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This is why the new Apple TV is bigger than the last generation


As usual, our friends over at iFixit have started the teardown process for Apple’s new lineup of products introduced earlier this month and it’s kicking things off with the new 4th generation Apple TV hardware.

While the new Apple TV, which introduces upgraded hardware alongside a newly revamped software platform dubbed “tvOS”, doesn’t officially go on sale until sometime next month, Apple has already started sending out units to developers interested in building apps for the device ahead of its launch.

Apple-tv-4-heatsinkThere aren’t a whole lot of surprises inside the new hardware, but iFixit did discover why Apple made the device a little thicker than the previous generation. A larger heatsink and power supply to support the enhanced processing power of the new A8 chip inside appears to be the reason behind the increase in size:

The improved Apple TV stands in seeming defiance of Apple’s obsession with making things thinner and lighter. With a beefier heatsink and power supply to support the dual-core A8 SoC, it stands a half-inch taller and more than 50% heavier than its predecessor.

Curiously, the teardown notes that “there’s a distinct lack of cables connecting the power supply to the logic board.” iFixit speculates that “the power is transmitted through the new heat sink screw posts.”

Repairs to the new Apple TV won’t be particularly easy, however, as iFixit notes “almost everything important on the Apple TV is soldered to the logic board, which means replacement or board-level soldering is required to solve port problems.” On the other hand, the battery and Lightning cable on the new remote will be easy to replace, according to iFixit’s findings. But in general iFixit gave the device a high repairability score of 8/10, meaning in their opinion Apple has made a commendable effort to make repairs possible. 

Check out our full video walkthrough of the new AppleTV hardware and software here.

You can check out iFixit’s full teardown and a full list of all the components found inside the torn apart 4th gen Apple TV below:

• Apple TV hardware:
• SK Hynix H2JTEG8VD1BMR 32 GB NAND flash
• Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00045 Wi-Fi module
• SMSC LAN9730 USB 2.0 to 10/100 ethernet controller
• Apple 338S00057
• Texas Instruments PA61
• Fairchild Semiconductor DF25AU
• NXP 1112

• Siri Remote hardware:
• ST Microelectronics STM32L151QD ultra-low-power ARM Cortex-M3 MCU
• Broadcom BCM5976C1KUB6G touch screen controller
• CSR (Qualcomm) CSR1010 Bluetooth radio
• Texas Instruments TMS320C55 ultra-low-power digital signal processor
• ST Microelectronics AS5C Y523
• Texas Instruments TI49C37GI and TI55CHL6I

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  1. May want to edit that second paragraph. Several typos.

    As far as the “fixability” of the product, I don’t think it’s an issue that repairing the Apple TV is difficult. For the amazing product that it seems to be, it’s pretty cheap, especially for an Apple device. It’s replaceable.

  2. galley99 - 8 years ago

    Hopefully the extra weight will keep it from sliding around.

  3. Gary Frost - 8 years ago

    The 4k tv issues has less to do with the actual hardware as it does with the HDMI/HDCP 2.0 protection and may be involved with Apple’s efforts to have live TV available through the box itself. I can see that the HDCP 2.0 content issue may not be fully addressed in a way that is agreeable to everyone. We’ll have to wait and see, but I think here is where some more digging may pay off to see all of the issues

  4. tush4r - 7 years ago

    Apple TV is apparently the first product to get an 8/10 score from the iFixit.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.