Retina iPad mini teardown reveals larger battery, display supplied by LG

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A breakdown of Apple's second generation 7.9-inch tablet shows some slight adjustments to its construction and marginally less powerful components than its larger sibling, the iPad Air.

Retina iPad mini teardown


The Retina display-equipped iPad mini features a new 2-cell, 24.3 watt-hour battery design, compared to the single cell, 16.5 watt-hour part found in its predecessor, according to repair firm iFixit. The larger battery mitigates the increased power consumption of the new Retina display and is the likely cause of the new iPad mini's extra 0.3 millimeters of girth.

Apple's latest A7 processor has also been ported to the new slate. The iPad mini's chip is the same 1.29 gigahertz model found in the iPhone 5s, rather than the beefier 1.4 gigahertz variant that ships with the iPad Air.

Retina iPad mini teardown


Like the iPad Air, the new mini sports a 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution on its Retina display, and is driven by a similar Parade-manufactured LCD driver. The mini also borrows the separate LCD and digitizer configuration found in Apple's other tablets.

Also like the iPad Air, USI appears to have replaced Murata as the supplier for the iPad mini's Wi-Fi controller chip. The move is likely related to the tablets' use of MIMO, or muliple-input, multiple-output, Wi-Fi technology.

Retina iPad mini teardown


Finally, the logic board layout has been slightly altered. What used to be a patch of blank PCB in the Wi-Fi only models -- where the cellar radios would be in the cellular-equipped variant --?is now a cut out in the shape of a rounded rectangle. iFixit speculates this change may be a play to reduce as much weight as possible in order to compensate for the larger battery and Retina display.

A list of chips found soldered to the Retina iPad mini's logic board:
  • Apple A7
  • Elpida F8164A1PD 1 GB LPDDR3 DRAM
  • Apple M7
  • Toshiba THGBX2G7B2JLA01 16 GB NAND flash
  • B334 STMicro MEMS accelerometer/gyroscope
  • Apple 338S1213 Cirrus Audio Codec
  • Apple 338S1199 Audio Amplifiers
  • Apple 343S0656-A1 Dialog Power Management IC
  • Fairchild Semiconductor FDMC6676BZ and FDCM6683 MOSFETs
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    Even the internals have rounded rectangles!
  • Reply 2 of 56
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Apple's latest A7 processor has also been ported to the new slate.

    why are you calling it a slate? has apple ever called it a slate? do you know what a slate is?
  • Reply 3 of 56
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    For some of the components inside, there might be slight mfg differences since Apple likes to have a couple of suppliers whenever possible, so it's very possible that some component mfg might change.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    1) I don't think it's most accurate to call the A7 in the iPad Air "beefier" since it's the same chip. I'd simply say the iPad Air's chip is faster or the iPad Mini's chip is clocked lower.

    2) I'm surprised Apple isn't fusing the displays and glass together to allow it to be thinner and make it better for outdoor use. If this was done it may have beaten the Kindle Fire HDX in that one display shoot out.

    3) I don't recall the iPad Mini getting WiFI MIMO during the event, only the iPad Air. Good news if that's the case.

    4) Does that really save enough weight per unit to make a difference? Could there be another reason, like recycling that material which could make a difference when added to many millions of units?

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/34909/width/350/height/700[/IMG]
  • Reply 5 of 56
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    No IGZO on this, yet it is on the iPad Air.  That will lead to more improvements once they add that- I wonder if they'll add it as production slows for both the Air and Mini

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akqies View Post



    I'm surprised Apple isn't fusing the displays and glass together to allow it to be thinner and make it better for outdoor use. If this was done it may have beaten the Kindle Fire HDX in that one display shoot out.

     

    I'm surprised about this also.  They do it for the iPhone, but not the iPad Air or Mini.  It would not only be a slightly better pricture (with no air space), but it would also be a hair thinnei

  • Reply 6 of 56

    "extra 0.3 millimeters of girth."  I don't think you know what girth means.  Thickness and girth are two different measurements.

  • Reply 7 of 56
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    andysol wrote: »
    No IGZO on this, yet it is on the iPad Air.  That will lead to more improvements once they add that- I wonder if they'll add it as production slows for both the Air and Mini.

    I don't think the IGZO question has been answered yet for the mini. So far it's only Raymond Soneira who's said the Air uses IGZO. It's like everybody is afraid of approaching the subject. Gruber won't touch it, Dilger does no diligence, Elmer-DeWitt, pftt! Very strange, these journalists.
  • Reply 8 of 56

    ?I think of all Apple products, iPad Mini Retina might have the highest value for money. I wonder what's the margin.

