It’s already written in the announcement / launch cycle for a new Apple product: days after its availability to consumers began, iFixit go there and put your careful but eager hands on the animals to dissect them to the last consequences and analyze their internal structures. It was no different with the recently launched AirPods, however difficult it may be to get a pair of them.
Despite the stress test we talked about earlier today, in which Apple wireless headphones did very well, iFixit’s verdict wasn’t very positive about accessories – as it has been, by the way, with basically everyone Apple products for a while now.
According to the company, the headphones are basically “disposable”, in the sense that it is practically impossible to recycle or repair them in any way – internal engineering is described by them as a “mess” consisting of absolutely tiny circuits and full of glue and solder on all sides. The simple act of opening both the AirPods and their charging case completely destroyed them, with no possibility of recovery.
Looking at the inside of the accessory, the firm found that the AirPods’ batteries, located on the earpiece’s “stalk,” are really tiny, with a mere 93mWh capacity on each side – just over 1% of the battery’s capacity. an iPhone, which makes its five hours of operation even impressive. The case holds a battery approximately 16 times bigger, of 1.52Wh, which should be enough to recharge both AirPods about eight times.
Speaking of the case, it found a possible reason for the repeated delays in the delivery of AirPods: the STMicroelectronics ARM chip that controls the box’s operations was full of “quality problems” in its welds and empty spaces in unexpected places, leading to iFixit to believe that there was the engineering problem that cost a few weeks before the accessory’s release date.
Overall, iFixit gave AirPods a zero repairability rating of 0 out of 10 possible points. While I’m suspecting that the biggest problem the owners of the new headphones will face will have more to do with missing parts, dropped to the ground and accidentally stepped on, it’s good to keep in mind that your shiny new pair of AirPods won’t survive any defects that be – in other words, broke, changed.
Update, for Rafael Fischmann · Dec 20, 2016 at 20:47
IFixit has now also published a video of the teardown: