Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad removed the cover glass of the iPad mini without difficulty by using a heat gun and a spatula made of carbon plastic. A touch panel was attached to the back side of the glass and connected to the main board, which was expected to be stored in the lower area of the iPad's case, with a flexible printed circuit (FPC) board. At this point, we could not completely take out the cover glass. So, we continued the teardown.
In general, components inside Apple Inc's products are fixed with screws that can be turned with a commonly-used cross head screwdriver. So, it is relatively easy to disassemble them. On the other hand, a person familiar with mobile devices said, "Apple's products use a large number of screws."
First, we took out screws from the four corners of the LCD panel and found a metal shield under the panel. The shield was fixed with as many as 15 screws. After carefully removing the screws one by one, the main board and a lithium (Li) polymer rechargeable battery appeared.
The component layout inside the iPad mini was not much different from those inside Apple's other gadgets. In the iPad mini, the Li polymer battery was located in the right area while the main board was positioned in the left area. The battery occupied about 80% of the entire area. A camera, speaker, antenna, etc were located in the areas above and below the battery.
The Li polymer battery was printed with "3.72V, 16.5Whr, 4440mAh." Because the third-generation iPad has a battery printed with "3.7V, 43.0Whr, 11560mAh," battery capacity was reduced by about 60%. The iPad mini's battery was bonded to the case, and it was difficult to take it out without deforming the case.
The number of components used in the iPad mini was small, and we concluded that it was well designed. We finished the disassembly of the iPad mini and started to examine its main components.