  • Reply 9 of 56

    Where's Samsung? That's some fantastic news.

    And LG on screens.

  • Reply 10 of 56
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacAir View Post

     

    Where's Samsung? That's some fantastic news.

    And LG on screens.


    Apple A7

  • Reply 11 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

     

    Apple A7


    Are they manufacturing every single A7? That sucks.

  • Reply 12 of 56
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    I don't think the IGZO question has been answered yet for the mini. So far it's only Raymond Soneira who's said the Air uses IGZO. It's like everybody is afraid of approaching the subject. Gruber won't touch it, Dilger does no diligence, Elmer-DeWitt, pftt! Very strange, these journalists.

    Why is everyone so obsessed over IGZO?  I love my Air.  Screen looks great and battery life is awesome.  I could care less if it's IGZO or not.

  • Reply 13 of 56
    flaneur wrote: »
    I don't think the IGZO question has been answered yet for the mini. So far it's only Raymond Soneira who's said the Air uses IGZO. It's like everybody is afraid of approaching the subject. Gruber won't touch it, Dilger does no diligence, Elmer-DeWitt, pftt! Very strange, these journalists.

    I find that funny. For one thing, it was this pink unicorn among haters for months. If the Air is indeed using IGZO, then you can't tell the difference, and of course it didn't help Apple win any display contests. Kind of like all these people who apologize for the Surface Pro saying "nobody in their right mind would buy one because they're waiting for some (insert future Intel code name here) chip" that was supposed to fix whatever deficiencies existed in the Surface Pro. Hilarious. The tech world is full of pink unicorns for the gadget geeks to wait for. Always waiting... Meanwhile, people are using their iPad Airs and getting lots of value out of them.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    rogifan wrote: »
    Why is everyone so obsessed over IGZO?  I love my Air.  Screen looks great and battery life is awesome.  I could care less if it's IGZO or not.

    It's a pink unicorn to focus attention on some supposed deficiency in the iPad. Very common meme among haters and trolls. "The iPad doesn't have _______!"

    I'm surprised they aren't saying they're "disappointed" the iPad doesn't have the non-existent A7X chip, because if it did, it would be so much "better." Oh wait, I think they did say that... :)
  • Reply 15 of 56
    Should market it as 100% Samsung-free!
  • Reply 16 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post



    Should market it as 100% Samsung-free!

    Samsung manufactures the A7 processor…the brains of the device.

  • Reply 17 of 56
    hillstones wrote: »
    Samsung manufactures the A7 processor…the brains of the device.
    Okay, then 90% Samsung-free. (Depending upon how you measure it–by weight, cost, volume, etc.).
  • Reply 18 of 56
    has anyone seen that the iPad mini (non-retina) is now listed as having a 23.4W battery by Apple??
    Did Apple increase the battery?
    Or is it typo?
  • Reply 19 of 56
    flaneur wrote: »
    I don't think the IGZO question has been answered yet for the mini. So far it's only Raymond Soneira who's said the Air uses IGZO. It's like everybody is afraid of approaching the subject. Gruber won't touch it, Dilger does no diligence, Elmer-DeWitt, pftt! Very strange, these journalists.

    I know Soneira is considered an "expert" but there is something about all his tests and writings that make me question his claims that it's actually IGZO.

    rogifan wrote: »
    Why is everyone so obsessed over IGZO?  I love my Air.  Screen looks great and battery life is awesome.  I could care less if it's IGZO or not.

    It has plenty of value as a technology, just like we were wanting IPS over TN when the iPhone 3GS and 2011 MBPs had it. If including indium gallium zinc oxide allows for faster refresh, higher resolution displays (for the cost), lower power use, more backlight through more transparent transistors, and a better overall display then why not want it?

    sog35 wrote: »
    Bottom line:

    Air has slightly better screen
    Slightly faster CPU
    slightly longer battery life

    Makes sense since it is $100 more expensive.

    The cost comes from a larger display (even though somewhat offset by a lower cost per square inch due to the less dense PPI), larger backlight, larger battery, larger casing, larger box and materials which additionally take up more space for shipping and storing and add more weight for shipping (although this may be less per cubed inch due to the extra box space), and possibly some different components that are either more costly for various reasons, like the potential for larger stereo speakers.
  • Reply 20 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

     

    Samsung manufactures the A7 processor…the brains of the device.


    Looks like you are trying to give Samsung credit for the A7. Don't, they have 0.

    They have credit for making what they are told to make faster than the others.

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