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
Tags: iFixit, teardown
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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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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Buyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Buy Now)

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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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