Mac mini teardowns are underway, with good news and bad news

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iFixit and MacminiVault have both completed their teardowns of the new Mac mini, with Macminicolo planning theirs soon.

We already knew the main bad news: soldered RAM means you can’t upgrade the memory later, so you have to decide how much you want and pay Apple’s pricing for it. Both iFixit and MacminiVault described replacing the RAM as “impossible.”

Getting access to the inside of the new Mac mini is more difficult than it used to be …  Read more

iFixit tears down the new Retina iMac, finds it largely unchanged over previous versions

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via iFixit

The folks over at iFixit have gotten their hands on one of Apple’s new 27″ Retina iMacs, and, as they are wont to do, immediately opened it up to find out what makes these things tick. Inside they found that most of the internal components are actually somewhat familiar.

The SSD inside the new iMac is the same unit found inside the latest-generation MacBook Pro, while the logic board, Bluetooth controller, and more are identical to that of previous iMacs. In fact, in the case of the logic board, iFixit didn’t even document the dissection, instead referring back to the previous year’s teardown.

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New rubber gaskets around buttons help iPhone 6/Plus withstand brief dips in water

In iFixit’s ritual dismantling of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last week, the repair company noted that Apple had started including rubber gaskets around the power and volume buttons likely in an effort to make the iPhone more water and dust resistant.

Similar gaskets surround the volume buttons. Altogether, this seems to represent a move toward increased water/dust resistance, and therefore improved durability.

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How did Apple do? Well iPhone warranty provider Squaretrade was able to dunk both the 6 and 6 Plus for 10 seconds without any real damage. While this is indeed nice to have, especially for those of us who like to take our iPhones with us to the pool, it is by no means a guarantee like Samsung and Sony have on some of their phones.

And then there is the toilet. If you are willing to go after your iPhone 6 within a few seconds, you might actually have a good chance at saving it.

The slightly amphibious nature of the iPhone 6 isn’t entirely new either. Previous iPhones have been able to go underwater for a few seconds (see iPhone 5c below) but as you can see buttons and features rapidly begin to fail.  Read more

iFixit begins live teardown of iPhone 6 Plus, revealing 2915 mAh battery

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In keeping with tradition, iFixit has started its live teardown of the latest iPhone hardware (an iPhone 6 Plus in this case), revealing all of the device’s internal components for the first time. So far we’ve already seen a 2915 mAh battery, which provides the increased battery life in the much larger of the two models.

The company will likely teardown the smaller iPhone 6 once the Plus model has been fully disected. You can follow along as the company discovers what makes the new handsets tick over on iFixit.com. We’ll keep this post updated as they add new information.

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Falling in love with the Macintosh 128K back in 1984

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Ok, I admit it: I’m officially old. Old enough, in fact, to have bought the very first Macintosh in 1984: the Macintosh 128K.

Computers in those days had green screens and were controlled by typing arcane commands. Bold and italics did not appear on-screen, instead you saw ^Bthis is bold^B and ^Ythis is italics^Y (CTRL-Y for italics because CTRL-I was tab, for reasons no-one understood but didn’t question). You never had to worry about what typeface to use because computers could neither display nor print them.

And then came the Macintosh …  Read more

iFixit teardown praises new Mac Pro for repairability, upgradability

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Following a quick look from Other World Computing last week, iFixit has published its teardown of the new Mac Pro.

Unlike any other Apple product iFixit has reviewed this year, the firm gives high praise to the repairability of the Mac Pro. The system uses no proprietary screws and RAM is accessible without the need for any tools.  Add in the socketed, upgradable CPU originally found in the earlier teardown, the Mac Pro is the most repairable computer in Apple’s lineup by far.

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The Retina iPad Mini teardown reveals cross between iPad Air & iPhone 5s

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Following close behind its teardown of the iPad Air, iFixit has now taken its toolkit to the Retina iPad Mini. While the company understandably focuses on repairability – that’s how it makes it’s money – we’re betting most people just want to have a peek inside.

Unsurprisingly, the new iPad Mini is essentially a cross between the iPad Air and the iPhone 5s …  Read more

iPad Air teardown: never mind the repairability, feel the tech

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iFixit has done its usual trick of hopping over to Australia to get its hands on an iPad Air in the first time-zone to open its doors for business to bring us a look at the innards of the new device. The device is now on sale in the U.S. too, with supplies expected to be good.

No surprise that the company found little prospect of success for DIY repair, reporting that even opening the casing was a challenge: when you pack that much technology into so small a space, there’s going to be a lot of glue involved.

