Apple TV 4K Teardown Reveals 3GB of RAM and Larger Venting System With Replaceable Fan

iFixit has shared an Apple TV 4K teardown, providing a closer look at the device's internal design and components.


We already know the Apple TV 4K is equipped with Apple's 64-bit A10X Fusion chip, and now the teardown confirms the device has a total of 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM supplied by South Korean company SK Hynix.

1GB + 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM outlined in yellow for a total of 3GB of RAM

The new power supply is rated for 12V at 1.083A, a modest increase over the 0.917A power supply in the fourth-generation Apple TV.

According to the teardown, Apple merged the new fan with the heat sink/EMI shield assembly from the fourth-generation Apple TV to create a larger thermal assembly for cooling and ventilation.


iFixit said the bottom of the unit has been redesigned with a total of eight exhaust ports and a new, replaceable fan driven by a Nidec brushless motor.

Beyond the return of a Gigabit Ethernet port and the removal of the USB-C diagnostic port, which we learned about before the teardown, the Apple TV 4K's design is largely the same as the previous Apple TV.


iFixit gave the Apple TV 4K a so-called repairability score of 8 out of a possible 10 points. The device is easy to open and has modular components, making for easy disassembly and repair. All major components are soldered to the logic board, however, so board-level soldering or full board replacements are required.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
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Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown Reveals Larger Battery and Air Vent Moved Next to Diagnostic Port

iFixit has completed a teardown of the Apple Watch Series 3, which has a virtually identical form factor as previous models.


The display is unchanged from the Series 2, with one key difference being that it now functions as a multifrequency antenna for cellular. Series 3 models support LTE and UMTS, according to Apple's tech specs.


The battery in the 38mm model with GPS + Cellular has a capacity of 279 mAh at 3.82V, or 1.07 watt hours, which is only a slight increase of about 3.8 percent over the 38mm Series 2 model without cellular.

Apple said Series 3 models with cellular get up to 18 hours of battery life, including four hours of LTE and 14 hours of connection to an iPhone via Bluetooth. Series 2 models are also rated to last 18 hours with mixed usage.


iFixit was surprised that Apple managed to increase the battery size while still leaving room for the added functionality of cellular antennas, radios, power amplifiers, the embedded SIM card, and so on in the same form factor.

The embedded SIM, outlined in red, appears to be sourced from ST Microelectronics, and it is positioned next to a Wi-Fi module from Broadcom and other RF chips that enable cellular capabilities in the watch.


Last, we finally know what the tiny meshed hole is next to the diagnostic port: it's an air vent, since the Apple Watch Series 3's new barometric altimeter took over the vent's previous location next to the microphone.

Apple Watch Series 3's relocated air vent outlined in yellow

iFixit gave the Apple Watch Series 3 a repairability score of 6 out of a possible 10 points. Display repairs and battery replacements are both possible, albeit tricky, but replacing any of the component cables requires micro-soldering.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
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iFixit Launches New iPhone 7/7Plus Fix Kits for At-Home Battery Replacements and Screen Repairs

iFixit today released a collection of all-new Fix Kits for iPhone 7 devices that guide users through replacing batteries, cracked screens, and even the front and rear camera modules and sensors on an iPhone.

The new battery Fix Kits for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus join previous kits already available for iPhones as far back as the iPhone 4s. iFixit said that these battery replacement kits help bring a dead iPhone back to life, and include all the usual tools needed for the replacement process: a collection of screwdrivers, tweezers, iFixit's own Opening Tool and Opening Pick, and more. Battery Fix Kits start at $44.95 for the iPhone 7 and increase to $49.95 for the iPhone 7 Plus (pictured below).


The cracked screen Fix Kits are newly available for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as well, and include parts and tools for users to replace a broken iPhone 7 screen on their own. Contents include a custom driver, steel bits, opening tools, tweezers, and a replacement screen backed by iFixit's lifetime guarantee, but users will have to transfer their old display's home button assembly to retain Touch ID functions. Cracked screen Fix Kits cost $134.95 for the iPhone 7 and rise to $164.95 for the iPhone 7 Plus.

