Teardown of iPad Air Reveals A7 Chip, LG Display, Qualcomm LTE Modem

iFixit has performed another one of its traditional high-quality teardowns on the iPad Air. The new iPad is dramatically thinner and lighter compared to the previous models, and also sports a 64-bit A7 chip, an M7 motion compressor, and a Qualcomm MDM9615 LTE modem. Among the details revealed in the teardown:

- The display appears to be manufactured by LG. The Korean company along with Sharp and Samsung are expected to be the primary manufacturers of displays for the iPad Air. But while supplies of the iPad Air are plentiful, LG and Sharp are said to be struggling with low yields of displays for the Retina iPad mini also due for launch this month, with Apple turning to Samsung for help.

- The A7 chip found in the device has a part number of APL5698, which differs than the APL0698 chip found in the iPhone 5s. The processor in the iPad Air is likely the 1.4GHz variant which was discovered in benchmark results earlier this week, and is 100MHz faster when compared to the 1.3GHz variant found in the iPhone 5s. The Apple M7 "motion coprocessor" also makes an appearance in the logic board, with a part number of NXP LPC18A1.

ipad_airlogicboard2
- 1GB of Elpida DDR3 SDRAM is found within the device but is now housed on one chip, compared to the two Elpida chips that housed the RAM on the fourth-generation iPad.

- The iPad Air now sports a 32.9 Whr two-cell battery, which is smaller than the 43Whr three-cell battery found in the fourth-generation iPad. However, it appears that the same ten-hour battery life from the last generation has been preserved on the new device.

ipadair_battery2

- As expected, the device contains essentially the same rear 5-megapixel iSight camera found in the previous generation, although with a shorter focal length. The front FaceTime HD camera remains at 1.2 megapixels for 720p quality, but with an improved sensor.

ipad_aircamera2
- Dual microphones are now found on the top edge of the device for noise cancelling capabilities, and are joined by other minor changes including separated volume buttons on the side and stereo speakers on the bottom of the device like that of the original iPad mini.

- Two antennae sporting multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology are now included in the iPad Air, with Wi-Fi performance reportedly twice as fast when compared to previous iPads.

ipadair_torndown
- The device now contains a modular nano-SIM tray for cellular connectivity, changed from the micro-SIM tray found in the previous generation.

- Two Broadcom BCM5976C1KUB6G Touch Screen Controllers are now included in the iPad Air, which is similar to the BCM5976A0KUB2G trackpad controller found in current and previous MacBooks.

As is tradition for iFixit's teardowns, the company has assigned a repairability score to the iPad Air based on the accessibility of the various components. The firm rates the iPad Air's repairability at just 2 out of 10, with positive points for easy LCD accessibility and a non-soldered battery, but the sheer amount of glue and other adhesives used to hold the device together makes repair extremely difficult.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
91 months ago
Don't worry iFixit, if you keep opening enough iPads you'll eventually find that Golden Ticket.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
91 months ago

it's been two hours with my air and i'm loving it so far! battery seems great and the screen looks just as sharp as the previous gens. However even with a clean install my photo app has crashed a few times after syncing 24,000 photos.


It's trying to tell you, you'll never look at 24,000 photos. ;)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
91 months ago
But why couldn't they just put 2GB RAM inside...

edit: doesn't matter, bought one anyway :)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
91 months ago

wow... you guys have discovered a huge secret! Now that's a scope.


Scoop?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
91 months ago

Repairability score a 2?!!! If I can't fix it or upgrade it myself than no sale!:rolleyes:


Replaceability score of 10/10 if you have AppleCare ;)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
91 months ago

More ram, please. I don't know why they don't go higher especially with these faster chips and apps like the new GB that are supposed to do 32 tracks. Heck, it would get used even for keeping more safari tabs open without having to reload. Additional cost would be barely anything, I just don't get it.


Moreover, since new iPad (and iPhone) switched to 64-bit architecture this means that apps will now use more memory. And this means that new devices actually have less memory for storing actual data than the previous one. Switch to 64-bit architecture without increasing RAM size can be only explained by greed.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

French iPhone Boxes Come Packed in an Outer Box With Separate EarPods

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:52 am PDT by
After the news that France would be the only territory to continue to include EarPods with the iPhone, it seems that Apple is not packing the earbuds within the iPhone's box (via iGeneration). Screenshot from TheiCollection's review video The French iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not have a different retail box to accommodate EarPods, meaning that all iPhone boxes are consistent...

Some Defective Apple iPhone 12 Cases Shipping Without Speaker Holes

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:54 pm PDT by
At least two customers who have purchased iPhone 12 cases have received defective cases that do not have speaker holes, which obscures the sound. Photo by Reddit user zarnold16 There have been two separate threads on Reddit from iPhone 12 customers who purchased a case and received one without speaker holes. One customer was told by an Apple advisor that the case wasn't meant to have...

Watch: New iPad Air Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the new iPad Air ahead of its launch on Friday. In addition to our more detailed review roundup, we've shared a handful of unboxing videos and first impressions of the device below. The new iPad Air via Karl Conrad The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. It is...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...