Teardown of Mid-2012 MacBook Air Reveals Tweaked SSD Connector

The teardown experts at iFixit are currently in the process of taking apart the new 13-inch MacBook Air released yesterday, and while the machine appears to be only a minor update to the previous model, there are undoubtedly some changes that are worth noting.

The most notable change so far is with the solid-state storage. Apple has tweaked the connector design on the MacBook Air's integrated flash storage, making current replacement and upgrade modules from third parties incompatible with the latest models. Other World Computing has also noted this difference and indicated that they are working "full steam ahead" on launching new Aura Pro Express SSDs compatible with the 2012 MacBook Air. Apple announced at WWDC that it was using new 500 MBps SSDs in its MacBook Air, and the new connector design is likely to accommodate the faster data transfer capabilities.

macbook air 2012 ssd
Toshiba SSD in Mid-2012 MacBook Air

Beyond the SSD, iFixit has found very few changes to the MacBook Air. The new models incorporate Apple's thinner Magsafe 2 standard that the company developed as it has sought to find ways to continue reducing the thickness of its notebooks. The new MacBook Air obviously also incorporates Intel's latest Ivy Bridge processors and new 1600 MHz RAM, as well as USB 3.0 support, but these upgrades have yielded very little in terms of changes to the machine's internal layout.

macbook air 2012 magsafe 2
Left I/O board from Mid-2012 MacBook Air, with MagSafe 2 connector at left

iFixit's teardown is still underway, so there may yet be more news to come, and we will update this story with any additional discoveries of note.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Caution)
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

Stetrain Avatar
121 months ago
Over the years I've built up quite a collection of MacBook power cords all throughout the house, so I can have power where ever I may be sitting. I wonder how much the MagSafe2 => MagSafe adapters are going to be.

$10: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD504ZM/A

Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smithrh Avatar
121 months ago
Eagerly anticipating the Retina MBP teardown...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dokujaryu Avatar
121 months ago
I'm so jelly of the guys that get to do this for a living.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8CoreWhore Avatar
121 months ago
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.

It might have to do with the fact that the "barrel type" acts like a hook when yanked from behind.

Secondly, by going shallower, it releases easier - so less likely to have a fall. The lighter the laptop, the lighter the grip the connector should have.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheMacBookPro Avatar
121 months ago
Can't afford those $3,000 a day hand models.

But can they afford George Costanza? :p
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lindono Avatar
121 months ago
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.

It actually was slightly thicker than a USB port, at least it is on my 2011 MBA. They probably just wanted to make it a little thinner and be done with it. 5 years from now, nobody will care.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...