There are also new iPhone 7 repair components in the Small Parts Kits section, aimed at the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus's Lightning Connector, front camera and sensors, and rear camera. The small parts Fix Kits vary more drastically in price, with an iPhone 7 front camera and sensor cable kit costing $34.95, and an iPhone 7 Plus Dual Rear Camera kit priced at $84.95.

While each Fix Kit has a guide for users to follow, iFixit has also published a few How To videos on its YouTube channel, including an iPhone 7-specific playlist, to make following along to some of the repair kits even easier.

Depending on the issue at hand, and the iPhone model, out-of-warranty repairs directly from Apple can cost as much as $349 for an iPhone 7 Plus. Similar to iFixit's recent battery replacement Fix Kits for MacBook Pro devices, users have a chance to save money if they try out iFixit's guided replacement kits, as long as they are also up for the challenge of an at-home repair.

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iFixit Debuts New Fix Kits for At-Home Retina MacBook Pro Battery Replacement

iFixit today launched six new battery repair kits for Apple's MacBook Pro with a Retina display, allowing users to replace the battery in an older-model MacBook Pro, restoring it to hold a full-day charge and extending its life for 2-3 years, according to iFixit. Each kit "offers all the tools needed" for users to perform the repair at home with a step-by-step guide taking them through the entire process.

The six kits cover battery replacements for the following Retina MacBook Pro models: 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2012/early 2013), 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid 2012, early 2013), 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2013/mid 2014), 15-inch MacBook Pro (late 2013/mid 2014), 13-inch MacBook Pro (early 2015), and 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid 2015).


Tools and contents of each kit include: a replacement battery, installation adhesive, kit bit driver, iFixit 4mm screwdriver bit torx T5, iFixit 4mm screwdriver bit torx security TR6, iFixit 4mm screwdriver bit pentalobe P5, tweezers, iFixit Opening Tool, iFixit Card (2), safety glasses, opening pick, adhesive remover dispensing syringe, adhesive remover solution, cleaning wipes, and gloves.
If you're experiencing bad battery life, we've got everything you need to replace it! These batteries are well adhered to the upper case of the computer so removing them isn't as straightforward as we'd like it to be. Fear not! Our kit offers all the tools needed to perform the repair and our guide shows you how to use the kit. The battery is an original OEM battery.
The fix kits range in price from $89.95 to $119.95, and include battery replacements measuring between 6010 mAh and 8230 mAh. Out-of-warranty Retina MacBook Pro battery replacements directly from Apple cost $199, so users who take advantage of iFixit's new battery replacement kits have the chance to save some money.

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Greenpeace Combats Planned Obsolescence in New Repairability Campaign, iPad and MacBook Score Low

A new campaign by Greenpeace today has rated the repairability of six Apple devices against the smartphone, tablet, and laptop market at large, the purpose of which is to highlight planned obsolescence in the technology industry. Greenpeace partnered with iFixit to assess over forty different devices that debuted between 2015 and 2017, with iFixit's teardown repairability scores serving as the basis for the data.

Apple's products looked at in the campaign included the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad (fifth generation), 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 12-inch MacBook (refreshed in 2017). All products were rated in the following categories: battery replaceability, display replaceability, no special tools needed, and spare parts available.


Scoring worst on the list were the two MacBooks, which each got a 1/10, and the two iPads didn't fare much better, both getting 2/10 marks in the campaign. The new iPhone 7 models were much higher, both receiving a 7/10 with positive check marks in display replaceability but red x's in all other categories.

Microsoft had trouble in the ratings as well, with its Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book both rated at 1/10. Conversely, the brands abiding by Greenpeace's repairability mantra included Fairphone, Dell, and HP, which all had products rated at 10/10 on the campaign's scale.

