iPad mini teardown reveals Samsung display; stereo speakers

What do you get when you cram an iPad into a smaller and lighter frame?

iFixIt fired up their trusty iOpener and took a look. “The iPad Mini has not one, but two speaker grilles to pump out its mini beats,” iFixIt reports. “Don’t let the iPhone 5’s dual grilles fool you; the Mini is the first handheld iDevice to house stereo speakers.”

“Though the markings on the back of the LCD don’t turn up much information, the Samsung display driver IC [W1235 S6TNMR1X01] reveals that Apple once again went with Samsung in its display manufacturing,” iFixIt reports. “Apple has reportedly been working to move away from Samsung as a primary supplier, so it’s somewhat surprising to see a Samsung LCD inside. With that said, Apple often relies on multiple suppliers for a single component, meaning there’s quite likely other LCD manufacturers lurking inside other iPad Minis.”

iFixIt reports, “The iPad Mini inherited the connector-fastened battery from its larger sibling, not the soldered-in battery found in the iPod Touch… the Mini does indeed sport stereo speakers. In this one regard, the Mini outdoes the still-mono Retina iPad.”

More info and all of the gruesome dissection photos in the full article here.

36 Comments

  1. Stereo speakers are great and all, and I’d buy an iPad mini long before I’d buy a Nexus or Kindle anything, but it seems like they’d be kind of useless when watching videos in landscape mode if they’re both on the same side of the device… Not sure what the solution would be – front-facing speakers at each corner that reorient the stereo as device orientation changes?

    1. Apparently, you may have missed some lectures in high school about physiology and physics. For humans to appreciate a ‘stereo’ signal, we need to have the signal sources at least as far apart as half the wavelength of the frequency we are interested in. Even with speakers placed in the average room (3 meters apart), we cannot discern the location of bass signals hence stereos use a single bass woofer located anywhere in the room.

  2. If people use the speakers in the device as the deciding factor in their purchase they need to have their head examined. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

  3. I am truly disappointed with iFixIt and their constant rant that Apple products are badly designed because Apple has integrated so many things that iFixIt used to be able to repair.

    If iFixit had their way, we would all be using huge cell phones from the 1980’s and keep repairing them for the next 50 years. Innovation seems to be something they would like for the next century.

    1. Why the hate for iFixit? I’ve depended on their teardown guides and purchased specialty tools from them for a couple of years. They are a great resource.

      What they offer is valuable enough that the rants about the difficult / integrated Apple components are nothing to complain about.

      1. Amen. Until and unless devices are so robust that repairs are uncessary and/or so inexpensive that it is more economical to purchase a newer product then denying user access to the innards is ridiculous and unfair.

      2. Their ridiculous ratings for repairability are used by the media to put down Apple products and stock price. They fuel Apple haters and promote Android products (that are a stolen product by Eric T Mole)

        They are no friend of mine.

          1. We are into a stage where miniaturization and integration makes it impossible to have every component repairable. When the first integrated transistor circuits (chips) were presented to the board of directors of HP, a member spoke up and asked how a technician could remove and repair a transistor when it failed. iFixit is at the same level as that moronic board member.

            How repairable is a dollar bill? Does it need a repairability rating? How about the IC’s on any modern device? How repairable are they? How about a soldered PCB? Why don’t they all use Zero Insertion Force chip holders these days? Even the old CRT, do you want to be able to replace the phosphors in them?

            The average time of ownership and time of usefulness for our devices is now measured in months rather than years. If we go back to the ‘good old days’ with discrete components, could we have ANYTHING that we use today?

            1. Non repairable items are wrong
              I have been buying some Russian Cold War stuff
              Damn it’s strong and all easily repairable as the soviets had no desire to have repeat business. Our system requires built in redundancy, any company that does not churn will defiantly burn…

            2. You toss that word around rather freely, Freekman. Based upon your history in this forum, ‘ridiculous’ generally applies best to your posts.

              Repairability is a terrific thing. I work on cars, so it is one of the things that I look for when I buy a car – how accessible are things in the engine compartment, for instance? With respect to computers, I have performed some fairly basic repairs and upgrades to desktops and laptops over the years – addition of math co-processor, processor daughtercard upgrade, upgrades to HDD, RAM, graphics card, etc.

              However, when you optimize a design as Apple has done with iOS devices, there is not much to fix – display, small logic boards, and batteries. Apple has chosen to seek the ultimate in thinness and lightness by eschewing removable panels and reducing parts count. To have an organization like iFixIt rant about that is a waste of time in my book. iFixIt has an ax to grind and hammering on Apple is known to be the best way to get publicity.

            3. You are right. We need to go back to the 1960’s when we used discrete transistors, built NAND gates on individual circuit cards and had fridge sized computers. They were repairable (and needed many repairs.)

    1. Well, lets see, Apple made public their intention to move away from Samsung a few weeks ago. Samsung announced that they were ditching Apple a week before the iPad mini announcement.

      Considering the time it takes to design a product and ramp its production, Apple probably just had to go with who was in place and had the production capacity. Hoping we won’t see Samsung in the next gen iPad mini.

      1. Sounds as though Samsung is being used to provide non-sensitive technology rather than the A6 processors and other high-margin components.  I heard that Apple’s other suppliers were having trouble providing enough screens for the Mini.

  4. What’s up with the love-hate relationship between Apple and Samsung? And how will fanbois react knowing that Apple has been having continual consensual relations with Samsung? Will Tim Cook lose his job unless he signs a letter of apology for consorting with that Korean hussy?

            1. The real you is laughable, contemptible, and intellectually bereft. You are the perfect and typical Apple fanboi – mindless, clueless, hapless, hopeless.

      1. No self-respecting fanboi would ever purchase an Apple product tainted by Samsung. This would violate their reason for breathing, not to mention having to return their secret decoder rings and Steve Jobs playing cards and banishment from the club house.

          1. None, according to the technological Taliban. Any use of Samsung products violates Sharia law. Fanboi version of a 72 virgin paradise is a world of Apple devices made only with Apple components.

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