I know that a lot of people are using their shiny new iPad as we speak and probably the last thing any of them are thinking of is what they are going to do should their battery fail or screen gets cracked somehow. Yes repair is possible but hopefully you opted into a Best Buy Black Tie replacement deal or got some kind of warranty with it. I have gambled and lost not getting the Black Tie from Best buy but it also seems that when I do buy it, I never need it. For my 16GB New iPad the cost would have been $100 dollars from Best Buy or 20% of the value of the product. I passed knowing that it would be encased in an OtterBox Defender for $90 dollars.
So iFixit.com tears down the new Apple iPad and tears Apple a new one for being unconcerned about the environment and encouraging our “Throw Away” culture with a design that does not allow repair facilities to easily get to the battery or replace the glass should it need to be replaced:
Here are three ways we hoped the new iPad would be more repairable (but wasn’t):
- Getting in: We hoped that Apple might return to the easy-to-open tabs of the original iPad. Being able to get into a device is obviously the first step in any repair. Instead, the thin front panel is held on by a strong adhesive. We’ve gotten better at getting into iPads since last year (we broke the screen on the first iPad 2 we tore down), but the iPad puts walls of glass and aluminum between the user and the device’s insides. Apple says the iPad is “made of aluminum and other materials highly desired by recyclers“—but that means nothing if recyclers can’t get into the device at all. Mr. Cook, tear down this wall!
- Getting past the front panel: The front panel in both the iPad 2 and the new iPad is impossible to remove without also removing the LCD screen—which is adhered to the front panel with foam sticky tape. The connector holding the front panel in place is beneath the LCD, meaning you have to disassemble the device all the way to the logic board and battery just to replace broken glass on the front.
- Replacing the battery: As in the iPad 2, the new iPad’s (significantly larger) battery is glued down securely to the rear case. Gluing down batteries is particularly dangerous because of the risks of breaking a battery—if punctured, the lithium ion battery can explode. Even Apple doesn’t bother trying to replace the battery. When you arrange for an Apple Care “battery replacement,” they actually replace your entire iPad for a service fee. The iPad battery is supposed to maintain80% of its battery life after 1000 cycles, but users began reporting diminished battery life within a few months of purchasing the original iPad.
The iFixit Folks give the New iPad a reparability rating of 2/10 which is not that great. They have even downgraded the iPad 2 to the same rating of 2 after spending the last year working on the iPad.
Here is the iFixit spokes person MJ explaining what they think Apple should do to be more responsible to consumers and to the environment:
Here is the tear down video, enjoy!: