iPad Mini 4 teardown: much like the Air 2, just as hard to fix
You knew the iFixit team was going to tear something else apart sooner or later. After all, it is just after another WWDC product launch. The product under the scalpel this time around looks new, but has some major components sharing going on with one of Apple’s older devices.
The iPad Mini 4 got the teardown treatment and similarities to the iPad Air 2 began right from first (easy) crack. The full lamination screen obviates a huge shield plate that would’ve been heft in previous generation iPads. The Touch ID cable has merged with the display cable, as was the case on the Air 2. It also shares a Texas Instruments semiconductor chip with the Air 2. More importantly, most of the antennas have shifted towards top and right on the back and the smaller (physically and energy-wise) single-cell battery replaces a two-cell one.
iFixit gave the iPad Mini 4 a repairability rating of 2 out of 10, meaning that this device is going to be tough to shape up if you crack the screen (now more easier than ever with the lamination). If you need a replacement, you’re going to need to remove the home button to keep Touch ID working. Also, the direct soldering of the Lightning connector to the logic board and the overall gluefest in the tablet just makes handymen’s and handywomen’s jobs that much more trickier.
By the way, the iPad Air 2 also got a 2 out of 10 repairability rating from iFixit. Cheers.