Inside the iPad mini 3

While there may not be much separating the iPad mini 3 from its predecessor, there's one key difference that will give the new diminutive tablet an edge in the corporate and BYOD environments.

iPad mini 3
Image: iFixit

What's the difference between the new iPad mini 3 and its predecessor? The answer is not much, but there is one new addition that gives the new diminutive tablet an edge in the corporate and BYOD environments.

Repair team iFixit have gotten their hands on the new iPad mini 3 and taken a look at what's inside.

Fundamentally, the iPad mini 3 is the same as the iPad mini 2. Both are equipped with Apple's A7 processor, both feature 1GB of RAM, and both have a 5MP iSight camera. What has changed are the finishes – gold is added to the silver and space gray – the storage options have been rejigged to 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB, with each increment adding $100 to the price, and the Home button has been equipped with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

The Touch ID sensor will be particularly compelling for corporate and BYOD users, both because it speeds things up and allows for stronger passcodes to be used.

Inside the iPad mini 3 is a whole raft of chips from a number of silicon providers:

  • 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 coprocessor)
  • Apple (Cirrus Logic) 338S1213 audio codec
  • Apple 338S1199
  • Fairchild Semiconductor FDMC6676BZ and FDCM6683 MOSFETs
  • NXP 1610A1 display interface IC

When it comes to repairability, the iPad Mini 3 inherits a 2 out of 10 score (where 10 is the easiest to repair) from its predecessor. A new fly in the ointment for anyone planning to carry out a repair on this device is that the Touch ID sensor is hot glued to the front panel, which means that it will need to be removed from the old screen and reattached to the new one.

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