The new iPad Pro 11” sports narrower bezels, curvy LCD corners, and cutting edge silicon. This is apparently the iPad Apple dreamed about building from the very beginning, but what we dream about is a device that is easy to repair. Will this iPad fulfill both dreams, or will ours be left in the pipe? There’s only one way to tell—with a teardown!

Catch our Tweets, or drift through our Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up with the latest Teardown news!

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iPad Pro 11", use our service manual.

  1. Let's take a look at what sets this Pro iPad apart from its amateur peers:
    • Let's take a look at what sets this Pro iPad apart from its amateur peers:

      • Fully laminated, 11", LED-backlit, Oxide TFT Liquid Retina display with 2388 × 1668 resolution (264 ppi), featuring ProMotion Technology

      • Octa-core Apple A12X Bionic custom processor, with M12 motion coprocessor and integrated 7-core GPU

      • 12 MP rear camera with 4K video recording at 60 fps, and 7 MP TrueDepth camera with 1080p video

      • Self-balancing, four-speaker audio

      • Face ID, five microphones, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, barometer, and 3-axis gyro

      • 802.11a/​b/​g/​n/​ac dual band MIMO Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0

      • 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB of on-board storage

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  2. With each passing year, Apple seemingly gets closer to realizing its dream of selling a blank slab of glass with its logo on the back.
    • With each passing year, Apple seemingly gets closer to realizing its dream of selling a blank slab of glass with its logo on the back.

    • It's a good thing we've got X-rays on tap from Creative Electron, or this would just look like a black rectangle.

    • As always, the darkest areas in the X-ray image represent dense materials that absorb more X-rays—usually magnets, such as those used in speakers and for clip-on accessories.

    • We're seeing considerably more of those than usual here.

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    • Visual inspection time. Above the newly repositioned Smart Connector, we have a new model number: A1980.

    • Compared with its 10.5" predecessor, it looks about the same, and the lost .2 mm are hard to spot due to the squared-off edges.

    • Final notes before we dive in: no headphone jack ☹, USB-C port (non-Thunderbolt) in place of Lightning, and a long dark oval to charge the new Pencil.

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    • We loved the experience of cutting through all the glue to open our first iPad, and it has never gotten old.

      • This statement is brought to you by the Coalition of Sarcastic Tinkerers and National Opposite Day.

    • It helps to be practiced at this, but these extra-thin bezels make it even a bit more harrowing than usual. Heat, carve, hold your breath, and hope nothing breaks.

    • It turns out the case is a little thicker around the Pencil charging area—we started prying there and quickly regretted it.

    • On the plus side, the display's ribbon cables are a safe distance from the bezels—but they're also spread out in a way that makes display removal really awkward.

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    • Those cables aren't safe quite yet, as we're forced to lay the display at a weird angle and hopefully not damage anything while we disconnect them.

    • We put our Phillips driver to work releasing both cable connectors.

    • Now we see what those X-rays were trying to show us! One thing that immediately stands out is the iPad's quartet of speakers.

      • Four woofers and four tweeters, for a total of eight speakers, make for a Netflix powerhouse—because even professionals need a break sometimes.

    Is there a reason for empty space in the body of the iPad? Prevent interference or damage from the wireless charging unit?

    Matt - Ответить

    The space is reserved for Display cable/PCB. You can refer to the X-Ray photos and the screen assembly

    Orange Chen -

    • Here's the new Liquid Retina display—scaled up from when we first saw it, and packing the same awesome 120 Hz refresh rate we saw on the last iPad Pro.

    • The fancy new display brings some chips along with it too:

      • Parade Technologies DP825 timing controller (the same one we saw on the iPad Pro 10.5”)

      • Texas Instruments TPS65158 (maybe a variation of the TPS65168 LCD Bias IC)

      • Intersil 24883A D826AB

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    • Anxious for our first glimpse of that A12Xbox chip, we peel away the logic board cover next.

    • Yuck—as always, the board is secured with adhesive, and it's made even fussier by the speakers, which block almost all prying access.

    • But we're impatient, and soon victorious. The logic board triumphantly emerges from the canyon betwixt the battery cells.

