updated 11:55 am EDT, Sat May 1, 2010
iPad with 3G gets deconstruction, surprise queues
The 3G-capable iPad's launch on Friday has brought about several discoveries in the past few hours, including dissections of its hardware and word of long lineups. A teardown by iFixit has revealed that the cellular-ready Apple tablet has a dedicated communications mini board that houses all the 3G equipment separately from the main design. It uses the same Infineon X-Gold PMB 8878 chipset as the iPhone 3GS, but it has switched from Infineon's Hammerhead II GPS chipset to a single-chip Broadcom BCM4750UBG that provides assisted GPS.
The deconstruction has also shown that the antenna layout has had to change significantly. Apple has implemented not one but two antennas specifically for 3G, one of which is in the plastic RF window and the other is embedded into the iPad's front frame. GPS gets its own dedicated antenna; the Wi-Fi antennas are in the same locations around the Apple logo and dock connector.
Simultaneously, the first reports have filtered in describing the turnout for the launch of the new version in the US. At the flagship Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York City, an unofficial estimate puts "at least" 330 in the queue before the location began selling 3G iPads at 5PM. The number is less than half the 730 estimated for the Wi-Fi iPad launch but large for what amounts to a second-wave release.
Electronista has also received word of smaller but still significant lineups at other Apple stores across the US, including at other New York City flagships and in the company's San Francisco Bay Area home.
iPad launch at 5th Avenue Apple store (via Fortune)