iPad Wi-Fi + 3G gets torn apart

ipad-3g-teardown

Whether it be because you’re an admirer of the gear, or you just enjoy seeing Apple products stripped of their dignity, you have to admit it’s mighty satisfying to see the new iPad Wi-Fi + 3G torn asunder. The guys at iFixit continued their tradition of promptly tearing down and analyzing the latest Apple products with the 3G iPad and noted some pretty interesting finds in the process:

  • The immediate visible difference is the inclusion of a black plastic RF window on top of the iPad for better antenna reception.
  • The black RF window significantly changes the opening procedure. You cannot start separating the display using the notches on the top (à la Wi-Fi version), since that will undoubtedly break the RF window. You have to start from the right side and gingerly proceed to the top and bottom of the iPad.
  • There are actually FIVE antennas in this iPad:
    • Two antennas handle the cell reception — one is in the RF window on top, the other attaches to the LCD frame.
    • A single GPS antenna is also housed in the RF window on top.
    • Just like the iPad Wi-Fi, there are two antennas that handle Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connectivity, one in the Apple logo and another to the left of the dock connector.
  • You heard that right, folks: Apple looks to be using the entire LCD frame as an antenna! * Who would’ve thought: Apple uses the same 3G baseband processor in both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad 3G.
  • The baseband processor in question is the Infineon 337S3754 PMB 8878 X-Gold IC. It was actually white-labeled on the production unit, but with enough sleuthing we were able to confirm its true identity.
  • The iPad 3G has a Broadcom BCM4750UBG Single-Chip AGPS Solution, whereas the iPhone 3GS uses an Infineon Hammerhead II package. Big win for Broadcom!
  • Apple did not change any major suppliers between manufacturing the pre-production unit they provided the FCC and their final production run.

Apart from the above, there aren’t any real differences between the two devices.

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