iFixit got their hands on a new Apple Pencil, and as they tend to do, tore it down to see what makes it tick. And lucky us, they were willing to share what they found!
Since the dawn of the iPad, Apple has remained resolute that the iPad is meant to be enjoyed sans-stylus. So when the iPad Pro debuted with a $99 must-have accessory in the form of a stylus, we were obviously intrigued. What makes the Apple Pencil so special? From what we’ve heard, it’s got some nifty features, but we’re more interested in what’s going on inside that shiny white cylinder. Join us as we find out!
Upon opening Apple’s new stylus, they found a number of components, including an antenna, battery, pencil nib, Lightning connector and miniature folded logic board.
The Pencil is powered by a tee-tiny 0.329 Wh lithium-ion rechargeable battery that has just 5% of the capacity of an iPhone 6s battery, but more than enough to power the Pencil for an estimated 12 hours of usage. The battery is connected via a small ribbon cable to a Lightning connector that provides its charging capabilities.
Also inside is a small cylindrical black and gold antenna, along with a tiny logic board that houses five components, as seen below:
- Red: ST Microelectronics STML151UCY6 Ultra-low-power 32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3 MCU
- Orange: ST Microelectronics AS5C Y533 (also found in the 2015 Apple TV)
- Yellow: L05286 QS4 VG Z SGP 528
- Green: EWX 01129
- Not shown: Cambridge Silicon Radio Qualcomm CSR1012A05 Bluetooth Smart IC
iFixit gave the Apple Pencil its lowest possible repairability score: 1 out of 10. It says that while the nib and cap can be replaced, you can’t get inside the Pencil without destroying it. (Much like a real pencil.) The battery is also not replaceable.