      • That Netflix prowess comes at a price.

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  3. Spread Fixmas Cheer
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    Spread Fixmas Cheer
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    • After all that, we're rewarded with some silicon:

      • Apple APL1083 A12X Bionic SoC

      • Toshiba TSB3247M61710TWNA1 flash storage (64 GB total)

      • 2x Micron 8MBT9 D9WHG RAM (4 GB total)

      • NXP 100VB27 NFC controller

      • Apple / USI 339S00551 Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module

      • 2x Broadcom BCM15900B0KWFBG touch screen controller

      • Texas Instruments CD3215C00 power controller

    Looks like there's is a reserved space for second nand storage chip. I wonder if in future storage updates would be possible?

    Rok - Ответить

    The space is likely to be filled if you bought the higher capacity iPad Pro option. This is the lowest capacity option, so there is a free pad.

    Arthur Shi -

    Wonder if that RAM is upgradeable…?

    Zhao Su - Ответить

    More interesting is that the DRAM looks like it’s mounted on the same substrate as the A12X (ie not directly on the PCB like earlier iPads), so slightly closer to the PoP of iPhones. Is the substrate Si, or something else with lower capacitance than PCB?

    name99 - Ответить

    It is not PoP package(Package-on-Package) . From the photo of A12X, it should not be PoP package(processor is next to two memory chips). Is that TSMC’s InFo or CoWos package technology?

    JJ Wu -

    Yes, that substrate is super-interesting. We need benchmarks comparing RAM bandwidth between this and the prior-gen iPads. What’s next for Apple … HBM?

    dglow - Ответить

    HBM can provide higher BW. But, from power consumption, most likely, it can not be. LPDDR4x can provide lower power consumption menory solution for mobile devices, such as iPad.

    JJ Wu -

    So for the 6GB of RAM in the 1TB version, it is likely there is 1x4GB and 1x2GB DRAM chips, or might Apple have actually put 8GB of RAM, but only expose 6GB for user apps ?

    perhaps the extra 2GB would used by the storage controller so it can manage the extra 512GB of storage ?

    Any plans to tear down the 1TB version ?

    Dan G - Ответить

    Any idea what the “gold strips” on the front bottom and back are? Grounding pads?

    jimwitte - Ответить

    I wonder what’s the minimum storage option that will start having a second NAND chip (assuming that empty space will indeed be covered with a second NAND chip in other size options).

    Jailbreaking Bad - Ответить

    • These chips can't be contained to just one step, so here are some more:

      • STMicroelectronics STB601A0 PMIC

      • 343S00252-A0 1834PHHE

      • 343S00257-A0 1834PHGI

      • 343S00248-A0 1835NHGY

      • 343S00235 88A49H8 D TI

      • P13DPXT2 05A12LBE 1832GC

    Pretty sure the last one is a Pericom / Diodes Incorporated PI3DPX1205A USB 3.1 / DisplayPort 1.4 Alternate Mode 10 Gbps Type-C Active Mux / Linear Re-driver (or something similar): https://www.diodes.com/products/connecti...

    repoman27 - Ответить

    • Battery time! We were not fans of last year's iPads, which skipped out on the stretch-release battery tabs.

    • This year, pull tabs are back in style—six U-shaped strips this time! Each strip has two tabs, giving fixers a second chance should one of them break. Neat!

      • Maybe we pegged this iPad all wrong. It was painful to open, but these adhesive strips pull out buttery smooth

    • But the smooth stops there. A huge patch of supergoop runs all the way down the left side. Sigh. Time to break out the pry tools.

      • We were left speechless. Why would Apple do this? We could only hypothesize that the adhesive is there for "rigidity reinforcement".

    • This iPad's powered by a 7812 mAh battery running at 3.77 V, for 29.45 Wh—a slight downgrade from the 30.8 Wh pack in the 10.5" iPad Pro, and a lot smaller than the most recent Microsoft Surface Pro's 45 Wh battery.

    They should put the U shaped strips on iPhones

    Malcolm Hall - Ответить

    “We were left speechless. Why would Apple do this?”

