Amazingly, Apple actually made its iPad Air easier to repair

IPad Air 5 Picture-In-Picture
IPad Air 5 Picture-In-Picture (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has added pull tabs to the iPad Air's battery to make it easier to remove.
  • Previous iPad Air batteries were firmly affixed.

Apple released its latest iPad Air last month but there is one feature that most people will never see — and it's one that is sure to be most welcome to those who have to repair one of the tablets.

While previous iPad Air offerings had their batteries firmly fixed into place, that doesn't seem to be the case with the latest model. Instead, iFixit reports that there are simple pull tabs that can be used to remove the cells. That's something that makes them much easier to replace without the need for chemicals and a lot of mess.

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Despite the easier battery removal, MacRumors reports that Apple and its partners will still replace the entire machine should a battery issue be reported — don't expect your iPad Air to have its battery swapped out.

The pull tabs should make battery replacements easier for third-party repair shops and customers attempting do-it-yourself repairs, but Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers still replace the entire device when a customer needs a new battery for all iPad models, according to a source familiar with the matter.

While Apple might not be using those pull tabs itself, their inclusion is likely a nod toward the company's past issues with Right to Repair advocates over how difficult it can be to repair its products. Apple also announced a new Self Service Repair program last year, although that is related to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 devices rather than iPads.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.