Close on the heels of its iPad mini teardown, iFixit has performed a similar procedure on the fourth-generation iPad. The new iPad is extremely similar to the previous model, with the main exceptions being the move to a more powerful A6X chip and a change to Apple’s new Lightning connector.
Of most significant interest is of course the A6X chip, which would be an enhanced version of the A6 chip that debuted in the iPhone 5, with improved graphics to help drive the iPad’s large Retina display. A date code on the A6X reveals that it was manufactured in the 37th week of 2012, which corresponds to mid-September, but a more detailed analysis of the A6X will need to wait for chip teardown experts such as those at Chipworks to get their hands on the part.
Other interesting discoveries include:
– The display is manufactured by LG, as opposed to the Samsung display found in the third-generation iPad torn down by iFixit. Apple does, however, source many of its components from multiple vendors, so it is unclear whether Apple has excluded Samsung from display production on the fourth-generation iPad.
– The logic board remains the same size as in the previous model, but Apple has tweaked the layout of some of the chips.
– The new Lightning port is housed in a frame that is equal in size to that of the 30-pin dock connector in the previous generation, meaning that Apple has not saved any interior space with the move to the Lightning connector. Apple will, however, almost certainly take advantage of the reduction in space needed for the Lightning connector in a more significant redesign for a future generation.
30-pin dock connector from third-generation iPad (top) and Lightning connector from fourth-generation iPad (bottom)
– The improved front-facing camera is slightly thicker than in the previous model, but fits into the same space within the device’s body.
– The battery carries the same A1389 part number as in the third-generation iPad.
– Just like in the third-generation iPad, the fourth-generation model contains 1 GB of RAM housed in two Elpida chips separate from the A6X package.