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Inside Apple's new fifth-gen iPod nano (teardown photos)

post #1 of 36
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Just a day after Apple launched its new iPod nano with camera, the device has been taken apart, revealing a tightly packed design that wastes no space to fit in a plethora of new features.

In a teardown of the fifth-generation iPod nano, iFixit has offered a first-look at the inside of Apple's latest design marvel, which manages to pack in a pedometer, voice recorder, FM radio, speaker and video camera. The brand new device is available for $149 for the 8GB model and $179 for the 16GB capacity.

In its painstaking disassembling of the new iPod nano, iFixit found the hardware to be held together mostly by glue and adhesive -- making it easy to put together, but difficult to take apart. The camera bezel had to be removed before the device could be taken apart.

"We wish Apple would a little effort into making iPods repairable, instead of forcing people tothrow them away when they break," the solutions provider said. "Recent iPods have become increasingly difficult to successfully repair. (One positive note is that unlike the iPhone, we haven't seen many issues with broken glass on the Nanos.)"



The device has a larger 2.2-inch display that offers 17.5 percent more screen than last year. That's four times the size of the original iPod nano.

Audio comes out of the bottom of the iPod in a fashion similar to the second-generation iPod touch. The speaker is only about a millimeter thick.



Among the discoveries inside by iFixit:

The iPhone camera, with mount, is thicker than the entire new iPod nano. Clearly, the new iPod nano cannot support a camera like the iPhone.

However, the iPod touch "could conceivably support" such a camera -- "although it would certainly be an engineering challenge."

The ARM processor is the largest thing on the internal circuit board.

For the first time ever, the device carries the exact same form factor as last year's model. "The rear-mounted video camera is the only clear sign that we have a new device in our hands."


"Unlike some earlier iPods, the hold switch isn't directly attached to the logic board."

The new iPod nano has a redesigned click wheel that is not permanently affixed to the case. "We were able to rotate and lift the click wheel."

The internal camera is a separate module that is not a part of the board. The camera itself is less than 3mm thick, vs. 6mm for the iPhone 3G camera.

The flash memory was manufactured in Taiwan in mid-July. It was bought from Toshiba for the 8GB model iFixit disassembled.


The full disassembly guide, complete with additional details and photos, is available at iFixit's website.
post #2 of 36
Quote:
"We wish Apple would a little effort into making iPods repairable, instead of forcing people tothrow them away when they break," the solutions provider said. "Recent iPods have become increasingly difficult to successfully repair.

They must be joking. Replacing iPods has always been part of Apple's $uccess story. Who's had theirs repaired?
post #3 of 36
Is that a hirose RF connector on the logic board? Could this mean we'll have wireless enabled iPod Nano in the future?
post #4 of 36
When I heard Steve say "we've finally figured out how to do colors that are just unimaginably beautiful" I had to laugh. The genius has figured out colors!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

When I heard Steve say "we've finally figured out how to do colors that are just unimaginably beautiful" I had to laugh. The genius has figured out colors!

I saw them at lunch. The new ones are glossy, the last ones matte. Revelations!!!!!
Personally I preferred the matte.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

For the first time ever, the device carries the exact same form factor as last year's model. "The rear-mounted video camera is the only clear sign that we have a new device in our hands."

Is it just me that sees this as being incredibly positive? I'm thinking that if the Industrial Design group (and more specifically Jonathan Ive) have not been working on yet another new form factor for the iPod, they must be working on something:

a. New.
b. Cool!
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Audio comes out of the bottom of the iPod in a fashion similar to the second-generation iPod touch. The speaker is only about a millimeter thick.

does this mean that I can listen to the new nano's without headphones? Despite the low quality, I've really enjoyed that ability with my iPhone, and would consider that a significant bonus to the nano...

when are they going to stick a phone in one of these? Just adding calling ability and nothing more...
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

does this mean that I can listen to the new nano's without headphones? Despite the low quality, I've really enjoyed that ability with my iPhone, and would consider that a significant bonus to the nano...

when are they going to stick a phone in one of these? Just adding calling ability and nothing more...

Technically, yes, but the speaker looks more in line with the Touchs speaker and potentially worse so its likely not something youll really enjoy doing. When the 2G Touch was introduced it was stated that the speaker addition was not for listening to music. The iPhone has ringtones coming through while it improved from with each model it was always better than the Touch and presumably the Nano has ever had.
post #9 of 36
David Pogue chimes in on the new Nano…

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/te...rssnyt&emc=rss
post #10 of 36
Quote:
"We wish Apple would a little effort into making iPods repairable, instead of forcing people tothrow them away when they break," the solutions provider said. "Recent iPods have become increasingly difficult to successfully repair. (One positive note is that unlike the iPhone, we haven't seen many issues with broken glass on the Nanos.)"

what is the point of that? parts and labor would run you the same as a 16GB Nano, minimum.
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

They must be joking. Replacing iPods has always been part of Apple's $uccess story. Who's had theirs repaired?

