Apple 13-Inch M2 iPad Air Teardown Reveals DIY Repairs Are Tricky

Inside of an Apple M2 iPad Air with the display removed.
The teardown experts at iFixIt have gotten their mitts on Apple's recently refreshed 13-inch iPad Air, the 6th generation model with a custom M2 processor inside that was unveiled during Apple's 'Let Loose' event earlier this month, and spoiler alert, DIY repairs are anything but easy. Not that the typical user would have much cause to tear into an iPad, but even accessing just the battery—the main reason why someone might one venture into the realm of a DIY repair—is a chore.

In a video posted to YouTube, the host remarks that "getting inside an iPad has always meant three things: heating, prying, and hoping." That doesn't mean it's impossible, though. Naturally, iFixIt sells a range of tools to help DIY repair enthusiasts crack open their electronic devices, and the newest iPad Air is no exception. However, it's still tricky.

Person using a plastic pic to pry the adhesive from an M2 iPad Air.

The main issue is the "tough" adhesive that keeps the display glued to the chassis. It takes careful and determined prying to remove the adhesive, especially around the "finicky far edge" of the tablet. The upshot is that it should ensure a solid bond between the display and chassis, but should you ever need to get inside, it's going to take some work.

"Getting in was not easy, and you can imagine in a couple of years when these guys need replacement batteries, this is one expensive piece of collateral damage," the host comments.

Once inside, users will find five "super stretchy" pull tabs underneath the battery packs. The good news is that the strips are really the only obstacle to swapping out the battery (once inside, that is). That said, we looked up the repair cost to service the battery in the latest iPad Air and Apple's website shows an estimate of $149. For those with an AppleCare+ plan, it's free.

The teardown video (embedded above) goes deeper than just the battery and shows the removal of the logic board and several other bits. Doing so reveals that the speakers, which are much bigger than the prior iPad Air and very thin, are just as irreplaceable as they are on the iPad Pro—they're integrated into the chassis with driver magnets that are stuck tightly on.

iFixIt repair score for Apple's iPad Air.

Apple's newest iPad Air earned a rather terrible 3 out of 10 score for repairability. Part of the reason for the low score is the absence of official documentation from Apple on how a user could attempt a DIY repair, along with Apple's history for offering spare parts.

That's not shocking, given what we've seen from every previous iPad tablet. Apple has never designed these devices in a way that facilities DIY repairs, and that hasn't changed with the iPad Air 6.