inside due to CDMA support. Unlike iPhone 7, there are several models which is base band tech dependent. For new iPad Pro, there is one model only to support all telecommunication tech, especially CDMA. Intel's first chip to support CDMA will be XMM7650 announced in Feb.

JJ Wu -

Will you teardown the new 12.9 model?

imjosejab - Reply

Is the Touch ID the same as on the iPhone 7, a tactile one or still the (not so) good old clickable one ? Thanks !

Stephane Grienenberger - Reply

It's the older mechanical clicky button version. ;)

Jeff Suovanen -

What is the NFC chip doing inside a iPad?

RaySajuuk - Reply

It's for Apple Pay.

Paul Motz -

NFC is useful for pairing bluetooth speakers, for example. Probably more so than for paying for stuff using a massive ipad..

Patrik Floding -

Right now with the NFC Chip and IOS11 you can skip the whole installation/activation process buy touching the iPad with your iPhone, and it is going to setup all your settings and accounts ;-)

djlsb - Reply

Hello, I just received my iPad Pro 10,5. I have a stylus with 3 magnets in it, and it attaches perfectly to the sides of the iPad. My question is: Is it dangerous or is prepared to that?

Adrián Iriarte - Reply

The iPad relies on magnets to secure the Apple made covers, and has a line of magnets on the case you can see in a few steps. So don't worry, it's supposed to do that =)

Sam Lionheart -

who is the manifacturer of microphones, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, barometer, and 3-axis gyro? cheers

Marco Leo - Reply

Could you precisely measure the size of the new A10X chip? It would be fantastic to get a indication of the die size!

Ewout - Reply

I just finished checking them out at Best Buy. Both the new 12.9" and the 10.5". I have to say WOW. The 12.9" is just to big for my needs, but I got to try the pencil on it for the first time and have to say, WOW is it responsive. Having used them on Windows type systems over the years and being laggy and really not very good, I can't see any lag. It's so responsive. I can't draw worth a crap, but I could see some uses for having it, just on the 10.5" version instead. Right now I have a iPad 3 and it's really laggy. It wasn't super fast either then NEW which is why Apple released the iPad 4 6 months later with a faster CPU and the lightning port. So I think this new 10.5" iPad will be the perfect upgrade. I don't need a keyboard.

It's a really nice Tablet. For the few things it might not do as well, I still have my Custom Windows 10 Pro Desktop at home. For tablet needs. I don't want a so called full OS. Don't want to deal with all the Windows issues I've have to deal with over the years.

JBDragon - Reply

What's the audio codec in iPad Pro 10.5?

cuiimws - Reply

seems, it is Cirrus Logic CS42L83A. Refer to Step 11, there is one chip next to Toshiba chip.

JJ Wu -

I received an iPad Pro 10.5" LTE and Bluetooth is dead. WLAN and everything else works. Never had this before. You can switch BT off and on but the device can't be found nor does it find anything. Restored it twice with 10.3.3 and nothing works. How can this be? I thought the WLAN/BT is on one chip? Lost connection to the antenna? Very strange...

Erik

plant agoo - Reply

can anyone tell me who manufactured those speakers?

jon aarin - Reply

Any clue as to the wiring/schematic behind the smart connector? Which contacts might be the pos/neg used in charging for the Logitech base?

Kyle Hatton - Reply

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