Apple’s iPad mini got the teardown treatment this morning, one day ahead of its official launch in stores. The diminutive tablet gave up its secrets to iFixit’s expert disassembly staff, revealing its complex inner workings to the camera. A lot of the parts are familiar, coming from either the iPhone 5 or MacBook Air, and Samsung makes a somewhat surprising appearance as an LCD panel supplier, something some early reports suggested Samsung would not be involved in supplying this component for this device.
Samsung is likely one of many display component suppliers Apple is using, but it suggests reports of the waning relationship between the two companies is at least exaggerated. There are few other surprises here, but we get a close-up look at the stereo speakers (Apple had confirmed already that these were present, despite Amazon’s suggestion they were left out), which is actually one area where the iPad mini even beats the Retina-sporting iPad (which has mono audio). iFixit also notes that the iPad mini’s battery is labeled in such a way that it isn’t exactly clear what kind of specs it boasts, but it definitely offers 4400mAh, and comes in at 50 percent less capacity than even the iPad 2. Still, early reviews suggest it lasts at least as long as both the iPad 2 and Retina iPad in actual use.
iFixit hasn’t weighed in on final repairability as of yet, but so far things aren’t looking good on that scale – The mini’s lightning port is soldered to the logic board, for instance, which isn’t the case on the iPad 3, which itself has a repairability score of 2 out of 10. iFixit’s teardown is still in progress, but we’ll update with its full repairability score when the process is complete, or you can follow along.
Update: So the final tally is 2 out of 10 for repairability, same as the full-sized iPad, since iFixit says it has some advantages over the iPad (battery not soldered to the logic board) but also some additional failings (hidden screws, soldered Lightning connector).