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iPad Pro teardown shows tweaks to internals in Apple’s new larger tablet

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 6.27.55 PM

It’s no surprise that the people over at repair guide portal iFixit have already started their ritual teardown of Apple’s new iPad Pro. The new device features a larger 12.9-inch display, the 3rd generation 64-bit A9X chip, and other upgraded internals, but are there any other new surprises inside the iPad Pro?

Immediately the team noticed a different layout for the logic board making things a little different when cracking open the new iPad Pro compared to previous generations:

This isn’t quite what we’re used to! With the logic board situated in the center of the iPad, the display cables connect in the very middle, we can’t even lay the display down while we work… Instead we have to support the weight of the display while taking out a few screws securing the display cable bracket…. Here’s a first in iPad history. We have to remove the logic board EMI shielding to remove the logic board itself.

And here is a list of components iFixit found inside that aren’t publicly detailed by Apple:

  • 2 × Broadcom BCM15900B0
  • NXP Semiconductors 8416A1 Touch ID Sensor
  • Parade Technologies DP695 Timing Controller
    • This is likely an iteration of the DP665 LCD timing controller found in the iMac Retina 5K, modified to support the display’s variable refresh rate.
  • Texas Instruments TPS65144 (Likely an iteration of the TPS65143A LCD Bias found in the Air 2)

One thing iFixit notes in its teardown is that the speaker boxes for the device take about half the space as the battery cells. “Premium audio means reduced battery life,” the team notes.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 6.32.58 PM

One of the iPad Pro’s speakers

Overall, iFixit gives the iPad Pro a 3/10 for repairability. The team cites the ability to remove the battery with only adhesive tabs as one the easiest repair to perform.

  • The battery is not soldered to the logic board, and can now be removed with adhesive tabs, greatly simplifying battery removal.
  • 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.

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  1. Liam Deckham - 7 years ago

    Does it look like there is room for future models to have 256 GB or even 512 GB?

    • Eduardo Antonini - 7 years ago

      Apple will get there eventually, as photo files become larger and apps become more and more sophisticated. DW, it’s just a matter of time.

      Side note: do you actually need that much storage though? I can’t even fill 64 GB 😐

      • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

        64 GB should been the minimum storage instead of 32 GB.

        You must have a small photo library or a few number of apps not to be near 64 GB.

      • @taoprophet

        “You must have a small photo library or a few number of apps not to be near 64 GB.”

        you’d be surprised how many users fall under that definition. There’s a lot.

      • Liam Deckham - 7 years ago

        Thank you, Eduardo.
        I must be the only one to like having a majority of photos with me. I also like keeping a lot of files in my GoodReader App. Using iCloud drive is virtually impossible in some locations and, even at that, storing content locally is just how I work. I know it is old school but when Microsoft’s alternative gives you up to 1 TB, I have to ask if 256 GB is that much of an unreasonable request of Apple. Will have to wait for iPad Pro 2.
        Having the iPad Pro for the last 24-hours, I can almost guarantee there will be a iPad Mini Pro. Lol…

  2. galley99 - 7 years ago

    I’m hoping to see those new speakers in future 9.7″ iPads.

    • Eduardo Antonini - 7 years ago

      Apple is likely to keep the stereo-sound feature as a very-large-device-only for now… Audio has been much improved across all product lines since they bought Beats, though.

      • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

        THE 4k and 5k iMac’s haven’t been improved and the iPhone still has a mono speaker and same old headphones.

        Is it bad the most enticing feat of the Pro for me is the new 4 speaker design? Also the smart connector that has largely been mentioned. Curious how or if will be used for charging on other devices or more finally smart covers and cases.

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      Hopefully the next Air gets 4 of them like the Pro.

      • oomu (@oomu) - 7 years ago

        as you can see in iFixit teardown, the resonance chambers for each speakers take a lot of place. It would remove a lot of battery in the iPad air. It’s what bring so much more better sound to the iPad pro.

        Apple will prefer to do everything to keep the iPad mini/air/pro to 10 hours of battery.

    • unless batter technology improves in a big or you’re willing to live with much battery life, I doubt it.

  3. Robert - 7 years ago

    There is no “reduced battery life”.

    The relationship between the size of a devices screen and the size of the necessary battery is NOT directly proportional. Apple have simply taken advantage of this fact to enhance audio quality.

    Guber reports: BATTERY LIFE: Simply outstanding. I didn’t even plug it in once between Monday and Friday, and it still had plenty of charge left. I’ve been using it for eight continuous hours as I type this sentence, and it still has more than 50 percent of a charge remaining.

  4. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    Glad double the memory bandwidth translates into 4 GB of ram.

  5. AeronPeryton - 7 years ago

    iFixIt is great for getting to see what’s inside all the new Apple hardware. But they were outmoded as a service a long time ago. As technology moves from micro to nano, repairs done by hand are going to be all but impossible with first party tools and training. That’s just the way things are. Repeatedly giving these devices a 0/10 on your precious scale isn’t going to change that.


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.