iPad teardown reveals Samsung still in favour
Apple’s new iPad uses chips made by Samsung, Qualcomm and Broadcom other semiconductor makers, according to a firm that cracked open one of the devices.
The newest iPad went on sale this morning in the UK, but teardown firm iFixit got hold of a device in Australia and took it apart to reveal its inner workings – and despite Apple’s patent disputes with Samsung, the company is still providing plenty of iPad parts.
The model used by iFixit contains a Samsung-manufactured display, although a source familiar with the device’s components told Reuters this week that Samsung and LG will both supply their liquid crystal displays for the iPad.
The iPad includes a Qualcomm LTE cellphone chip as well as a Qualcomm wireless modem for 3G and 4G. Broadcom supplies a semiconductor handling wireless tasks such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, according to iFixit.
The iPad’s new A5X application processor is based on energy-efficient technology licensed from Britain’s ARM Holding and is manufactured by Qualcomm, as in past Apple devices.
A NAND flash memory chip is supplied by Toshiba, while Japan’s Elpida provides the DRAM chips.
Apple doesn’t disclose which company makes the components that go into its smartphones, and insists its suppliers keep quiet.
Analysts recommend caution in drawing conclusions from the teardowns because Apple sometimes uses more than one supplier for a part. What is found in one iPad may not be found in others.
Still, teardowns remain a key source of information for investors interested in betting on Apple’s suppliers, and a point of interest for Apple consumers.
“There are a whole lot of hedge funds out there that like to shoot first and ask questions later,” said Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP who covers technology stocks.