Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,597
16,734


Following its iPhone 12 and 12 Pro teardowns, iFixit has shared its teardown of the iPhone 12 mini, providing a look at the similarities and differences between the small form factor smartphone and its larger siblings in Apple's iPhone 12 series.

ifixit-iphone12-mini.jpeg

iPhone 12 mini (left) compared to iPhone 12 on the right

The first thing that's evident from the iPhone 12 mini teardown is the smaller 8.57 Wh battery. iFixit notes that its capacity is actually more than the larger iPhone SE 2020, which has a 6.96 Wh battery. As expected, however, it's short of the 10.78 Wh battery found in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

The teardown also reveals that Apple has included some iPhone 12 components in the iPhone 12 mini but in smaller versions to save space, including the Taptic Engine, speakers, and MagSafe ring. The cameras, on the other hand, are the same ƒ/1.6 wide-angle and ƒ/2.4 ultra wide-angle cameras found in the iPhone 12. The wide-angle module also features optical image stabilization.

Elsewhere, Apple does away with the plastic spacers found in the iPhone 12 due to the close quarters inside the camera shield, but otherwise the arrangement of components on the L-shaped logic board are very similar. Compared to the regular iPhone 12, the mini only has two displays cables instead of three, and iFixit also notes "increased grille asymmetry," which it says is likely because the device needs more space for the 5G antenna band.

iphone-12-mini-teardown.jpeg

Like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 mini earned a repairability score of 6 out of 10. iFixit said that many components are modular and are easy to replace, but the site bemoaned Apple's continued use of proprietary screws, the devices' increases in waterproofing that can complicate repairs, and the increased chance of breakage due to glass on the front and back of the two devices‌.

Article Link: iFixit's iPhone 12 Mini Teardown Reveals Apple's Miniaturized Components
 

Anson_431

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2016
218
538
That's actually pretty cool.
Safe to say we can expect to see Apple cramming the same tech into the larger phones in the new future I guess?
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,408
5,291
Denmark


The teardown also reveals that Apple has included some iPhone 12 components in the iPhone 12 mini but in smaller versions to save space, including the Taptic Engine, speakers, and MagSafe ring.
The Magsafe ring is not smaller, because that would of course break compatibility with all accessories, and iFixit doesn't write that is it. The phone is shorter, hence for upright chargers, it is out of reach.
 

acorntoy

Contributor
May 25, 2010
1,834
1,977
Somebody I know who went from an OG se to an (unhappily at the time) XS, now refuses to downsize to an mini. While choice is good I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the least selling device.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,838
39,174
Somebody I know who went from an OG se to an (unhappily at the time) XS, now refuses to downsize to an mini. While choice is good I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the least selling device.

The main reason I would agree with you, is because consumers generally want larger displays and more battery life, those are important features that they understand what they look for in a smart phone. (Obviously camera technology being the next big marketing piece.)
 

jayducharme

macrumors 601
Jun 22, 2006
4,072
4,303
The thick of it
I'm not surprised that the Taptic Engine is smaller; on my mini I can barely feel its pulse. There used to be a way to adjust how forceful it was, but I can't find that setting in iOS anymore.

So far my battery life has been fine, but probably because I turned off 5G.
 

JulianL

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2010
1,384
339
London, UK
I'm assuming that the smaller Taptic Engine simply wouldn't be able to give a big enough jolt to something like a Pro Max to get the desired level of noticeability but on the smaller speakers it would be interesting to hear whether the audio suffers significantly on the Mini vs the Pro. Presumably it does but if it doesn't then I wonder why Apple doesn't use the smaller speakers there too. Every cubic millimetre shaved off component volume is potentially extra space for a bigger battery and 5G is already placing an extra strain on the battery with Promotion next year potentially adding to that so I hope Apple are looking hard at what can be done to optimise the use of internal volume next year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aylk

bjarnel88

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2020
3
2
I've got a Mint green iPhone 12 Mini... And I LOVE IT. I liked the SE, but it felt a bit too cramped to write on, iPhone 12 is the perfect size. Finally a compact powerhouse of a phone with a Great screen and no waste of space.
 

C. Robert

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2013
1,269
781
Baltimore
Ok...Why? Not that I disagree, but you have to project your thoughts/opinions versus just saying ‘I think it’s more expensive to make’. Your post doesn’t tell the reader anything.
Cause they had to manufacture smaller parts. That requires retooling machinery, training, and different parts ordered on a smaller supply chain.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aylk

Wando64

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2013
1,312
1,618
This goes to show how a) how this tiny thing can be as fast as many "PC laptops", and b) how revolutionary the OG iPhone was, considering how much smaller that thing was crammed with the latest tech of 2007...
Somebody I know who went from an OG se to an (unhappily at the time) XS, now refuses to downsize to an mini. While choice is good I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the least selling device.

Am I the only one thinking that the anyone using the acronym OG should be made to buy a beer for everyone that has to read it? 🤣
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,838
39,174
Cause they had to manufacture smaller parts. That requires retooling machinery, training, and different parts ordered on a smaller supply chain.

Sure, but how would that be any more ‘expensive’ than any other iPhone manufacture that has completely different internal components from different models varying across their lineup? That’s like saying the ‘iPad mini is more expensive to make than the 9.7 iPad Air’, we all know that it requires different a manufacturing process when you have a smaller, condensed sub model sharing similar components, but obviously there are some differences with technology with the camera, ect.
 

WebJester

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2014
12
20
Somebody I know who went from an OG se to an (unhappily at the time) XS, now refuses to downsize to an mini. While choice is good I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the least selling device.
While this is common, there is a 'cult' of people who want a smaller phone and would sacrifice screen size (and battery life) for such a device. We have been asking for YEARS for this and Apple finally listened... They wouldn't have bothered to make it if there wasn't a demand.

Of course, the 12 and 12 pro will sell more but the SE line may have been absorbed by virtue of adding this phone. I hope this is a trend that continues, as it greatly simplifies the iPhone lineup.
 

yvovandoorn

macrumors regular
May 2, 2005
102
1
Amsterdam, NL
Somebody I know who went from an OG se to an (unhappily at the time) XS, now refuses to downsize to an mini. While choice is good I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the least selling device.
If the only one purchasing it were men, you'd be right.

However every iPhone using woman I know in my circle of friends wants the iPhone 12 mini.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sportsnut
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.