Apple, iPad, iPad mini 6, Issues, Teardown

Everything about the iPad mini 6 jelly scrolling issue; iFixit teardown

As the new iPad mini 6 reached customers worldwide, many came across a weird screen problem with the device. The problem is nothing but “jelly scrolling” as first noted by Dieter Bohn of The Verge and then 9to5Mac. For those unfamiliar with jelly scrolling, it is an issue where one half of the display refreshes slower than the other. This brings in a jelly-like wobble effect affecting the user experience in general.

Here is is slow-mo video of scrolling on the iPad Min i slowed down EVEN MORE in a frame-by-frame step through. Notice how the right moves up faster than the left.

In normal usage you barely see it, but every now and then it become noticeable. In landscape it goes away entirely

— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) September 22, 2021

As you can see, Dieter’s iPad mini 6 showcased the weird scrolling behavior when captured frame by frame in slow motion. He noted that the effect was noticeable intermittently and that too only in portrait orientation. Using the device in landscape mode, the issue did not persist.

DOWNLOAD: iPad mini 6 wallpapers

The popular tech portal, Ars Technica, reached out to Apple for an explanation regarding the issue. Apple responded to their inquiry by reasoning the scrolling effect as normal on all LCD screens.

In response to our inquiry, Apple has told us that the “jelly scroll” issue on the 6th-generation iPad mini is normal behavior for LCD screens. Because these screens do refresh line by line, there is a tiny delay between when the lines at the top of the screen and lines at the bottom are refreshed. This can cause uneven scrolling issues like the ones observed on the iPad.

In addition to all this, Ars Technica noticed that the scrolling effect wasn’t noticeable on the iPad Air 4 and the 9th gen iPad as much as on the iPad mini 6. This makes us believe that Apple isn’t going to provide a replacement to all of them who expected to get one anyway.

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The teardown experts, iFixit disassembled the iPad mini 6 and came with their findings. It turns out, the driver of the display is positioned vertically, with respect to how one would hold their phone or tablet. The display refreshes in parallel to the driver placement. As in, here, refresh happens horizontally which leads to jelly scrolling when viewed in portrait orientation.

GUIDE: Why you should buy the iPad mini 6 over the iPad Air 4

On the other hand, the iPad Air 4 has a display driver that is horizontally mounted causing jelly scrolling when viewing in landscape mode. iFixit also brought up the iPad Pro for comparison which also has the display driver placed like that of the iPad mini 6. The effect here was hard to notice (although persistent) due to the refresh rate being 120Hz as opposed to 60Hz.

iFixit believes Apple may have used a cheaper quality display on the iPad mini 6 which further showcases jelly scrolling than normal.

The teardown noted the easy removal of the USB-C port. However, the battery, speaker, and display all use adhesives in full glory making repairs a tough job. Speaking of which, iFixit gave the iPad mini 6 a lowly 3/10 repairability score. Check it out below.

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