DESPITE Apple's public quarrels with Samsung, a teardown of the Ipad Mini shows that the cappuccino company still needs Samsung to make its latest devices possible.
Ifixit tore down Apple's Ipad Mini to find that the device's screen, display driver and of course the A5 system-on-chip (SoC) are all made by Samsung. According to Ifixit, the Ipad Mini's 7.9in screen is manufactured by Samsung along with the display driver chip, though the firm sources its NAND flash modules from Hynix.
Apple has used Samsung to fab all versions of its A5 SoC and, according to Chipworks, even the A6 SoC found in the latest Ipad and the Iphone 5. However Apple has been able to shy away from Samsung for its displays, with Sharp being one of the vendors said to supply the Iphone 5 screens.
However, as LCD vendors struggle to meet demand and in the case of Sharp, to meet its creditors, it seems that Apple has had to enlist Samsung, a firm that has been able to weather storms in the DRAM, NAND and display markets better than its competitors. While Apple might try to get away from Samsung, given its position in the semiconductor industry there are few firms that can match it for manufacturing capabilities and scale.
Ifixit gave the Ipad Mini a dismal score of two out of 10 for repairability, citing hidden screws and "copious amounts of adhesive" used to hold components in place. µ