Turns out that Apple’s latest 9.7 inch iPad isn’t all that new, since it uses bits and pieces from the iPad Air 1 from 2013. Or at least the similarity is striking, judging by iFixit’s recent teardown. They dissected the slate and the results can be found below.
We’re talking about the brand new $329 iPad, that was announced last week out of nowhere. It seems to mix old components and newer ones, as well as “old ones with upgrades”. While we do get the Apple A9 CPU from 2015, the innards are truly very similar to the ones of the iPad Air first gen. Aside from the new CPU there’s also a Touch ID scanner, brighter screen and no lock switch as differences from the iPad Air. In the image above you can see the iPad Air on the left and the new iPad on the right, looking very similar inside.
We also learn the mic holes are smaller and the speaker holes make a single row. iFixit even swapped the screen panel and digitizer from the iPad Air 1 with the one from the iPad 5/ new iPad 2017. The result? Well, the iPad Air 1 can take the screen of the new slate, since controllers are compatible, while the new iPad also accepts the older panel, but there’s a bit of backlight problems.
Recycling components isn’t new, but people should really know what they’re buying here. Also, the repairability of the product isn’t very good, scoring a mere 2 out of 10 in iFixit’s ratings. The problem is that the front panel is glued to the rest of the device and there’s gobs of adhesive all over the place.