iPad 3G Dismantled: There Are Five Antennas

We've seen its communications board before, but now the entire iPad 3G has been torn open and had its parts analyzed. Here's what makes it different from a Wi-Fi-only iPad according to the guys at iFixit:

* The immediate visible difference is the inclusion of a black plastic RF window on top of the iPad for better antenna reception.

* The black RF window significantly changes the opening procedure. You cannot start separating the display using the notches on the top (à la Wi-Fi version), since that will undoubtedly break the RF window. You have to start from the right side and gingerly proceed to the top and bottom of the iPad.

* There are actually FIVE antennas in this iPad: Two antennas handle the cell reception — one is in the RF window on top, the other attaches to the LCD frame. A single GPS antenna is also housed in the RF window on top. Just like the iPad Wi-Fi, there are two antennas that handle Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connectivity, one in the Apple logo and another to the left of the dock connector.

* You heard that right, folks: Apple looks to be using the entire LCD frame as an antenna!

* Who would've thought: Apple uses the same 3G baseband processor in both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad 3G.

* The baseband processor in question is the Infineon 337S3754 PMB 8878 X-Gold IC. It was actually white-labeled on the production unit, but with enough sleuthing we were able to confirm its true identity.

* The iPad 3G has a Broadcom BCM4750UBG Single-Chip AGPS Solution, whereas the iPhone 3GS uses an Infineon Hammerhead II package. Big win for Broadcom!

* Apple did not change any major suppliers between manufacturing the pre-production unit they provided the FCC and their final production run.

You can check see more gadget gore porn pictures and part details over at iFixit, but those are the basic highlights. [iFixit]