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Thursday, November 01, 2012, 10:22 pm PT (01:22 am ET)

No internal design changes found in 4th-gen iPad teardown

A teardown of the fourth-generation iPad, which some have taken to calling the iPad 4, reveals that besides the addition of Apple's Lightning connector, the tablet's internal design has remained untouched when compared to the previous iteration.

Hours after iFixit tore down the iPad mini, the firm did the same with Apple's new 9.7-inch tablet to find that the iterative component changes didn't warrant a redesign of the chassis or internal layout.

The tablet dissected by iFixit happened to be using an LG-sourced Retina display, not a Samsung panel like those first seen with the initial rollout of the third-generation iPad. At the time, it was reported that LG Display was ramping up production of their own high-resolution displays and began shipment months later. Samsung is still thought to be one of the main suppliers for the 9.7-inch panels, though Apple has recently made moves to diversify its supply chain.

Most of the significant changes were seen in the device's logic board, which now boasts an A6X processor clocked at 1.4GHz with quad core graphics and 1GB of memory. Components on the backside of the board, such as the Broadcom touchscreen controller, were identical to the third-generation iPad.

iPad 4 Logic Board

Source: iFixit


Full list of chips found on the logic board:
  • Apple A6X SoC
  • Hynix H2JTDG8UD2MBR 16 GB NAND Flash
  • Apple 338S1116 Cirrus Logic Audio Codec
  • 343S0622-A1 Dialog Semi PMIC
  • Apple 338S1077 Cirrus Logic Class D Amplifier
  • QVP TI 261 A9P2


It appears that Apple chose not to utilize the space afforded by its switch to the Lightning connector, as the extra room is left unfilled. In fact, the Lightning connector is placed in a frame that is the same size as the outgoing 30-pin unit.

The other notable change is the tablet's upgraded front-facing camera, which gets a spec bump from 0.3 megapixels to 1.2 megapixels, granting it the FaceTime HD moniker.

Unveiled alongside the iPad mini at a special event in October, the fourth-generation iPad is available today at only at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, as preorders for the device sold out on Tuesday.