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Report: Counterfeit iPad chargers often fraudulent, unsafe

05/13, 1:00am

Study concludes again that Apple-made chargers are better-made, safer

Engineer Ken Shirriff, who has previously torn down and compared the safety and engineering behind dozens of USB chargers, iPhone chargers and MagSafe chargers, posted on Monday the results of his investigation into counterfeit and genuine iPad chargers. Unsurprisingly, his findings fall in line with warnings issues on his previous studies: counterfeit and cheap knock-off chargers can be dangerous due to shoddy construction and inadequate safety measures.

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Teardown of original Macintosh: iFixit's idea of 'birthday' party

01/24, 7:58pm

Design of first Mac still as admirable and clever as Apple's latest devices

To celebrate the Mac's 30th anniversary on Friday, repair site iFixit posted a teardown guide for the original 1984 Macintosh 128k, using a model loaned to them by Adam Rosen's The Vintage Mac Museum. While not revealing anything previously unknown about the model, the opportunity allowed the company to take fresh, high-resolution photos of the innards and detail specifics of some parts, such as original component manufacturers.

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Teardown of new Retina iPad mini reveals bigger battery

11/13, 7:01pm

Minor improvements in repairability, but still rates a 2 out of 10

Repair firm iFixit has already gotten its hands on a new Retina iPad mini and deconstructed it, revealing many technical details of the construction, bemoaning Apple's continued trend of minimal repairability, and noting that the unit has a much bigger battery capacity than the previous iPad mini. While praising the reduced use of glue to secure components in the Retina Mini, iFixit still rates the new Retina Mini as a 2 out of 10 for repairability.

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Teardown: iPad Air shows smaller battery capacity, Qualcomm LTE

11/01, 8:36am

Glued front panel and battery, taped LCD causes low repairability score

A teardown of the new Apple iPad Air on the day of its launch has shown it to be difficult to repair. Just like the disassembly of the 2012 iPad and the new Retina MacBook Pro notebooks, iFixit has declared that the iPad Air can not easily be serviced by customers, and gives the tablet a low repairability score of 2 out of a possible 10.

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Teardown of gold iPhone 5s reveals few internal changes

09/19, 9:30pm

More glue for battery, A7 processor, camera notably different

The team at iFixit have gotten a hold of a gold iPhone 5s and published a short teardown guide for the unit, revealing very few changes (as expected) from the iPhone 5 apart from a slightly bigger battery, a new processor and a new camera assembly, now revealed to be supplied by Sony. Apple has kept the camera at 8MP but increased the size of the sensor and pixels to be larger, allowing more color and light in.

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Teardowns reveal some surprises in new MacBook Air model

06/11, 10:53pm

Bigger-capacity battery, dual mics, Samsung-provided storage

Two initial teardowns of the latest MacBook Air model by Mac specialists OWC and iFixit have revealed a number of small changes but mostly similarities between the latest revision and the current model. Overall, no huge changes were made to the interior layout of the 11-inch device, apart from a completely redesigned Airport card and other minor tweaks. The investigation did turn up that the battery in the unit features a 6.7 percent capacity increase in the same space, aiding the dramatically increased battery life.

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Microsoft Surface Pro scores unfavorably in iFixit teardown

02/13, 10:08am

Receives repairability score of 1 out of 10

The construction of the Microsoft Surface Pro has been judged to be highly unrepairable, after being dissected by iFixit. The repairability score of 1 out of 10 is the lowest on the firm's scale, and places it as harder to repair than many other competing products, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Samsung Galaxy Note, and the RT version of the Surface.

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New iMac model gets teardown just hours after launch

11/30, 3:00am

Japanese blog finds new model well-designed inside too

The latest version of the iMac is just 5mm (0.2 inches) thick at its thinnest point, and yet the redesigned machine has revealed quite a bit of empty space in a teardown by Japanese enthusiast site Kodawarisan, which took apart a high-end 21.5-inch iMac just hours after the new version had debuted in Japan. The interior layout and engineering matches the sparse, elegant outside -- with a clean organization of components, an emphasis on airflow design, and a central fan distributing and channeling air.

