The Teensy-Weensie iPhone 12 Gets a Teensy-Weensie Teardown from iFixit

Broken iPhone 12 Mini with all the parts I fix it

The iPhone 12 Mini was released on Friday, November 13. It didn’t take long for our friends at iFixit to get their job done with the little guy, and the results are interesting. How did Apple make the 12 Mini so small? By shrinking the components, apparently.

Digging into the teardown shows a lot of familiar bits, but the most fascinating part (to me, anyway) is the shrunken Taptic engine and speaker. These have both been reduced to presumably make room for everything else. The battery is also sadly (and you would expect) smaller than the other models, indicating not as good battery life on the smaller iPhone.

It is noted in the teardown that the dual camera module is impressive in a phone of this size, but perhaps that is precisely what cut the space that would otherwise have been taken up by a larger battery. Having used the 12 MIni since Friday (review coming soon!), I agree here – I find ultra-wide cameras mostly unnecessary. I would prefer to have a phone lens or a bigger battery in this case.

The iPhone 12 Mini compared to the regular iPhone 12 with the back removed to expose the battery and cardsNote the smaller Taptic engine I fix it

The Taptic Engine on the standard iPhone 12 and 12 Pro was already smaller than that of the iPhone 11, but it’s even smaller in the 12 Mini. It’s unclear if this has a tangible impact on haptic feedback, but I’m including to say probably not. I can’t feel a haptic difference at all between the iPhone XR and the 12 Mini, but if you’re hyper-sensitive to haptic feedback, you may feel something that I can’t.

There are also some interesting details regarding the MagSafe ring of the 12 Mini. The full-size ring doesn’t fit into the MIni’s shell, so instead of making it smaller (which wouldn’t really have worked with standard accessories), Apple decided to cut the left and right edges. So instead of a full MagSafe circle, it’s more like two MagSafe half-moons. He probably doesn’t lose any advantage that way either. Clever.

An x-ray view of the 12 Mini showing its various partsThe sides of the MagSafe ring have been removed to accommodate it. I fix it

Some peculiarities are also present in the notch of the 12 MIni (the area that houses the Face ID goodies) – at least compared to the European version of the phone. The 12 and 12 Mini both have little squares tucked away in this area that iFixit couldn’t identify, although it’s speculated to be some sort of mmWave antenna or maybe some kind of antenna. ‘a miniaturized ambient light sensor. The fact that it’s only available on the US versions of the phone tells my gigantic worm brain that the mmWave theory makes sense – but I’ll leave more speculation to people who take this stuff apart.

The teardown ends with other items, including a repairability score of 6/10. The screen and battery replacement take priority here, which makes the most sense as these are the most common types of repairs anyway.

Source: I fix it

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