Apple’s iPad is notoriously hard to repair. Popular repairability evaluator iFixit gave the original iPad a repairability score of six out of 10, but things have only gone downhill since then. Teardowns of the newer iPads haven’t yielded repairability scores of more than two out of 10. Thankfully, Apple seems to have improved things with the latest iPad Air 5.
iFixit won’t perform an official teardown of the iPad Air 5, given its striking similarity to its predecessor. Still, the experts could not help themselves and took a peek at the tablet’s insides anyway. The most significant change is the inclusion of new battery pull tabs that aid its removal. The stretch adhesives can be pulled to loosen the battery from the iPad Air.
We're not doing a full teardown of the iPad Air 5, but we did take it apart to investigate—and we were pleasantly surprised to find pull stretch adhesives under the battery!
If only the battery connector were also updated. There's always next year 🤔 pic.twitter.com/QaYs1YRhvZ
— iFixit (@iFixit) March 19, 2022
Pull tabs for the battery might not seem like a significant improvement, but older iPads used much stronger adhesive to hold the battery in place. To perform simple battery repair on one of them entailed using a special solvent to loosen the adhesive’s grip and plenty of patience to pry it out. This meant older iPads were a pain to repair for your neighborhood Apple Stores and nearly impossible for the average iPad owner to do at home.
Disappointingly, iFixit notes that Apple hasn’t made an effort to change the battery connector. So, the battery is easier to remove, but it isn’t as easy to disconnect and replace just yet.
Apple announced a Self Service Repair Program late last year for people who want to repair their iPhones themselves. Presently, it isn’t clear if the program will be expanded to include iPads, but if it does, pull tabs for the battery could be a step in the right direction, making the iPad easier to repair.[Via MacWorld]