iPad

Cracking Open the Apple iPad 2012 (Wi-Fi + 4G Verizon)

Apple iPad 2012 W-Fi + 4G teardown

Apple described the 2012 iPad as "resolutionary", and given the amazing picture quality of the tablet's Retina display, I see why. Having cracked open the original iPad and iPad 2, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the 2012 model. Follow along as I crack open Verizon's version of the 2012 Apple iPad Wi-Fi + 4G.

For a detailed analysis of the teadown, check out my article and video, Apple iPad 2012 Teardown: Amazing display, difficult to repair.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

23 comments
rett
rett

I appreciate Apple's iconic status, but iconic status and actual usability are two entirely different subjects. Any business person who would want to have this thing should have their mind examined. It has no expandability, and Apple is not responsive to user needs in the iOS. So, you don't stress the battery. Many people do. All such batteries lose life over time, making the issue important long before battery failure. So, I discover that I need more storage...I'm out of luck. I'd like to hook to the thousands of USB devices out there or to an external display...tough luck. How about hooking up to a wired network because I don't like the security problems of a wireless one...again, out of luck. Give us a USB or a Thunderbolt port so that we can get to those external devices. Then, there is all this hype over an ounce or two one way or the other or a millimeter or two in thickness. It is nothing but bragging rights and has absolutely nothing to do with usability. On the other hand, not having the things mentioned above radically limits both the life and usability of the product. At the price, quick replacement is not the ambition of anybody but a fanboy or fangirl. What the limitations do is add to Apple's bottom line by allowing them to more easily sell each little incremental improvement. This smells just like the early Windows versions. The iPad will amplify business sales for Windows or Android tablets in the same way that Apple desktops and laptops with their windowing OS's stimulated the sales of Windows machines that were more flexible and powerful for business and other purposes. The consumer market for Apple will saturate over the next few years, while others widen it at lower price and higher performance levels. These other machines are cycling at a much faster rate, and that will allow them to overtake Apple. Then, again, we will be left with the Apple fans and the rest of the market.

miguelguzman
miguelguzman

Slideshows on TR suck. It makes no sense to reload an entire page to just go to the next picture. It should be more like Facebook or many web sites out there. Coming from a technology site, this is too ironic and very disappointing.

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

I would love to have one of those displays, especially for effortless reading of pdf documents and e-books. However, many of us need a tablet that allows us to do normal things such as: - swap a battery to continue working if necessary and no power plug nearby - connect to a big display to share presentations, photos etc - expand onboard storage if needed via SD or USB, not requiring to buy an entirely new device - to display all sites, i.e. display the ubiquitous flash! How people can be so in love with a company not to object to having 50% of sites disabled is beyond my understanding! - choice of music software, not just iTunes - multi-tasking It's not much to ask for, but apparently for Apple it is. The only one that I can rationalise (but not agree with) is their decision to only allow iTunes. So if a competitor produces such a device with the same screen, and it must be the same format of 4:3, then I'll be hooked, but I guess I'll be waiting a long time since it all seems to be 16:9/10 these days.

Lost Cause?
Lost Cause?

If I just want to remove the battery pack (i.e. replace the battery), where is the plug for that?

nwallette
nwallette

Maybe some people buy a new tablet every time one comes out, but I just don't see that as the goal here. So the new iPad has better resolution *and* a killer CPU/GPU. That's great. If I didn't already have a tablet, I would find this excellent news. But I do own a tablet, and it is suitable for now, so I'll keep using it. When it is no longer serviceable, or the apps I use demand more than it is capable of, I will upgrade to whatever's newest then. I will not, however, whine and moan about how this doesn't put the iPad 2 to shame, and how Apple must be a glutton of a company to expect me to throw away my existing device in trade for this. I just don't think that's the point. The fact that I have a tablet is no reason for Apple to stop making their flagship model incrementally better. If this new product doesn't apply to you, fine, move on. For someone else, it's timely and a good reason to jump in. Relax, OK?

neil.postlethwaite
neil.postlethwaite

Raised the eyebrow's a little the pseudo-retina display is from their arch-rival Samsung, and not the much trailed Sharp. S'pose that's why Galaxy Tab HD's are rumoured to be in the wings.

wtpharmacy
wtpharmacy

The new iPad is a evolutionary upgrade from iPad 2 and the original iPad. Apple has done a great job with creating this sector and still leads. People still don't get it. Microsoft don't get it as long as Ballmer is head.... it is not the iPad that is sells. It is not the iOS that sells. It is not the Apps that sells. It is the entire user experience....how many times have I heard PC users expound on their PC processors, graphic card, RAM specifications etc etc.....i.e. until you turn on the unit and use it. Crappy user experience, clunky interfaces...they all detract from the experience. And the apps..... sure Androids have them too but they do not work as well on all units. Still, Androids will provide very stiff competitions, which is great for consumers.