    Those speakers pack a load of low bass.

    component vibrations are out.

    Alex Bowden - Ответить

    That is definitely a possibility. However, we were confused as to why Apple would choose to use stretch adhesives in conjunction with it, and why it’s only one one side of the battery…the left side. We found a similar band of super-adhesive in the same location on the new 2018 iPad Pro 12.9”.

    Arthur Shi -

    Very weird. Is it possible that Apple repair techs use an adhesive dissolving solution? Would make the repair “easy” for them while keeping the batteries solidly in place.

    Colin Stalter - Ответить

    “We were left speechless. Why would Apple do this?”

    Plan: make a go of it with the strips. Late testing reveals strips don’t hold as well as hoped. The fix: add supergoop.

    dglow - Ответить

    • Next up, making its debut in the iPad: Face ID.

    • More specifically, this is the same basic hardware we've seen since iPhone X—IR dot projector, selfie camera, and IR camera—but in a slightly modified form factor.

    • While we're at it, we fish out the rear camera—which Apple says brings the same performance as the camera from the previous iPads, while being re-engineered for more thinness.

    Where’s the flood illuminator?

    Alex - Ответить

    It’s part of the front assembly, see Step 6.

    MrUNIMOG -

    The IR dot projector IS the flood illuminator.

    Michael Jones - Ответить

    No it isn’t. Those are two separate components, just like on iPhone.

    The IR flood illuminator sits right between the FaceTime- and IR-camera and is probably part of the front assembly, while the IR dot projector is way off to the right of the FaceTime camera as seen above.

    MrUNIMOG -

    Why would they remove the OIS if they’re still going to have a camera bump? I thought the *reason* for the bump was because the OIS required it (though that doesn’t explain it for the iPod/iPhone’s that don’t have OIS). Does OIS make it too big in terms of die size?

    jimwitte - Ответить

    • Let's remove those speakers, shall we?

    • That's easier said than tear-done. The housings are carved right into the aluminum case, and were clearly never meant to be removed. Digging them out takes a ton of heat and willpower.

      • The tweeters come out without a fight but the woofer drivers are pretty much toast—hope they're made of never-fail-ium!

    • Hiding within the speaker chamber; more magnets! If we had a nickel for every magnet in here, we could melt them all down and make a giant novelty nickel.

    Any idea why so many magnets? That looks like 12 in the housing on the right side, but only one voice coil with the one large one in the middle. What are the 3x3 array on the left, and the 2x1 array on the right for?

    jimwitte - Ответить

    • Next to come out is the Pencil charging board, with its copper charging coils attached.

      • While it's technically out, it's not without casualty...

    • Tiny capacitors and other board bits go flying in protest as we remove the shields. Are we sorry? No we're not.

    • What's this we see, hiding in the corner? It's an STMicroelectronics STM32L476JGY6 ARM Cortex MCU.

    Those flying board bits are the Chinese spy chips trying to evade identification. Conspiracy theorists discuss…

    Troy Tadych - Ответить

    Do you think it would be possible to "extend” the charging coil from outside so that pencil could be charged without removing from a case? I’m very unfamiliar with how coil charging works so this may be a totally stupid question. In the simplest terms I’m thinking of just a piece that fits on the outside of the ipad case where the pencil would go, and extends it about 5mm into the hole on most of the cases that are currently available.

    Chimera - Ответить

    Technically, that is possible, and one could even build it into a case. You could place something made of iron in a specific shape that would couple and extend the magnetic field out. Efficiency would drop based on how well it’s implemented though. But, this wouldn’t be necessary if the case material is thin.

    Arthur Shi -

    • Last to come out is the USB-C port—which unlike previous iPads, is fully modular.

      • Technically previous iPads didn't have USB-C at all—but they had Lightning ports for the same purpose, and those were soldered to the logic board.

    • This is a high-wear component, so the ability to replace it independently of the main board is a nice repair win.

    • It might not be a win for people who are heavily invested in Lightning, but our message to those people is: At least USB-C offers faster throughput in a standardized, non-proprietary form factor.

    • About the only things left in the chassis are a whole ton of nickels magnets.