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Some details of what the company found and more photos below the fold …  Read more

iFixit investigates the innards of the new iMacs, spare SSD slot now standard in all models

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iFixit has taken a look at the newly-released generation iMacs, tearing down both the 21.5 inch and 27.5 inch variants. Although most of the internal structure is the same, which is to be expected given that the new iMacs have retained the same casing, there are some small differences.

iFixit points out that the 21.5 inch iMac now includes a Fusion Drive SSD bay as standard, improving future upgradeability prospects of the machine. With last year’s model, this expandability was only available if customers had specifically ordered the iMac with a Fusion Drive originally. As the new drives are now connected via PCIe, third-party drive makers should be able to make appropriate adapters to enable the addition of a second hard drive. Both the 21.5 inch and 27 inch models offer this unused PCIe Fusion Drive SSD port. A picture of the empty port is attached below.

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Is there some secret iMac assembly plant in the US?


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iFixit

From iFixit’s ritual iMac dismemberment yesterday, we learn that the particular 21.5-inch iMac they bought says it was “Assembled in USA”. The moniker isn’t new—we’ve seen it since at least a few iMac models back on the packaging. But as far as we can tell, “Assembled in USA” wasn’t etched in the actual machine’s aluminum, leading people to believe that the iMacs that were shipped were “refurbished in the USA”. However, this forum shows that some were actually assembled and sold new with the “Assembled in USA” label (below—27-inch iMac, previous gen).

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Regardless of previous endeavors, Apple is shipping new iMacs “Assembled in USA”.  PED at Fortune found one. Jay Yarrow at BI found one, too. This isn’t an isolated incident. We also heard that other new iMacs say “Assembled in China”, as you’d expect.

Still, it makes for an interesting question:  Is Apple building some of its iMacs in the United States? Is that percentage growing since it seems much of the first line of iMacs are coming with USA labels?

The “Assembled in USA” label doesn’t just mean that foreign parts screwed together in the U.S. either. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission assumes that a “substantial transformation” must happen in the U.S. for the label to be used.

Specifically, the FTC states that the label “Assembled in the USA” should be the following:

A product that includes foreign components may be called “Assembled in USA” without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial. For the “assembly” claim to be valid, the product’s last “substantial transformation” also should have occurred in the U.S. That’s why a “screwdriver” assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn’t usually qualify for the “Assembled in USA” claim.

Example: A lawn mower, composed of all domestic parts except for the cable sheathing, flywheel, wheel rims and air filter (15 to 20 percent foreign content) is assembled in the U.S. An “Assembled in USA” claim is appropriate.

Here’s where it gets more interesting. The FTC gives the specific example of a computer manufacture:

Example: All the major components of a computer, including the motherboard and hard drive, are imported. The computer’s components then are put together in a simple “screwdriver” operation in the U.S., are not substantially transformed under the Customs Standard, and must be marked with a foreign country of origin. An “Assembled in U.S.” claim without further qualification is deceptive.

That means one of two things: Either Apple or its contractors have some sort of significant manufacturing operations in the U.S., or it is being deceptive in its marketing (something that sadly, isn’t out of character)… Read more

iFixit iMac teardown reveals dual mics, difficult RAM upgrades and glued LCD

21.5 iMac teardown late 2012

While we had some pictures of a brief teardown earlier this week, iFixit has now completed its ritual teardown of the new 21.5-inch iMac that officially went on sale on Friday.

Unfortunately, iFixit described the process as an “exercise in disappointment,” noting the iMac’s new thinner design introduces new hurdles for repairability. Most notably, the device’s glass and LCD are now glued directly to the iMac’s frame, while accessing the RAM, CPU, and hard drive will now mean having to remove the entire logic board:

The late 2012 iMac 21.5″ — code-named EMC 2544 — is an exercise in disappointment for us. We were quite worried when we saw that super-thin bezel during Apple’s keynote, and unfortunately we were correct: the glass and LCD are now glued to the iMac’s frame with incredibly strong adhesive. Gone are the lovely magnets that held the glass in place in iMacs of yesteryear.

A few things noted in iFixit’s highlights: a new rubber housing that “dampens the vibrations from the spinning hard drive,” a new single fan layout, dual microphones, and a 5mm thinner LG made display. Those are some of the highlights of Apple’s new design, but iFixit is scoring the new iMac as a 3 out of 10 (down from 7 last year) due to the many issues with repairability. Here are just a few:

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