Ultimately, Greenpeace wants to bring awareness to the phenomenon of planned obsolescence, which the company's IT sector analyst, Gary Cook, said "adds to growing stockpiles of e-waste," due to difficult repairability shortening device lifespan. Cook noted that, "improving the repairability of electronic products is technically achievable and brands should be prioritizing this in their product design."
“Electronics take a massive amount of energy, human effort, and natural resources to make,” said iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens. “And yet, manufacturers produce billions more of them every year—while consumers keep them for just a few years before tossing them away. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. We should be able to make electronics a more sustainable part of our lives.”
In an environmental report earlier this year, Greenpeace awarded Apple with an "A" rating, calling it the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world, for the third year in a row. That report looked specifically at energy transparency, renewable energy commitment, energy efficiency and mitigation, renewable procurement, and advocacy.


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iFixit Shares 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Teardown

iFixit has published a 10.5-inch iPad Pro teardown that provides a closer look at the tablet's internal design.


For the most part, the inside of an 10.5-inch iPad Pro looks similar to the 9.7-inch model it replaced, with only a few minor differences.

In the Wi-Fi version, for example, iFixit discovered some mysterious plastic blocks where the LTE antennas might be found in cellular models. It speculates the blocks are there to add support to the display assembly.


In the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, Apple has affixed the display cables down the center of the device, which puts them out of harm's way when prying open the display. The display cable bracket is affixed with standard Phillips screws.

The teardown confirms the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR4 RAM from Micron Technology, with flash storage supplied by Toshiba, which is currently selling its NAND memory division that produces those chips.


iFixit awarded the 10.5-inch iPad Pro a very low repairability score of 2 out of 10 due to Apple's continued use of strong adhesives for the display, logic board, speakers, ribbon cables, and other components.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
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Teardowns Confirm 2nd-Gen Butterfly Keyboard on New MacBook, New MacBook Pro Designs Largely Unchanged

iFixit has posted its teardowns of Apple's new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, revealing that apart from the advertised performance boosts the models are largely unchanged from the previous models.

The only really notable change comes in the 12-inch MacBook, which Apple has updated with a second-generation butterfly-mechanism keyboard, as found in the 2016 MacBook Pros, according to iFixit. As some readers will remember, Apple's 12-inch notebook debuted in 2015 with a redesigned keyboard that some users criticized for a lack of travel that they felt made it harder to type on.


Apple used a tweaked version of the same keyboard design in its 2016 MacBook Pros, which most users felt was an improvement with "better give", and the same keyboard now adorns the latest MacBook. According to iFixit:
The keyboard trigger looks like a more classic switch this go-around. The plastic butterfly mechanism appears to have thinned out to accommodate the new switch form factor. The keystroke and travel feel about the same to us, so perhaps the real change is reinforcement for repeated use.
Overall, iFixit gave both of Apple's new notebooks a 1 out of 10 on the repairability scale, owing to their soldered-down RAM, processor, and flash storage, along with glued-down batteries. The scores are in contrast to Apple's new 4K 21.5-inch iMac, which was awarded a surprising 3 out of 10 for repairability, thanks to Apple's use of replaceable memory modules and socketed Kaby Lake CPUs.

The refreshed MacBook and MacBook Pro models feature Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, improved Intel and AMD graphics options, with the 12-inch laptop also gaining faster SSD storage. The 12-inch MacBook costs $1,299 for the base model, while the base 13-inch Touch Bar Pro costs $1,799. The 15-inch MacBook Pro pricing begins at $2,399.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, MacBook
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Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now), MacBook (Buy Now)

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Teardown of New 4K 21.5-inch iMac Reveals Removable RAM and Modular CPU

iFixit has published a teardown of the new 4K 21.5-inch iMac, which reveals that – surprisingly – Apple's smallest all-in-one desktop machine has both removable RAM and a Kaby Lake processor that's not soldered onto the logic board.

iFixit made the discovery by disassembling Apple's $1,299 mid-range 3.0GHz stock option, which includes 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory, a Radeon Pro 555 graphics card with 2GB of VRAM, and a 1TB 5400-RPM hard drive.


