The Federal Communications Commission has provided the first literal inside look at Apple's iPad, posting 17 photos of its teardown of the new device. The pictures are believed to have been taken as part of the FCC's certification process, under which the iPad gets a seal of approval that its stray electronic emissions are within acceptable limits.
The FCC teardown pictures (click on image at right to see the entire gallery) reveal a tightly laid-out core, as one would expect from a computer of this caliber. Along with Lithium-Ion batteries and flex connectors, the photos reveal some of the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi innards.
The main logic board (photos 9 through 12) is well shielded. The FCC shots cover the manufacturer names stamped on the board's integrated circuits, on the theory that that's confidential information. However, MacRumors has sussed out the fact that the main processor is an Apple A4. This is a system-on-chip processor, based on the ARM architecture, and manufactured by Samsung. (You can read more about the how the A4 is packed onto the iPad's main logic board, over at Engadget, here.)
My quick take on the teardown is that it's fair to say that Apple once again has demonstrated its predilection for innovative packaging over groundbreaking technology. This is not a criticism, but simply a reflection on the fact that there's nothing in the iPad which would make it difficult for a rival -- HP, say -- to create a similar PC-side device.
Indeed, given that frenzy surrounding Saturday's iPad release was, if anything, more over the top than expected, one wonders if PC makers haven't already missed the boat. Personally, I think we will indeed see some PC-like mirrors of the iPad. That'll expand the slate category from an Apple-centric niche into a broader market band, which could likely shunt the netbook aside.