iPad Mini 3 Teardown: The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

Technology marches onward. Apple is refreshing huge swaths of its product line, with faster processors, more RAM, better cameras, and sleeker enclosures. Of course, one would expect the iPad Mini 3 to receive similar treatment. It’s now equipped with the A7 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 5 MP iSight camera. A year ago, your new iPad Mini with Retina Display only came with an A7 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 5 MP iSight camera…

So maybe the Mini fell out of step with technology’s march just a little. But hey, now you can use your new iPad Mini to pay for things (online, where supported). This is thanks to the inclusion of a Touch ID-equipped home button, hastily glued in place. Oh, and you can get the Mini in gold now.

Hot glue on the iPad Mini 3 during the teardown
Oh, hot glue! Didn’t expect to find you here.

The crummy cabling of the new home button wasn’t enough to earn the iPad Mini 3 a lower repairability score, but it was a close call. The Mini 3 inherits a 2 /10 repairability score from its older twin. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Teardown Highlights:

  • Differences between Mini 2 and Mini 3:
    • The iPad Mini 3 now supports Touch ID, to be used in conjunction with  Pay.
    • Larger storage capacity options.
    • Gold. So much gold. Gold everywhere.

• Yes—that is hot glue holding the home button bracket to the front panel. Good luck transferring that to your replacement glass. (Which you’re going to have to do, to keep the Touch ID functionality after a cracked screen repair.)

  • Chips and Dips:
    • Apple A7 APL0698 SoC
    • SK Hynix H2JTDG8UD1BMR 16 GB NAND Flash
    • Universal Scientific Industrial 339S0213 Wi-Fi Module
    • Apple 343S00004-A1
    • NXP Semiconductors 65V10 NFC Controller
    • NXP Semiconductors LPC18A1 (Apple M7 Motion Co-Processor)
    • Apple (Cirrus Logic) 338S1213 Audio Codec
    • Apple 338S1199
    • Fairchild Semiconductor FDMC6676BZ and FDCM6683 MOSFETs
    • NXP 1610A1 Display Interface IC