LOL...unlike every other electronics product that is easily repaired, right? Yeah right.
post #12 of 36
They keep making the iPod Nano bigger and bigger...

How long until it's not very "Nano" any more? As of yesterday?
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post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinite_entropy View Post

They keep making the iPod Nano bigger and bigger...

You didn't read the article too closely did you? Or possibly at all? This Nano has the same form factor as the previous one. In other words, it is exactly the same size, not bigger. What is bigger, is the screen.
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

LOL...unlike every other electronics product that is easily repaired, right? Yeah right.

Yeah, Garmin Colorado 300 comes to mind as an example of a horribly inaccessible device. When salt water destroys usb port connections there's no sane way to either retrieve the tracks stored on that device or repair it. Throw it away, get a new one. And that would be nice if only those things didn't cost as much as an iPhone.
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

You didn't read the article too closely did you? Or possibly at all? This Nano has the same form factor as the previous one. In other words, it is exactly the same size, not bigger. What is bigger, is the screen.

Seems bigger. My bad.

Oh, but congrats on being right, God that must feel good!
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post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinite_entropy View Post

Oh, but congrats on being right, God that must feel good!

Ineed it does I usually am
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post #17 of 36
The polished & colored metal does look pretty nice, I can't recall any other consumer electronics device that has a metal shell *and* has slick colors like that. There are some devices that might have chromed plastic, but that's no good, no style, almost no substance. But still, I have what I need and no need to buy this.
post #18 of 36
As miniaturization continues, more features will be added to the nano. In a year from now, chances are it can become a phone. Camera is the road map to achieving that aim.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The polished & colored metal does look pretty nice, I can't recall any other consumer electronics device that has a metal shell *and* has slick colors like that. There are some devices that might have chromed plastic, but that's no good, no style, almost no substance. But still, I have what I need and no need to buy this.

They do look nice and I, too, have never seen such rich colours. I think Melgross maybe able to fill us in on some of the technical considerations of the process. The plastic cases with the coloured metallic films will wear away to quickly. Image the repairs and complaints if Apple did that.

I have been an advocate that the FM radio is not much of a plus in a small player but that doesnt mean that its not welcome if Apple can swing it, just that its not a deal breaker addition. Though I have to say that every now and then I wish i had one for the gym for the TVs. Not often, but sometimes. I will likely retire my 2G Shuffle in favour of this 5G Nano when the Nike+ heart rate monitor finally arrives. That plus the pedometer, over the increased screen size, FM radio, video camera, mic, speaker, and voice recorder finally make the Nano appealing to me again. I didnt think Apple could pull me away from the Shuffle, but it looks like they did. That said, id gladly go back to the impish Shuffle if they could add the Nike+ tech to it.
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post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

As miniaturization continues, more features will be added to the nano. In a year from now, chances are it can become a phone. Camera is the road map to achieving that aim.

I think that Apple will have to add a simpler iPhone to their line that is mainly an iPod with a phone, once the current device reaches its saturation point. I imagine that there are just too many potential customers out there that want a phone and ipod combined but dont want to pay for the data fees because they arent in the proper area to utilize it or just dont care about being tied to the internet 24/7.

Could the iPod nanos front face allow for a scroll wheel at the bottom and a touchscreen at the top for certain menu selections or would it require a complete touchscreen interface to be useable?
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post #21 of 36
The new iPod nano has a few good, tempting new features that should please business professionals and graduate students when they commute:

1- An FM radio receiver to listen to news and talk radio, or discover new music playing on radio stations. In Canada, most radio stations have completed the move from the AM band to the better sounding, stereo FM band;

2- A voice recording feature to dictate letters and memos.


Here's what's still missing and should appear in future editions:

1- A better, higher quality camera for still pictures and video. Make the iPod nano thicker if you need to, but a better camera is a must;

2- iTunes decoding of all the major lossless audio formats, either natively by Apple or through a plug-in architecture for third party support. At present, iTunes is a storefront, playing mostly what Apple sells, instead of being the general media player it should be.

At present, Apple supports natively the Wave and Apple lossless formats, where it nedds to add support for the ubiquitous Monkey's audio .ape, open source Free Lossless Audio Codec .flac, and Wavepack .wv.

It's important that Apple caters to every segment of the music listening public, not just teenagers and students listening to dumbed down rock and roll at 128 kbps or 256 kbps.

