AirPods Max teardown finds mystery chips, screwy screws and impressive engineering

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iFixit AirPods Max teardown finds much to like
An AirPods Max Teardown wouldn’t be complete without an X-ray of Apple’s new over-the-ears headphones.
Photo: iFixit

iFixit took a deep dive into AirPods Max, fully disassembling Apple’s over-the-ear headphones. What they found in the teardown was a startling number of different types of screws. But also a craftsmanship that helps justify the hefty price tag.

Initial AirPods Max teardown reveals they’re difficult to take apart

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Teardown of AirPods Max
Replacing batteries may not be too easy.
Photo: iFixit

The new AirPods Max headphones have plenty going for them. But “easy to take apart” apparently isn’t among their positive attributes.

Our friends over at iFixit have published the first installment of their AirPods Max teardown and — while it’s too early to know for certain whether these are going to any more repairable than the significantly tinier AirPods and AirPods Pro — the early signs show that they’re not particularly easy to gain access to.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro teardown reveals smaller battery

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An iPhone 12 teardown wouldn’t be complete without a cool X-ray.
Dive deep into the iPhone 12 standard and Pro with an X-ray.
Photo: Creative Electron

Open up the standard iPhone 12 and and you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between it and the iPhone 12 Pro. An iFixit teardown shows these handsets so similar internally that they can share many parts.

But the news isn’t all good. Another tidbit revealed by cracking open Apple’s latest is that that have smaller batteries than their predecessors.

This is how Superman sees iPad Pro’s Magic Keyboard

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iPad Pro Magic Keyboard in X-ray
There’s no need to teardown an iPad Pro Magic Keyboard when you can discover its secrets with X-rays.
Photo: iFixit

Apple’s Magic Keyboard add-on for the iPad Pro looks amazing. And it appears even more spectacular when iFixit X-rayed this accessory to see the inner details of the scissor-switch keys, the trackpad and the hinges that make an iPad seem to float.

Lots of iPhone SE components are swappable with iPhone 8 — but not all

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2020-iPhone-SE-lineup-hero
Well, that should make repairs a bit cheaper.
Photo: Apple

A 2020 iPhone SE teardown shows just how similar the new phone is to the iPhone 8. Many — but not all — components of the new handset are totally swappable with the 2017 iPhone, according to a weekend report from iFixit.

The iPhone SE’s cameras, SIM tray, Taptic Engine and display assembly can be directly swapped out with the iPhone 8. However, not all parts are so switchable. The iPhone SE’s battery might look the same, but it won’t work on the earlier iPhone due to a different logic board connector.

2020 MacBook Air teardown reveals new keyboard and better repairability

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2020 macbook air
The guts of the 2020 MacBook Air on full display.
Photo: iFixit

The 2020 MacBook Air has been put under the knife by the folks at iFixit, revealing some subtle and important changes that make Apple’s thinnest laptop more repairable.

Headlining the list of changes is the new Magic Keyboard with scissor-switch keys. iFixit found that the new keys don’t need a silicone barrier to keep dust out like the previous generation. The butterfly keyboards were supposed to enable MacBooks to be thinner, however, iFixit says going back to old scissor switches only adds .5mm to the device’s thickness.

iFixit wants to make fixing medical devices easier during COVID-19 pandemic

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med device
Repairing medical devices is a lot more confusing than fixing iPhones.
Photo: iFixit

iFixit, the second-largest Apple parts supplier after Apple, is launching a new section on its website today dedicated to fixing medical equipment.

The growing COVID-19 pandemic is already beginning to strain hospitals and the supply of breathing ventilators that are crucial to fighting acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by COVID-19. With ventilators running 24/7, keeping them repaired and running will be a colossal task, so iFixit has taken it upon itself to create a central database of how-to resources on maintaining medical equipment. And they need your help.

Apple Activation Lock: Security feature or recycling roadblock?

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Activation Lock on iPad and iPhone
Activation Lock is apparently a surprisingly controversial security feature.
Photo: Apple

An editorial by an iFixit employee condemns Activation Lock, a security feature of iPhones and recent Macs because it makes these computers hard to recycle.

But Walt Mossberg, well-known journalist formerly of the Wall Street Journal, calls the editorial “outrageous.”