    Anyone has an idea what's the pinout of “smart connector”?

    Rok - Ответить

    “At least USB-C offers faster throughput in a standardized, non-proprietary form factor.”

    At least Lightening could configure itself to carry analogue audio at an adequate power level for headphones.

    Alex Bowden - Ответить

    The Lightning spec has never allowed analog passthrough, to the best of my knowledge—it’s all digital. If it could carry an analog signal, you wouldn’t need a DAC embedded in the headphone dongle. USB-C headphones in general are definitely kind of a mess right now though.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    “At least Lightening could configure itself to carry analogue audio at an adequate power level for headphones.”

    Do you mean that this cannot? https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MU7E2...

    dglow - Ответить

    Lightning plugs have all of their contacts exposed, and users inevitably touch them, depositing skin salts and oils that together with the electrical current over time causes corrosion of the plugs and the device’s internal contacts. USB-C ought to be much more reliable in the long term because users can’t casually touch any of the contacts. Lightning cables also have an extremely high failure rate at the point where the cable attaches to the connector, with broken conductors and/or insulators.

    irvbromberg - Ответить

    USB-C also can handle much higher current and much faster data rate than Lightning.

    irvbromberg - Ответить

    And USB-C allows for hard drives, Ethernet, monitors, DSLRs, CD/BluRay drives - if anyone uses them - CD seems basically dead - is BluRay on its way out too?

    jimwitte - Ответить

    Just about. It’ll be replaced by SD’s or small SSD’s, which will likely be followed by holochrons.

    Jacob Faseler -

    • Bonus round: we also picked up the new Apple Pencil.

    • We can already tell, based on the number of visible entry points (read: zero), that this isn't going to be pretty. (Again.)

    • Let's start with an X-ray before things get messy.

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    • Okay so technically there is one entry point, but we all know nothing's getting in through that tip.

      • The tip is actually the one thing that is compatible with the previous model—if you bought a new iPad this year and want a Pencil, get ready to spend some more money.

    • With the tip removed, we go straight for the big guns. Bring out the ultrasonic blade!

    • When the dust settles, a metal rod emerges from the Apple-white plastic shell.

    • Looking around, we spot the new wireless charging getup, some magnets, a black sheath, and a wounded teardown engineer. ☹

      • Only one engineer was harmed in the making of this teardown.

    We tried pairing the old Pencil to the new iPad by using a Lightning to USB-C connector, but the iPad refuses to acknowledge the old Pencil.

    Arthur Shi - Ответить

    We honor the engineer’s sacrifice

    Juan Martinez - Ответить

    how did he get cut? I thought iFixit was safe!

    Jack Johnson - Ответить

    “She” actually =) I was wearing safety goggles, but unfortunately my hands weren’t wearing armor.

    Sam Lionheart -

    Is there a technical reason why the new pencil couldn’t be backward compatible to the first-gen iPad Pro? Or to allow for wireless charging on the old iPads, could Apple have made a thin smart-connector accessory that would get power from the smart connector and then have the necessary Qi-like charging coil to transmit to the ApplePen2. That would be a problem for the first gen non-Pro iPad, which doesn’t have a smart connector - but it could also have a lightning plug in the center.)

    It seems that “buy the pencil now, upgrade to a new iPad pro later when you have the 2K to do so” marketing strategy might work. Though if you’re going to drop 2K on a new iPad, 0.12K for a new pencil really isn’t that much I guess.

    jimwitte - Ответить

    • A large black ribbon cable unfurls from around the Pencil body, revealing what looks like a capacitative grid!

      • This is likely used to register tap inputs, but this grid ought to help the Pencil know where—not just when—you tap. Could more complex gestures be on the way?

    • Unfortunately, it's back to destruction from here—the Pencil's many welded steel layers put up quite a fight, and we're only able to reveal a few components.

      • Battery (even we don't want to tempt that little explosive)

      • Wireless charging coil

      • Alignment magnets

      • Broadcom 59358A0 touch controller

      • Custom Apple 343S00250 IC

    What is the gold piece at the end of the pen? My dog chewed mine off. Its still working ;)

    d c woodley - Ответить

    The logic board features a SoC ARM chip from Nordic Semi that has Bluetooth 5 and NFC capabilities - see this article in Macworld Norge (Norway).

