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Look inside the iPad mini with iFixit's teardown (update)

Look inside the iPad mini with iFixit's teardown (update)

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The iPad mini may look like a tiny version of the iPad, but what's going on inside? Over at iFixit, the team is tearing down Apple's new tablet. The mini shares some features with its larger counterpart, and taking it apart seems to be roughly as difficult: it's held together with adhesives, like the iPad with Retina display but not the original iPad. Despite an apparent cutback of parts from Samsung, the mini still apparently includes a Samsung display. The new Lightning connector also seems to be doing some good here: its reduced size has allowed for stereo speakers, something that Amazon previously touted as an advantage for its Kindle Fire HD. Unfortunately, it also has its disadvantages. While the old connector could be removed, the Lightning one is soldered to the logic board — not good news for anyone who needs either repaired.

As we already knew, the iPad mini runs on an A5 processor, rather than the newer and faster A6 used in the iPhone 5. Most of the other components aren't a surprise, and neither is the device's overall repairability: it doesn't have a fused display assembly like some other Apple products, and the battery isn't soldered in, but it's full of the adhesive we've now come to expect. While the iPad mini is considerably more expensive than competitors like the Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7, it's more difficult to replace parts if they break.

Update: We now have some additional information on the processor used in the iPad mini, care of Chipworks. According to its analysis, the iPad mini's A5 processor is still manufactured by Samsung — despite ongoing tensions between the two companies — and also utilizes a 32nm process, similar to currently-shipping models of the iPad 2. Given the overall similarity of the internals of the two devices, the discovery doesn't come as a big surprise — but we wouldn't be surprised to see Apple start to wean itself off as many Samsung components as possible with further iterations of the iPad family.