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New Mac mini gets teardown, still highly repairable

10/26, 8:45pm

Scores eight of 10, still has second drive expansion option

Repair and tool-selling site iFixIt has done a teardown of the very latest Mac mini and found it basically unchanged from last year's model in terms of repairability. The company revealed that the RAM, hard drive and even the power supply can be replaced or repaired, with only the processor and graphics not able to be upgraded. The teardown also revealed that the new Mac mini still has an extra SATA connection and room for adding a second hard or sold-state drive. The unit received an overall repairability "score" of eight out of 10.

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13'' Retina MacBook teardown shows soldered RAM, new battery

10/25, 10:43am

Battery cells redistributed throughout housing

The crew at iFixit has dissected Apple's new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, revealing the internal changes necessary to achieve its thinner profile. The redesigned notebook takes inspiration from its larger counterpart, transitioning to soldered RAM that cannot be easily swapped at a later time. Users are currently limited to 8GB of RAM, without the 16GB option offered with the 15-inch model.

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iPhone 5 teardown: Qualcomm 4G, front to back disassembly

09/20, 11:02pm

iFixit begins teardown work within an hour of first availability

The repair and disassembly experts at iFixit have completed a preliminary teardown of the new iPhone 5. Highlights of the teardown include confirmation of the Qualcomm MDM9615M 4G LTE processor and the Broadcom BCM976 used in the MacBook Air's trackpad, the latter of which has been repurposed for the touchscreen on the iPhone. Also notable is reverse disassembly in the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4 series -- the screen and digitizer come off first, rather than the back panel.

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PS Vita gets the teardown treatment in Japan

12/19, 6:10am

PS Vita gutted, reveals complex back panel set up

Following the huge Japanese launch of the PS Vita this week, it was inevitable that teardowns would follow. The first has come from Tech-On, which has gutted the innards of the ARM-based quad-core handheld gaming powerhouse. In addition to the silicon, the pictures (embedded below) also highlight the complexity of the device also apparent in the rear panel.

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Teardown of new MacBook Air reveals changes

07/21, 6:10pm

RAM still not upgradeable

Repair and technology website iFixit has posted images, tutorials and a video of their teardown of the latest 13-inch MacBook Air, announced just yesterday. Under the hood, the unit revealed some obvious changes, some not-so-obvious revelations -- but on the whole was similar in "repairability" to the previous version, garnering a poor rating from the company of four out of 10.

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HP TouchPad teardown: 'made like a PC'

06/30, 7:05am

HP TouchPad made like a PC, not like iPad

An early teardown of the new HP TouchPad has revealed that it has been made in the same way that a PC is built, in contrast to the iPad, which is manufactured in a less PC traditional manner. The upside of this approach, according to TechRepublic, is that it makes the HP TouchPad much easier to repair. The downside is that this approach contributes to making the device bulkier.

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Meizu M9 teardown reveals components similar to Galaxy S

12/22, 8:35pm

Dissection shows 1GHz ARM processor, 802.11n

Several days after the Meizu's M9 handset arrived on the market in China, the device has already been dissected to reveal its internal components. The teardown shows hardware very similar to the Samsung's Galaxy S-series handsets, which share the same 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 "Hummingbird" processor, despite earlier reports suggesting the M9 utilized a slower 800MHz chip.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab teardown shows huge battery

11/02, 1:55pm

Dual speakers contained in large housings

Samsung's Galaxy Tab has already been dissected ahead of its launch in North American markets. The teardown, posted on jkkMobile, reveals a massive battery, which dominates the housing interior. The 14.8 W-h lithium-ion cell is claimed to reach approximately eight hours of typical usage, compared to the iPad's 10-hour rating on a 25 W-h battery.

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Droid 2 teardown shows 1GHz processor, familiar construction

08/13, 4:30pm

Most components similar to original Droid

Motorola's Droid 2 has already been dissected by the iFixit team, revealing the new CPU and overall construction. Texas Instruments' 1GHz OMAP processor is tucked underneath the DDR Mobile RAM on the motherboard, which also now holds 8GB of on-board flash memory.

