Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/30/apple_tv_teardown/

Apple TV stripdown reveals mystery solder pads

Future iPad innards?

By Rik Myslewski

Posted in Media, 30th September 2010 05:00 GMT

Photos Apple's new second-generation Apple TV is easy to take apart, easy to repair, and its guts may be poised for significant upgrades – or even double duty.

Apple TV

Apple TV: small, black, plastic, and containing the soul of an iPad

So discovered the repair-heads at the tools, parts, and tips website iFixit when they disassembled the pint-sized home-entertainment streamer.

Once inside, iFixit made the rumor-inducing discovery of a solder pad on one side of the logic board that, in iFixit's exuberant words, "look to be a *perfect* match for a dock connector!"

Apple TV, cover removed

"After some careful prying", a pink thermal-conduction pad is revealed — odd for an all-plastic case

One might posit that the Apple TV may someday include a port for Apple's standard 30-pin dock connector as is used on the iPhone/Pod/Pad. This might let you connect to USB-equipped computing devices and view content on a television connected to the Apple TV through its HDMI port.

Apple TV, ready for dock connector

The matchup between Apple standard dock connecter and the Apple TV solder pads is "*perfect*"

But allowing that capability would weaken the Apple TV's money-making capability by circumventing streaming from Apple's movie and video service — and as we've repeatedly said, Apple has never met a revenue stream it didn't like.

A different idea

The iFixit crew have a different idea: "Perhaps this logic board will be used in future iPads?"

Apple TV, 8GB of Samsung flash RAM

8GB of flash storage may not be much, but there's room for more

Furthering the iPad comparison is the fact that the Apple TV packs 256MB of RAM (just like the iPad) and Apple's A4 processor (just like the iPad). There's also 8GB of flash storage, which is only half that of the low-end iPad — but there's an empty socket right next to it that would be "*perfect*" for another flash-RAM chip.

Apple TV, logic board

The Apple TV and the iPad share many of the same innards

iFixit's color-keyed photo of the Apple TV logic board reveals:

Apple TV, all parts disassembled

There's not much to worry about inside the Apple TV

Being easy to open and repair, and needing only a trickle of power to operate, the Apple TV earned iFixit's hearty praise as possibly "the most eco-friendly set-top box of all time!"

You can find many more details and many more photos — 29 in all — on iFixit's website. ®