After slicing through the adhesive that secures the 4K display to the iMac's housing and removing the power supply, hard drive, and fan, iFixit discovered that the memory modules aren't soldered onto the logic board like previous models, but instead sit in two removable SO-DIMM slots.

Similarly, after detaching the heatsink and removing the warranty voiding stickers on the backside of the logic board, iFixit found that the Intel SR32W Core i5-7400 Kaby Lake processor sits in a standard LGA 1151 CPU socket, making it possible to replace or upgrade the CPU without a reflow station.

As iFixit notes, an upgradeable iMac is a big shift in direction from Apple. The last 21.5-inch iMac with expandable memory was the 2013 model, while the last to include a modular CPU came in 2012. iFixit speculates that the change to a socketed processor may be because Intel's desktop class Kaby Lake line-up currently lacks any permanently mountable chips, but it's conceivable Apple could have requested one if it so chose.


It's important to note that Apple officially considers these parts non-user-replaceable, which is easy to see given the relative difficulty accessing them – compare the work involved in accessing the 21.5-inch iMac's RAM slots, with the external memory hatch found in the 27-inch iMacs, for example. That said, the fact that replacing these components is practically possible will come as music to the ears of tinkerers armed with the right tools and instructions.

Despite the upgradeable RAM and CPU, iFixit awarded the 2017 21.5-inch iMac a 3 out of 10 for repairability (10 being easiest to repair) because of the challenge involved in accessing the components. Still, that's an improvement on the 2015 model, which was given a 1 out of 10 for repairability.

Other minor changes of note discovered in the teardown include a single microphone below the iMac's LG-manufactured display (where previously there were dual mics), a replaceable CMOS battery, and an upgradeable 3.5-inch SATA hard drive, but no SSD connector.

Check out the full teardown on the iFixit website.

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New 9.7-Inch iPad Teardown Confirms It’s Basically an Original iPad Air

iFixit has shared a brief teardown of Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad unveiled last week, and unsurprisingly, the tablet looks just as much like an original iPad Air on the inside as it does on the outside.


In the side-by-side photo above, iFixit noted the original iPad Air on the left has a slightly larger Wi-Fi module compared to the new 9.7-inch iPad on the right, but otherwise the tablets look virtually identical.

iFixit said the new 9.7-inch iPad remains difficult to repair due to the front panel being glued to the device and strong adhesive holding everything in place. One plus is that the battery is not soldered to the logic board.

The new 9.7-inch iPad is all about price. It's the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold, starting at $329, yet with a brighter display and a faster A9 processor compared to the now-discontinued iPad Air 2.

The fifth-generation iPad, as it is officially known, is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down.


The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2.

The new 9.7-inch iPad can be ordered now on Apple's website in the United States and dozens of other countries.

Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad is also available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores starting this week in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.

Related Roundup: iPad
Tags: iFixit, teardown
Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution)

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iFixit Looks Back on 10 Years of iPhone Teardowns

This week marked 10 years since Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco. In commemoration, iFixit has published a roundup of 15 iPhone teardowns the site has completed over the past decade, offering a look at how the design's construction has evolved over time.

In contrast to Apple's iMacs and MacBooks which have become progressively more difficult to repair in recent years, the iPhone's repairability score has fared a lot better after quickly improving upon its first incarnation, as noted by iFixit.

original iPhone teardown
iFixit's teardown of the first-generation iPhone

iPhones have become taller, wider, and skinnier. But they’ve also become more repairable. The very first iPhone earned a dismal 2/10 on our repairability scale. It had a soldered battery and was almost impossible to open without breaking the case. Repairability improved radically from there — jumping to a 7/10 for the iPhone 3G.
Since then, the company's flagship smartphone has remained relatively repair-friendly, earning at least 6/10 on iFixit's repairability rating with every iteration. The most recent iPhone offering, the iPhone 7, was awarded 7/10 on the scale in 2016.

Check out the "10 Years of iPhone" roundup page on iFixit, which also features a neat look at the visual changes the components have undergone over 15 models.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
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