    Arno Vaa - Ответить

    I’m surprised the Apple IC (blue) doesn’t have “P2” on it (P for “pencil”).. How does the “tap” work - is it a tap of the pen tip on a surface, or a finger tap/squeeze on the barrel of the pencil itself? The capacitance grid looks like it’s separated into “square-like-areas” (9x6 it looks like). Could this be to allow for multi-touch on different places? Something like different brushes in a graphics app depending on where you held the pen? (Say holding it with index and thumb - close to the tip end for a writing tool, middle for something like a paintbrush , or the “erase” end for something like a “spray-paint” or dodge/burn brush).

    Or (either as an Apple joke, or a third-party joke) use said hypothetical multi-touch capacity to turn the Apple Pencil into a kazoo/flute? (Or a Ressikan flute penny whistle for the Star Trek fans?). But that would need a separate tip or some device to pick up the signals and transmit them over a longer distance - or does the Apple Pencil use “normal range” Bluetooth?

    jimwitte - Ответить

    Been wondering at the battery capacity of this thing. It seems to discharge much faster than the previous generation, but also charges much faster. I had a hopeful guess that maybe it was a capacitor and not lithium, increasing longevity and justifying the odd capacity quirks.

    Jono Spiro - Ответить

    DNB Markets, DNB Bank ASA deeper and more brutal teardwon actually. There is a nRF52832 Bluetooth Low Energy chip from Nordic Semiconductor in there. Here is a ref from IHS. https://twitter.com/LeeRatliff/status/10...

    Body Double - Ответить

    • This iPad Pro is no mo'—we've broken it down to its constituent parts!

    • It's hard to tell if this is a good Apple, or a bad one. There's a modular USB-C port and stretch-release battery adhesive, but it's still mostly glued together and a strip of tough conventional adhesive also secures the battery.

    • It looks like Apple is trying to change, but the voice on the other shoulder was a little louder than the repairability angel this time around. That said, with all of Apple's late 2018 products showing some improvement, we're hoping the repairability angel is gaining influence.

    Can you highlight the magnet locations? Maybe tear down the keyboard or folio case? Interested to know where the focus of the magnetic contact are. Might help with future case designs.

    Marc Ceres - Ответить

    For magnets, you can’t do much better than the X-ray image in Step 2.

    Jeff Suovanen -

  4. Final Thoughts
    • The USB-C port is modular and can be independently replaced.
    • The lack of a physical home button eliminates a common failure point and may simplify repairs.
    • The battery is secured with both easier-to-remove stretch-release tabs and conventional, non-removable adhesive.
    • The LCD and front panel glass are fused together—simplifying the opening procedure, but increasing the cost of repair.
    • Gobs of adhesive hold most everything in place, making all repairs more difficult.
    Уровень ремонтопригодности
    Repairability 3 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)

Комментариев: 27

Just a question on how these 2-cell batteries work…

If I’m on 50% battery charge, will both “sides” be half-full or will one be completely depleted?

Chris - Ответить

The 2 cells are connected in parallel so they both drain at the same rate.

zai fuchigami -

With the 1TB model having 6GB, is that achieved with a higher capacity part or is there space for a third RAM chip?

Tom - Ответить

As I noticed the ram is installed on chip, it is unlikely there will be enough space for a third one

Orange Chen -

So either the 1TB version uses two 3GB RAM chips (not sure this size exists), or the A12X on the 1TB version offers up the additional 2GB internally, or the flash controller contains 2GB RAM that somehow gets mapped into the OS (doubt this). I have the 1TB version and am just curious how this is implemented.

tskwara -

There were 3GB LPDDR4 RAM chip offered by Samsung and were used in the iPhone 8 Plus. Not sure if it will be the case of the iPad Pro, but 3GB RAM did exist.

Orange Chen -

24 Gb (3 GB) LPDDR4X packages are definitely a thing, so most likely just two of those.

repoman27 -

Why did you not mention the amount of RAM used in this model ?

