Tricky iPad Mini 3 Autopsy Reveals Hidden Screws And Lots Of Adhesive

If there's ever a shortage of glue, you can be pretty sure that Apple is partially to blame. When it comes to Apple products, teardown after teardown reveals that the glue-happy company isn't afraid to lather its mobile products with adhesive. We saw it recently with the iPad Air 2, and here again with the recently released iPad mini 3.

It took the experienced folks at iFixIt half an hour just to pry their way through the glue that holds the glass digitizer assembly in place.

"The iPad Mini continues Apple's repair-impeding practice of keeping iPads together with copious amounts of adhesive. This is one area in which the friendly-to-open Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are clear winners," iFixIt notes.

iPad mini 3 Teardown

Adhesive isn't the only barrier that makes repairing the iPad mini 3 a tricky affair. Apple's design engineers decided to hide a couple of screws securing the display to the frame. Once removed, you'll find no less than 16 screws holding a large metal plate in place. After that, you'll still need to contend with insulating tape, which holds the display to the rear case (it also serves to protect the Lightning cable).

One positive surprise discovered about the iPad mini 3 during the teardown is that the battery is somewhat removable. Getting to the battery is obviously a challenge, but once you do, you'll find that it's not soldered to the logic board or any other components. This was one of the brownie points in the iPad mini 3's favor, along with the LCD and glass not being fused together.

iPad mini 3 Parts

However, the copious amounts of adhesive, hidden screws, and Lightning connector being soldered to the logic board all worked against the iPad mini 3, which received a 2 out 10 Repairability Score.