Wiens speculated that Apple may have foresworn fusing in the Mini to reduce repair costs of shattered screens, what with the expectation that many will be used by children and that schools may view them as more attractive than full-sized iPads because of the lower price.
But he criticized Apple, not for the first time, for the difficulty of removing the iPad Mini's battery and the relatively high price of a replacement battery.
The iPad Mini apart and on display; the battery is at the bottom center.
"Relative to the $329 price, Apple's $99 battery replacement program is very expensive," said Wiens. "Without regular battery replacements, the iPad Mini is doomed to the same 2- to 3-year maximum lifespan that the iPad has."
Apple charges $99 for all iPad battery replacements, with an additional $6.95 tacked on for shipping if the device is not brought to an Apple retail store or authorized service provider.
The iPad Mini is a 7.9-in. tablet that starts at $329. It is currently backordered two weeks for all Wi-Fi models; the more expensive configurations able to connect to the Internet through a mobile carrier aren't expected to ship until the middle of this month.
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