Pranay - Ответить

It said that there is 4GB in total

Orange Chen -

Concerning this picture from step 5: https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

Is there really so much unused/empty space on the left side of the enclosure or am I missing something here?

And could you provide the battery ratings for Apple Pencil 2?

Simon - Ответить

If you look at the XRay photo and the screen assembly, you will find that these space are reserved for display cables.

Orange Chen -

Indeed, the display panel’s logic board occupies this space. In the last iPad Pro teardown, however, no extra space was needed.

Simon -

Well, in the iPad Pro 10.5 inch model this empty space is located on the bottom side of the enclosure.

Simon -

My guess is that it’s a loudspeaker enclosure, among other things it helps make the sound more punchy and less tinny from the 4 woofers


Paul Cooper -

How did they get all those parts into the pencil?

Gadget Revue - Ответить

Magic, Elves and Fairies at the FoxConn factory. All of the above have small hands! ;-)

Vuong Pham -

Custom engineered enveloping and machining.

Alexander Le - Ответить

An apple shop representative in Miami, told me that, the 1tb model iPad Pro is on par with this you opened up and all the others, about the ram, so it is just 4gb.

she said the 6gb ram on the 1tb iPad Pro is only a rumor.

Has anyone evidence of this 6gb ram? If I can be sure about it I would buy that size of memory..

Syme - Ответить

This firstly comes from Xcode which implies that there is a new iDevice with 6GB RAM, and it is very likely to be the new iPad Pro, as none of those iPhones get 6GB RAM.

GeekBench indicates that there are 4 models of iPad Pros has 6GB Memory: iPad8,2,iPad8,4,iPad8,6 and iPad8,8.

All of those models have “x“ in the Mother Board model name, and those names somehow connect from each other, for example: “J317xAP“ for iPad8,2; “J318xAP“ for iPad8,4; etc, and iPad8,8 got “J321xAP”.

In contrast, the ones with 4GB RAM do not have “x” in their Motherboard name. For example, iPad8,7 got “J321AP“, indicates that model is similar to iPad8,8, but the latter is an “enhanced x“ version.

Refer to https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/sea...

Orange Chen -

So what about the12.9 inch one?would you like to tear down? I want to make a comparison.

Jakleos - Ответить

What type of aluminium is the iPad Pro made from?

Lyall Meintjes - Ответить

What about the extra Holes in this new iPad? There is one on the display front, right next to the FaceID Camera. And there is one on the left side in the middle. First i thought it is the SIM tray removal hole… but: i am using the WiFi model…

Henry M. (WEissbr0t) - Ответить

Microphones. The iPad has multiple mics to help with noice cancellation and for Hey Siri functionality.

djfriar -

The ability of the Face ID to work in both orientations is hw- or sw-based? Thanks.

Tomáš Baránek - Ответить

please uninstall all Magnets! Over 100.. new wight ? Nothing is netter than a lightweight Tablet

Markus Falk - Ответить

If you compare the 11-inch to the 10.5 inch last year, the wifi model is actually lighter.

This also applies to the 12.9 vs 12.9

So those magnets did not make the tablet heavier. If you are comparing the 12.9 inch this year with 10.5 inch last year, of cause it is heavier

Orange Chen -

Can anyone give a definitive answer as to if the 1tb version has 6gb ram please.

I'm a total non tech so forgive my lack of tech

But I've read many reviews and learnt a little

Even one of the messages above refers to Xcode 'implies'

Still nothing definitive

Others say the geekbench tests don't prove 6gb but suggest

Got thru to Apple managers of both CPU and IOS department

- unbelievably they don't have a clue!

…and even they agreed Apple should publicise their specs

We all get why they don't but still…

Still no certainty after over 3 weeks of rumours.

Plus much debate over whether it'll make any difference for any but the uber power users

So probably only solution is a tear down of a 1tb

Have I missed this?

Even a hi tech apple store guy I know well said ifixit had a tear down to prove the 6gb

..but all I can't find this.

Seems like the only definitive answer is a tear down

Is this going to happen guys?


JJ1 - Ответить

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