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iFixit tears down the new MacBook Mid 2010

05/20, 9:20pm

Battery rating improves, tri-wing screws continue

iFixit has released its MacBook Unibody Mid 2010 teardown. The MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Mid 2010 has a new battery, which has gained in rating, improving from 60Wh to a 63.5Wh rating, with no change in size, but a minimal increase in weight. Tri-wing screws are still used for securing the battery, to the dismay of iFixit engineers. The overall impression is one of little change in structure and design. The NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics (256MB sharedDDR3 SDRAM) is new, replacing the GeForce 9400M.

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Kin Two dissection shows Nvidia Tegra processor

05/18, 6:40pm

Housing measures nearly 20mm thick

iFixit has already dissected Microsoft's new Kin Two handset, revealing the internal components. Although images from the teardown show vague references for the CPU, Chipworks utilized x-rays and other advanced methods to confirm the placement of Nvidia Tegra components underneath a Numonyx package on the main board. The processor and memory stack span four dies mounted together in two layered packages.

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Next-gen iPhone teardown shows larger battery, compact board

04/20, 9:30pm

Logic board much smaller than that of iPhone 3GS

The purported next-generation iPhone prototype has already been dissected to reveal its internal components. The images, posted on Gizmodo, show a housing that can be halved after removing two screws. The new battery appears to be larger than that of earlier iPhone models, filling nearly half the volume of the internal cavity.

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iPad A4 chip dissection shows package-on-package layout

04/05, 9:00pm

Chip explored using scanning electron microscope

Following iFixit's recent iPad teardown, the company has proceeded to delve one step further by dissecting Apple's A4 chip. Chipworks, a semiconductor reverse-engineering company, helped destroy the device and explore its components using professional lab equipment such as scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) and high resolution x-ray machines.

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FCC images show iPad external housing

04/02, 5:15pm

Pictures follow earlier report detailing internals

Following an earlier report showing FCC pictures of the iPad's internal components, additional images of the external housing have surfaced. Although Apple's website provides pictures of the 3G-enabled model, most of the marketing material shows the Wi-Fi-only variant that maintains the solid aluminum surface across the entire back panel.

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FCC teardown shows iPad internal components [photos]

04/02, 4:10pm

A4 CPU, Infineon 3G baseband chip visible

The FCC has published several photos detailing the internal components of an iPad. The teardown shows the interior surface of the aluminum housing, which appears to be machined out of a solid block with material removed in a step pattern.Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios are built onto a rigid strap that runs from the top of the device and terminates at the dock connector.

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iFixit tears down 27-inch iMac, Magic Mouse

10/22, 6:50pm

Teardowns reveal unique engineering, new parts

iFixit has completed teardowns of Apple's new 27-inch iMac and Magic Mouse. The dissection of Apple's newest iMac reveals a revamped set of components used to create the largest iMac ever. The 27-inch display, with a 16x9 aspect ratio and 2560x1440 resolution, is an LG-branded (LM270WQ1) IPS-based LCD panel, weighing nearly 11 pounds. IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology offers better color reproduction and wider viewing angles compared to Twisted Nematic technology. The new all-in-one can be used as an external display, however the signal routes through the circuit board and requires the iMac to be turned on.

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MacBook teardown shows new polycarbonate unibody

10/20, 9:05pm

Form factor now matches aluminum unibodies

iFixit has already dissected the new polycarbonate-unibody MacBook, exposing several minor changes to the internals. Externally, the redesigned housing features curved surfaces similar to the MacBook Pro models with aluminum unibodies. The device also adopts the multi-touch glass trackpad and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics components.

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iFixit dissects fifth generation iPod nano

09/10, 1:45pm

Teardown revels processor, memory information

iFixit has dissected the new fifth generation iPod nano, showing the internal components. Apple introduced the Nano at its iPod press event held on Wednesday. The overall design appears to closely match the fourth-generation iPod nano, but with the new camera and a click-wheel that is not permanently affixed to the case as it was in the previous generation. The new video camera is video-only, as the size of the Nano reportedly limits the ability to integrate still-photo capable circuitry. The video camera captures H.264 640x480 video at 30 frames-per-second and captures AAC audio.