Peter Sanders
Peter Sanders

I agree with rett, this iPad is ONLY resolutionary. It's really nothing *new*, certainly nothing that the general public should be too concerned about. 4G is possibly the only benefit and AFAIK that's only in the US at this time - the poor suckers, sorry buyers in Australia cannot use the current iPad 3 4G service in Australia! The display of images I am sure looks nice, but what can you do with those displayed images? You can't view them at the same resolution on a projector or even an HD tv! They are (currently) only useful on the iPad. I pity the Apple fanboys that *have* to buy everything that Apple dictates - great for Apple though :) In practical terms, the iPad now has to power and control 4 times the number of pixels to display the same text screen! This also means that to display a "normal" iPad screen full of text, the new iPad has to do it with 4 times the amount of pixels - and the text is just as readable in either iPad!. (This is a great revenue earner for Apple! :) ) There may be some use for the display when Apple eventually gets around to *real* multitasking or at least to be able to display multiple windows each with its own running app . The idea that some people have that more pixels = more detail is incorrect from a visual point of view. Despite what is seen on NCIS etc, etc. 3 pixels by 5 pixels cannot be converted to a high res image of a number plate! The new iPad image may "Seem" clearer and no doubt it is (visually) but a user still needs to zoom in to see that extra detail just like they do on the normal iPad. (BTW I do own a 64gb 3G/WiFi iPad2) regards Peter

rett
rett

Without something like the new Tegra quad+1 processor and Siri for the iPad3, the Android tablets will swiftly catch up on the display and far surpass on raw processing power, allowing a weaker OS to do far more with better battery life to boot. Other than 4G, I see no reason to buy this thing. No wonder the price is unchanged. The display, as pretty as it is, is really not that useful, as anyone with an full HD TV can tell you. This smells of "we don;t know what to do now that our leader is gone" type of thinking or lack thereof. What they have done here is stimulate the idustry to up output of really nice displays without adding anything else to the conversation. This will be chewed up and spit out by the competition.

danbi
danbi

Man, thanks! I will have appointment with someone to check my mind. Didn't know the iPad was not supposed to be used for business. Wow.. you know, a lot of companies, small and large need to have their IT staff and management brains checked too. As a courtesy of your nice advice and isight, I suggest that you open an 'mind examination' business. You will be rich in no time! There are so many potential patients. After all, Apple already sold more than 60 million iPads. Free advice. I don't want any commission. The rest of your ramblings just show your ignorance. Educate yourself, about the iPad, if you care about that device. If not -- go whine somewhere else.

bpecht
bpecht

I have also been thinking the same thing for quite some time. As interesting as the subject material may be, I often just close the page when I see it is a sideshow. I would at least think TR would have a way to 'print' the ENTIRE article with the pics so we could digest it without pages reloading every time we move to the next slide. You are 5 years behind, and in this business, that does not bode well.

Frank Boston 2
Frank Boston 2

I have been thinking the same thing for a couple of years. They could really stand to upgrade the system they use. Thanks for bringing it up!

danbi
danbi

But, on your bullets: - you don't have to replace the battery IN the device. If you insist to carry an spare battery with you, then carry an external power pack, with USB output. That way, you will not only be able to charge your iPad, and possible multiple times, but you will also be able to charge about any other mobile device that you may carry. Simple, eh? Besides, you don't want to carry naked an 45 Wh lithium-ion battery, trust me! (you won't pass most security control on airports anyway) - you can connect to an "big display" on the iPad. The display may have VGA or HDMI interfaces. And, you can connect either wired and wireless. - This is not possible on the iPad, but it is also not possible on most tablets. However, you may carry one or moreUSB or SD memory devices, that holds the bulk of your photos/videos and see those on the iPad. Of course, if you need much larger storage than USB or SD sticks offer, you can always get an Seagate GoFlex Satellite drive. 500GB of data, wired or wireless -- on the iPad or any other device with at least a browser. - Flash is dead. Still, there are browser applications available on the iPad, that display Flash just fine. Did I say Flash is an abomination? (that story is long, and trust me, has nothing to do with Apple and the iPad) - you don't have to use iTunes with an iPad. You apparently never used an iPad? - iOS multitasks very good. Many "me too" devices use the 16:9 or 16:10 format, because those screens are usually way cheaper.

nwallette
nwallette

You're just looking at the wrong product. That's fine, you have choices. Go exercise them and stop whining about it. If 8-10 hours isn't enough battery for you to continue "working", you need a vacation. It's been plenty for me, and I appreciate the lack of bulk that would be required to support an access cover, connectors, and the battery support. I swear, everyone that complains about the non-removable battery must never have used it, because it really isn't quite the big deal it's made out to be. Also we have multitasking, thanks. I would appreciate SD, but there are ways around that. Sometimes you have to compromise. I pick stability and polish over potential storage capacity. iTunes does suck though, I'll grant you that.

