Today we present you with a teardown treat—a back-to-back, device double feature! That’s right, we tore apart the Apple TV 4th Gen, as well as the fancypants, Glass Touch, Bluetooth remote. It’s been three years since the Apple TV has seen a hardware update, and we’re hopeful that this new design is as repairable as the last. Spoiler alert: it is!
The improved Apple TV stands in seeming defiance of Apple’s obsession with making things thinner and lighter. With a beefier heatsink and power supply to support the dual-core A8 SoC, it stands a half-inch taller and more than 50% heavier than its predecessor. With a fairly modular design and just a few major components (which simplifies repair), the 4th-gen Apple TV earned itself an admirable 8/10 on the repairability scale. Nice work, guys!
Apple TV 4th Gen teardown highlights:
• There’s a distinct lack of cables connecting the power supply to the logic board. We suspect that the power is transmitted through the new heat sink screw posts.
• The remote's battery and Lightning cable are soldered together—but not to anything else, so they should be inexpensive components to replace.
• Unfortunately, almost everything important on the Apple TV is soldered to the logic board, which means replacement or board-level soldering is required to solve port problems.
- Apple TV hardware: • Apple A8 APL1011 SoC, with SK Hynix H9CKNNNBKTBRWR-NTH 2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM • SK Hynix H2JTEG8VD1BMR 32 GB NAND flash • Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00045 Wi-Fi module • SMSC LAN9730 USB 2.0 to 10/100 ethernet controller • Apple 338S00057 • Texas Instruments PA61 • Fairchild Semiconductor DF25AU • NXP 1112
- Siri Remote hardware: • ST Microelectronics STM32L151QD ultra-low-power ARM Cortex-M3 MCU • Broadcom BCM5976C1KUB6G touch screen controller • CSR (Qualcomm) CSR1010 Bluetooth radio • Texas Instruments TMS320C55 ultra-low-power digital signal processor • ST Microelectronics AS5C Y523 • Texas Instruments TI49C37GI and TI55CHL6I
This is just a snapshot of the teardown. Check out our full analysis here.