iFixit Teardown Shows New iPad is a Repackaged First-gen iPad Air

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iFixit got ahold of Apple’s brand new 9.7-inch iPad and did what they do best: strip it down to the frame so we can see what’s inside. Turns out it’s pretty much just the first generation iPad Air with a Touch ID Home button.

Original iPad Air and spring 2017 iPad are essentially the same device

You have to look close to see the difference between the original iPad Air (left) and new iPad (right). Hint: It’s the WiFi module

The original iPad Air and the new 9.7-inch iPad look essentially the same on the outside, and on the inside, too. iFixit noted the WiFi module in the newer model is a little smaller, and the display is a little brighter.

Both are 9.4-inches by 6.6-inches, although the new model is slightly thicker at 0.29-inches compared to the first Air at 0.24-inches. It also weighs a little more at 1.03 pounds instead of 0.96 pounds. The extra weight and thickness is likely because the display’s digitizer isn’t laminated.

Other than that, the spring 2017 iPad is essentially a throwback to the original iPad Air which was introduced in fall 2014.

The new iPad may pack old specs, but it does come with the lowest price for an Apple tablet at US$329 for the WiFi-only 32 GB model. Apple is selling the new 9.7-inch iPad online and in its retail stores.

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I can’t believe you missed / neglected the difference in the processor !

Or the price.

C’mon TMO. We expect better.


This article is littered with factual errors. The original iPad Air was NOT introduced in the Fall of 2014. It was introduced in the fall of 2013. The original iPad Air was NOT 0.24 inches thick. It was 0.30 inches thick, or exactly 7.5mm. Which is the exact same thickness as the new iPad. 7.5mm.


The new iPad has an A9 instead of the A7 found in the iPad Air. This alone is a big difference which seems to get overlooked. As leicaman indicated above, there are other refinements as well.

Most blogs seem to just parrot iFixit’s dismissal of it being essentially the same as an iPad Air.


Like geoduck, iPad Air, 32 GB. Nice device. Would love to have been able to purchase a new iPad 128 GB for $429 with close to iPad Pro 9.7″ performance. The 32 GB Air cost $599 and the 128 GB version was $799. I would call this kind of a breakthrough in pricing. Also, compare this to the aforementioned iPad Pro 9.7″ at $899 for 128 GB.


Leicaman: came here to make the comment you made. Why can’t the tech blogs understand that the main feature of this iPad (which has the same external case and some internal design of the iPad Air, but much better specs) is its price? It’s not for “us” as enthusiasts, but it’s for me as a private high school teacher/on site tech helpdesk. I’m working on a proposal for our school to switch to iPad, and this new price point makes the sale that I have to make way, way easier.

Not even close to true. Much faster processor, better radios, and many other refinements. Not to mention an A9 rather than an A7 processor.

Alt-Pad, I guess.


I gotta say, that’s more than a little disappointing. Again. Come on, Apple.


I have an iPad Air. Still works pretty good. Supports the latest iOS. Runs all the apps and games I use.