David Liu
David Liu

The answer is very simple. Didn't you know that Steve Jobs wanted to spend every penny to destroy Google Android, maybe Google as well? Didn't you know Steve Jobs was a control freak? Didn't you know they believe they are the innovator. They want to revolutionize the world and the human behaviour!!!

danbi
danbi

And, the product itself is the iPad. Each new year, Apple simply refreshes it with current technology. Anyone, who had to ever build and support electronic devices is well aware, that with time old components become more expensive and difficult to source. New components let you fix some of the compromises you had to make at the time, like having relatively low resolution display in the original iPad.

danbi
danbi

So, where is the news? Apple designed the display, gave it to three manufacturers to make it. Possible invested in buying most of the production equipment for them. One of these happens to be Samsung. So what? Samsung are known to manufacture SONY HDTV displays too.

meski.oz
meski.oz

We're too busy fighting a court case against you...

to_be_announced
to_be_announced

And isn't it funny that the retina display is touted as the best improvement on this new ipad?

Peter Sanders
Peter Sanders

"it is not the iPad that is sells. It is not the iOS that sells. It is not the Apps that sells. It is the entire user experience..." For MOST Apple fanboys (and girls) it's none of the above, it's the "Its new, its from Apple - I *MUST* have it before my friend gets it" experience. I don't have a problem with that per se. I think it's foolish - but I am jealous of Apples ability to generate sales that way :) What I do have a problem with is the fact that people get "sucked in" by the hype (yes I know it happens every where) when something so insignificant is made to be almost omnipotent and others with insufficient knowledge expound on that insignificance to boost that insignificance out of all proportion. In this instance the iPad HiRes display while nice, does not now allow all these "new" abilities in medical imaging for example (a point that has been noted elsewhere). Yes, repeating myself here, the new display *IS* great and yes if you don't own an iPad buy the iPad3 the display ***LOOKS*** nicer. The new iPad does not change the user experience to which you refer. Therefore there is no real need for fanboys to queue up to purchase the new model - BUT they DO!

danbi
danbi

How would the iPad become better for you? The higher resolution display permits usages, that were not very viable before on an iPad, such as high resolution imaging (there is life in imaging beyond your kids photos) and high-resolution drawings, such as schematics etc. Higher resolution displays also make it easy on your eyes to look at the tablet screen. No matter what you do. iOS can multitask all the way you could imagine, mind you -- it is normal UNIX. It's all about the device's purpose. The iPad is designed to let you do many tasks simpler, than on a desktop. There is nothing that prevented any iPad from running multiple applications at one time or displaying multiple overlapping windows. But, as Albert Einstein once said: "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."

Peter Sanders
Peter Sanders

* You do have to replace the battery if it dies/fails * connecting the iPad3 to HDTV drops the resolution 6.25% horizontally * and 35% vertically * the iPad USB to iPad connector will allow *ONLY* photos and videos datafiles such as PDF, word etc. are **NOT** recognised/transferred. * the demise of Flash is only recent - there are still millions of Flash pages that CANNOT be displayed on the iPad * PLEASE advise how I can conveniently control music and datafile access WITHOUT iTunes. I like to be able to transfer any file type including PDF, Word, PPT etc. *I still don't see the multitasking ability - please advise where I can find it?

Peter Sanders
Peter Sanders

Please advise at least ONE instance where the iPad3 high resolution display is better than the standard iPad2 display at their native settings i.e. no zooming at all. As I stated previously, I agree the new display *looks* better, cleaner and sharper BUT the same image in general, looks the same when displayed at the same *physical" size on either iPad screen. (notwithstanding the previous comment). Yes I do agree that the new display does make it easy on the eyes, absolutely, but that does not mean iPad2 owners need to rush out and buy the new iPad. (unfortunately the *conditioned* Apple users just blindly follow their Apple "god"). Sure I'm jealous, I wish I had something to which I could just make a minor and almost imperceptible change and have followers - in droves - give me their money - good luck to Apple. The iPad would be better for me if... - the battery was end user replaceable (when it dies not necessarily for swapping out - though that would be an advantage) -being able to transfer data easily WITHOUT iTunes -being able to access my iPad files via some form of file explorer -being able to read PDF files from a usb memory stick -micro USB port or standard USB port -sd card slot -to be able to MULTI TASK not swap from task to task -to be able to show and USE TWO or more TASKS at the same time on the display -transfer data from USB/SD memory cards *NOT* just photos -read AND write data to an external device (USB) -swap browser windows without having to close one window *with animation* then having *waited* for that closure, tap the next window to have it display *with animation* -the ability to select several disparate emails and delete them as a single delete request