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iPad mini teardown shows Samsung LCD, iPhone 5 parts

updated 12:47 pm EDT, Thu November 1, 2012

Lightning port makes room for stereo speakers

An iFixit teardown of the iPad mini reveals some notable details about the tablet. The display, for instance, is built by Samsung, despite the company's ongoing legal battles with Apple. Samsung has long supplied parts for Apple products though, and was the only company producing screens for the third-generation iPad.

The Mini is said to borrow some parts and manufacturing techniques from the iPhone 5, such as a Murata Wi-Fi module, and the use of a metal plate behind the screen, held in place by screws. A metal plate can also be found behind the screen of the fifth-generation iPod touch.

There are also said to be some notable points about the Mini's Lightning connector. Moving from 30-pin to Lightning has given Apple "just enough space" to put in a second speaker, iFixit points out, making it the first iPad with stereo. The connector is fused to the logic board though, a design change which could make repairs "very expensive." The speakers are themselves held in place by what iFixit says are some of the smallest screws it has ever seen.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    Repairability is in the eye of the beholder. iPad and iPad Mini construction and serviceability are issues for Apple to deal with. Apple has obviously done a reliability analysis to determine which components should be able to be removed individually and which ones should not. Clearly, these products work fine with respect to Apple's servicing process which apparently is based on modular replacement rather than component repairs. I imagine when Apple refurbishes products, they would much rather replace an entire motherboard than waste time with component-level replacement. This kind of design allows for quick service turnarounds and reduces the probability of the same fault occurring again because the wrong component was replaced.

    Keeping the designs optimized for Apple's servicing model makes sense. There is no reason iPads should be designed for third-party tinkering or component-level repairs. The fewer parts an unauthorized person can change, the better the reliability of the product. An iPod, iPhone, or iPad, should be more like an appliance and less of a device for tinkering.

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