The iPad 4 has been given the same teardown treatment the iPad mini received by the guys over at iFixIt. In terms of repairability, it earned the same 2 out of 10 score that the 3rd generation iPad received. Other than a new dock connector and a few minor internal differences, much of the iPad 4's design remained unchanged from its predecessor.
Users that were a little upset about purchasing the 3rd generation iPad only to have Apple release an updated model 6 months later will be glad to know that in terms of design, you aren't getting much more. Sure, you've got the Apple A6X processor replacing the A5X in the iPad 3 and the Lightning connector but outside of that, the changes are very minimal.
If you're kicking yourself because you just bought an iPad 3, we've got some welcome news: not too much has changed in the iPad 4. The most striking addition to the fourth generation is the Lightning connector. The iPad 4 also features a slightly thicker, upgraded 1.2 MP Facetime camera, and the upgraded A6X processor. Other than those differences, the iPad 4 remains the same in terms of design and repairability, earning a 2/10 on our repairability scale -- the same score as the iPad 3.
Basically, unless you really desire a speed increase and really just despise carrying two different cables for different devices, then your iPad 3 is still very much relevant. Even the battery from the iPad 3 transferred over to the newer version so battery life won't be any different. It is, of course, still glued to the casing so when it comes to DIY repair, it's still the same annoying process.
Following with what we've heard about Apple dropping Samsung for displays, the display in the iPad 4 is manufactured by LG. It may just be a coincidence at this point considering Apple typically relies on many suppliers for displays. It doesn't mean some units don't have Samsung displays in them this time around. But it's probably a change we can expect to see as of next year if not sooner.
The Lightning connector is on its own assembly and ribbon cable which should drive down the cost of replacing the dock connector once parts are readily available. The dock connector in previous generations of iPads weren't too terrible to replace but it's nice to see that it's still replaceable.
If you want to check out the rest of iFixIt's teardown, hit the link below!