Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Inside the Magic Trackpad

July 29, 2010: 9:02 AM ET

iFixit has done a teardown and found a couple moving parts but no magic unicorns

Photo: iSuppli

It took a heat gun, a hairdryer, guitar picks, a soldering iron, a spunger and tweezers, but the folks at iFixit managed to pry apart Apple's (AAPL) new $69 wireless trackpad.

"This not for the faint of heart," they write. "Thin and pretty = not user servicable"

But having reduced the thing to nine difficult-to-assemble parts, from AA batteries to miniature motherboard, the disassemblers singled out a couple of design elements for special praise:

  • The square threads on the battery door. "While square threads have the highest mechanical efficiency of all lead screws, their difficulty of manufacturing makes them prohibitive for most applications. Kudos, Apple, for sweating the details."
  • The way it triggers a mouse click. "As you press down on the top surface of the Trackpad, the two rubber feet near its front edge push up on the hinged plate and set screw attached to the chassis. This squeezes the electronic mouse button switch, producing the characteristic "click."

The step-by-step photos are here. There's a video slide show, with guitar accompaniment, here.

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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