iPad Air 5 disassembly findings: super easy to replace the battery
Apple announced the fifth-generation iPad Air last month, and key new features include the Apple M1 chip, cellular support for high-speed 5G, an upgraded front-facing camera lens with "Center Stage" support, and a whopping 2x USB-C port for data transfer. As it turns out, Apple has also made internal changes to the device that repairers might like.
According to repair site iFixit, the new iPad Air 5 has stretch-release pull tabs on the bottom of the battery unit, making it easier to remove. In contrast, previous iPad Air models had fully glued battery cells that were harder to remove, and technicians usually used some glue-specific solvent to loosen those glues.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the pull tabs should make it easier for third-party repair stores and customers attempting do-it-yourself repairs to replace the battery, but Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will still replace the entire device when customers need a new battery for all iPad models. Pull tabs also provide environmental benefits by making it easier for Apple's recycling partners to remove the battery from the aluminum manufacturing case of iPad.
iFixit shared on Twitter, "We didn't do a full teardown of the iPad Air 5, but we did take it apart to investigate - and we were pleasantly surprised to find the pull-stretch adhesive under the battery.
Apple has added battery pull tabs to more devices, including the sixth-generation iPad mini and the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. However, despite the pull tabs, iFixit previously found that the iPad mini's battery is still glued along the top and bottom edges, so it's not a completely repair-friendly design. It's unclear whether the battery cells in the new iPad Air also remain glued in place to some degree.
Other devices with battery pull tabs include the iPhone 5s and newer, some iPad Pro models, and the newer MacBook Air models.