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While the new iPad mini 3 was more of a minor refresh compared to the iPad Air 2, it does add some notable new features like the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. iFixit also found some other tweaks made to the device on the inside:
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.)
Apart from the additional glue on the home button making for more difficult screen repairs, iFixit notes the rest of the device is almost identical and thus earns the same low 2/10 repairability score as the previous generation.
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… 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 teardown also reveals a NFC chip that we’ve confirmed with sources is for use as the Secure Element in Apple Pay for in-app purchases only on the new iPads. In addition, a 24.3-watt-hour 6471mAh battery is present which, unlike the iPad Air 2, is the same size as the previous generation.
The new Home button bracket for Touch ID can be seen below:
Chips and other components found in the iPad mini 3 that aren’t listed by Apple include:
– Apple A7 APL0698 SoC – SK Hynix H9CKNNN8KTARKR 1 GB LPDDR3 DRAM – 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
A teardown of the iPad Air 2 earlier this week revealed a number of minor tweaks and, as expected, an approximately 15% smaller battery compared to the previous generation Air.