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MacBook teardown reveals 'beautiful' internals

10/16, 12:25pm

New MacBook teardown

A teardown of Apple's new aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro systems reveals a "beautiful" layout, according to iFixit. Both computers are said to have extremely well-arranged interiors, which in the case of the Pro is said to be "cleaner" and with much better flow than previous versions. Regarding the basic MacBook, iFixit claims that Apple may be right to promote the workers involved in its new manufacturing process.

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iPhone 3G geared for profit, not cutting-edge tech

07/15, 7:40pm

iPhone 3G geared for gains

Despite the iPhone 3G's more modern wireless communication standards, arguably thinner design, and inclusion of GPS, its overall cost of manufacture has dropped just over $50, according to iSuppli. The company's Teardown Analysis Service reveals that the device is geared towards cutting costs, while increasing worldwide presence, rather than simply filling the iPhone with the latest and greatest. The iPhone 3G is assessed at $174.33, almost exactly the predicted $173 issued in June.

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Photos reveal construction of iPhone 3G

07/10, 10:55am

iPhone 3G teardown

The iPhone 3G has substantial differences within its hardware beyond 3G and GPS chips, one of the first teardowns shows. A model obtained early from New Zealand reveals, for example, that unlike the first iPhone, the glass and LCD in the display are separate, mimicking the construction of the iPod touch. The display assembly is also no longer used to anchor miscellaneous components, but rather just the main board.

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iPhone 3G costs only $100 to manufacture

06/16, 1:55pm

iPhone 3G teardown

The iPhone 3G carries a lower price, but it also costs about half as much to make, according to a report in the EETimes. The report says tests by teardown specialist Portelligent put the bill of materials for the new model as low as $100. That should help offset the 3G’s lower $199 price point. Portelligent estimates that based on materials alone, Apple’s gross profit on the iPhone 3G totals about $99, compared to $229 for the previous version. Apparently, Apple is counting on sales volume to make up the difference and Apple may also be receiving a payut for each carrier activation, although the revenue sharing plan with carriers, as with the original device, is no longer in place.

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MacBook Air build inefficient, say Japanese engineers

02/22, 12:05pm

MacBook Air inefficient

Japanese engineers from the Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad judge the MacBook Air as being wasted space inside its otherwise efficiently designed chassis. According to TechOn the engineers claim the ultra-portable uses entirely too many screws to secure various pieces, counting over 30 to secure the keyboard, for example. The engineers say that they could produce the same computer with fewer screws, and a resulting lower cost.

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MacBook Air teardown details, photos

02/01, 9:55am

MacBook Air teardown

A new teardown of the MacBook Air, as performed by repair specialist iFixit, reveals significant facts about the notebook. While Apple suggests that users cannot replace the battery themselves, it may actually be an easy matter for tech-savvy installers, dependent only on having a Phillips screwdriver. Conversely, people wanting to upgrade the PATA 1.8-inch hard drive may have a very difficult time, as there is only 5mm (0.2 inches) of vertical space. For sake of reference, iFixit notes that the 160GB drive in the iPod classic requires 8mm of space.

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Study: Apple TV hardware turning low margins

01/29, 9:20am

Low margin on Apple TV

Apple is currently making little to no money on each Apple TV sold, a teardown analysis suggests. The research firm iSuppli has conducted a estimate of the manufacturing costs of the new 40 and 160GB set-tops, and found that after Apple's $70 price cut, the 40GB Apple TV has a margin of just 10 percent, while the 160GB version has a more reasonable 29 percent. Apple normally has product margins closer to 50 percent, and even this does not account for secondary costs such as marketing or distribution.

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Teardown: MacBook Air internals, battery replacement

01/24, 9:40pm

MacBook Air internals

Alongside Apple's developer note on the MacBook Air, more details of Apple's unreleased MacBook Air continue to be revealed as the first units of the new notebook begin making their way into the hands of group of select reviewers. Following notes on issues with using 3G mobile broadband devices with the single available USB port, a new report indicates that the inside of the MacBook Air may be every bit as "sexy" as the outside and that the battery may be easily replaced by some users (however, it is unclear whether this will void the warranty). Gizmodo also confirms an earlier Electronista report: Apple's external SuperDrive is not compatible with other Macs or computers (only with the higher-power USB port found the MacBook Air) and that the Remote Disc does not work for remote DVD or music playback.

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