Teardown: Apple’s new AirPort Extreme is extremely easy to disassemble

“Our teardown artists kept the midnight oil a’burning to take apart the AirPort Extreme — Apple’s first ever 802.11ac wireless base station,” Julia reports for iFixit.

“And, we’ll tell you this for free: the AirPort Extreme totally lives up to its name. It’s extremely tall and extremely easy to disassemble,” Julia reports. “This little tower of power pops right open with a couple twists of the metal spudger, and we didn’t encounter more than just a dab of glue inside the device. Modular components make the rest of the disassembly process a breeze, earning the AirPort Extreme an extremely solid 8 out of 10 on our repairability scale.”

Julia reports, “In fact, the Extreme performed so well that it lands itself a spot alongside the two most repairable Apple products in recent history: the Apple TV and the Mac Mini.

Apple's redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi for up to three times faster performance
Apple’s redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi for up to three times faster performance

Read more and check out all the gory dissected innards in the full article here.


  1. I am outraged when analysts compared Apple’s innovation vs Mc.Donald proving how stupid analysts are, they are not in the same sector. How can they compare apple with orange?. just simply beyond stupid!

  2. I may be wrong. I thought the old AirPort Extreme could handle a lot more than 50 users. My box is in storage so I’m not sure. 50 is the same as the express. Apple does not say if you can extend it with other airports, something you could do with the last one. I know 50 is a lot, even for a small business. However a mid size business, like a restaurant this is a small number. With more connected devices this could be limiting. It makes it less of a pro device, just when they show they are still in the pro market. Otherwise it’s cool.

    1. You can extend it with the Expresses. Just set them up as bridges, not routers. However, the Expresses will only run in “n” not “ac”.

      It is possible you might not need to extend the new Extreme though as it does active beam forming to ac devices significantly increasing its effective range to those devices.

  3. It’s interesting that the hard drive (if it’s a Time Capsule), as well as the boards, fit diagonally. But it makes sense, because the diagonal cross section of a “box” is that largest. When I read the dimensions, I wondered how they got a 3.5-inch hard drive to fit inside… (I guessed diagonally.)

    Based on the simple take-apart steps and the empty bracket for the hard drive, you may be able to buy the “base station” with no hard drive and add your own to turn it into a Time Capsule.

  4. I don’t get it.
    How high is this thing? On the picture it looks like 30 cm that would be … Odd… Looks like that joke video for the iPhone 5 with the extremely tall screen but for the Airport.

    1. It’s about half that high, at 16.8 cm. The “square” is the exact same size as Apple TV (and also AirPort Express base station), at 9.8 cm on a side. So, it’s taller but with a much smaller “footprint” than the old AirPort Extreme base station (or Time Capsule).

      Also, in terms of reception, it probably better for the antenna to have verticality, especially to do that “beamforming” trick.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.