When we picked up our iPad 4 on Nov. 2 (coincidentally, at the same time we picked up our iPad mini), we took it to our lab as soon as we could to take it apart and analyze what, if any, differences there were between this new iPad and the iPad 3.
Almost instantly upon taking the iPad 4 apart, we at UBM TechInsights discovered a product that was not much different at all from the iPad 3. In fact, apart from the change in processors (from the Apple A5X to the Apple A6X) and a move to Apple's proprietary Lightning connector dock, there isn't anything new in terms of the semiconductors that make up the tablet. One has to wonder if Apple expects to sell the same type of volume (usually tens of millions) of this new iPad if the general perception is this that it's just the iPad 3 with a faster processor.
Consequently, the major design winners from the Apple iPad 3 retain their sockets in the iPad 4, including longtime partner Broadcom, which retained three major design wins from the iPad 3. Two of these wins for were for touchscreen controllers (the BCM5974 and the BCM5973 both of which have been found in the previous iPads and the first generation of the iPhone). Broadcom's other major design win is the company's four-in-one combo wireless chip, the BCM4334, which was also found in the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3. Below are some images of the Broadcom ICs we've analyzed using our de-encapsulation (decap) process:
Inside the Murata module containing the Broadcom BCM4334.
Die photo of the BCM5973A (click on image to enlarge).
Thanks to UBM Techinsights for this. It is quite remarkable that Apple released a new generation iPad with nothing changed except the processor and the connector. This is far more incremental than their usual once a year product upgrade, and that alone is newsworthy.
iPAD Mini has an option for phone connectivity.
Who supplies ICs - Qualcomm or somebody else? It would be nice to know !!
Purists will dismiss it but - Mini could also be used as a phone/video-phone with a good headset...
After all, what exactly is new in this iPad4 besides the CPU and lightning connector? With just an upgrade of IC with same functionality, I see not much innovation is in here! I frankly feel a bit disappointed with all 3 new products (iPad4, iPadmini, iPhone5) from Apple
IPAD Mini is a great form factor. IPAD4 is faster and supports a new connector that will form the basis of the ecosystem moving forward. IPhone5 carries on a form factor tradition that is successful.
I mean really for a tablet, what are you expecting? Screen is as good as needed now (except not 3D). Cameras are within limits of the technology (and cost). It's a tablet ... it does what is intended and well.
While Apple is about form factor, its really about ecosystem and interoperability. There is no need for whiz-bang features to achieve that. People buy them because they work.
I will add .... what do we expect when we get a new PC now? Faster, bigger screen with more resolution, more memory and storage. We do not expect wiz bang features as most of that occurred in the early days. After that is has been incremental. Tablets are already evolutionary not revolutionary so why expect a game changer all the time?
Don't think previous versions have the capability to use the 5.0 ghtz wifi band. My router has had this capability for a couple of years with nothing capable of using that band. This is great as there is a lot less traffic on the 5.0 band. This has convinced me that with the faster cpu and wifi, I am ready to get an iPad.
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