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Apple's new iPad torn apart for science, mystery parts

Popular gadget tear-down site iFixit has begun picking apart Apple's new iPad, offering one of the first looks at its innards.

Apple's new iPad getting taken apart.
Apple's new iPad getting taken apart.

Flying to Australia to be the first to buy one of Apple's new iPads sounds a bit crazy to start with. So how much crazier is it to do that... and then tear the thing apart?

The folks at iFixit have done just that, putting their newly acquired "new iPad" through a full tear-down. While a complete version of that report has yet to come, the service is doing a "live tear down" akin to a live blog you'd get at a news event, uncovering parts of the unit as it's taken apart piece by piece.

One of the first findings is that the model numbers on the back of the display are similar to ones used by Samsung. Samsung was reported to be the sole supplier of the Retina Display panels for the new device; however, other manufacturers have apparently disputed that, albeit anonymously. Clearly finding something distinctively non-Samsung would be more compelling, but the iFixit teardown bolsters the initial claim.

In the past, these reports have provided a detailed look at Apple's construction techniques and the parts it uses. While Apple now publishes a list of its suppliers (PDF) as part of its annual supplier responsibility report, teardowns had previously been one of the only ways to figure out where the company was sourcing some of its components.

Update at 11:46 a.m. PT: Some other tidbits so far include that the connector that hooks up the display to the logic board is different from the one on the first two iPad models, thus confirming that the leaked Retina Display panel that cropped up in mid-February was legit.

The 4G LTE chip comes from Qualcomm, while the 802.11 a/b/g/n chip with Bluetooth comes from Broadcom. Separately, the A5X chip was made by Samsung, which iFixit notes was manufactured in the first week of January this year.

We'll keep updating this post with more findings as they emerge.