Make iTunes the media player it should be.

Apple has an unparalleled ability to scale down the quality of its products, to remove components or features that cost next to nothing, but would increase sales by pleasing new segments of the buying public.

The iPod nano is impressive. Now, make it perfect, the best media player money can buy. I am sure that Apple engineers can live up to the challenge.


post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

They must be joking. Replacing iPods has always been part of Apple's $uccess story. Who's had theirs repaired?

did you say repair and ipod in the same time zone ??
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post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think that Apple will have to add a simpler iPhone to their line that is mainly an iPod with a phone, once the current device reaches its saturation point. I imagine that there are just too many potential customers out there that want a phone and ipod combined but dont want to pay for the data fees because they arent in the proper area to utilize it or just dont care about being tied to the internet 24/7.

Could the iPod nanos front face allow for a scroll wheel at the bottom and a touchscreen at the top for certain menu selections or would it require a complete touchscreen interface to be useable?

Hey where ya been 

NANO phone will come as aVOIP ⇢ carrier less phone that buys minutes at the lowest moment to moment rate ↪↩ ,

Missed you dude .

9
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post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

They must be joking. Replacing iPods has always been part of Apple's $uccess story. Who's had theirs repaired?

That iPod repairman fixed a boatload of iPods, while getting Apple to pay for the repairs under bogus warranty claims..
post #25 of 36
I saw the Nano yesterday and still don't get it. Preferred the old matte colors. The new intense shiny colors remind me of banana bikes from the '70s. The screen way too small for a video recorder- is the Flip's that small? The lense is at the bottom- totally awkward! No Wifi to send the video to YouTube or others and no editing. And not enough storage to store music, photos , movies, music videos, and make videos. The one in the store was already maxxed out and you had to delete vids to make new ones.
And an FM radio? I thought those died with Walkman like 20 years ago.
Were people actually clamoring for videos and FM radios in these?
And on another note -claiming the Touch is more of a gaming device? Are they serious?

Give me the Classic 160 GB- best in show IMHO.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I saw the Nano yesterday and still don't get it. Preferred the old matte colors. The new intense shiny colors remind me of banana bikes from the '70s. The screen way too small for a video recorder- is the Flip's that small? The lense is at the bottom- totally awkward! No Wifi to send the video to YouTube or others and no editing. And not enough storage to store music, photos , movies, music videos, and make videos. The one in the store was already maxxed out and you had to delete vids to make new ones.
And an FM radio? I thought those died with Walkman like 20 years ago.
Were people actually clamoring for videos and FM radios in these?
And on another note -claiming the Touch is more of a gaming device? Are they serious?

Give me the Classic 160 GB- best in show IMHO.

i'm almost 100% positive at one point you mocked the iPod for its lack of FM radio.

Also, the classic, which merely got a size increase, is best in show, even though the Nano doubled capacity, and had a host of (albeit not fantastic) features?
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

i'm almost 100% positive at one point you mocked the iPod for its lack of FM radio.

Also, the classic, which merely got a size increase, is best in show, even though the Nano doubled capacity, and had a host of (albeit not fantastic) features?

What- me mock something?
Yes, best in show, because the Classic still lives even though rumours abounded that it would die and the 160GB is the same thin form factor as the previous 120GB and not thicker as was the old 160GB.
I have never wanted an FM radio- all they ever get is major static in NYC. I may have thought it odd that the Touch doesn't have one though even that is not something I would particularly need either.
Also NYC is about to basically loose it's only classical FM channel if I recall. It's moving towards the end of the dial and has a weaker signal.
post #28 of 36
Is it just me that has realised the new iPod nano's not having the engraving of their capacity on the back? No-one has made an article or made a point about it.

It may only to be a small thing, but it's a shame that that's gone.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

What- me mock something?
Yes, best in show, because the Classic still lives even though rumours abounded that it would die and the 160GB is the same thin form factor as the previous 120GB and not thicker as was the old 160GB.
I have never wanted an FM radio- all they ever get is major static in NYC. I may have thought it odd that the Touch doesn't have one though even that is not something I would particularly need either.

The FM tuner IC is from a good company and known to work really, really good where other tuner ICs fail. So I imagine (have not experienced it personally yet) FM reception will be quite good. If FM radio is your thing and all............
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramin987 View Post

Is it just me that has realised the new iPod nano's not having the engraving of their capacity on the back? No-one has made an article or made a point about it.

It may only to be a small thing, but it's a shame that that's gone.

Its still there.
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...mily/ipod_nano PS: The messed up green Nano image is back.
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post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredAppleHead View Post

The FM tuner IC is from a good company and known to work really, really good where other tuner ICs fail. So I imagine (have not experienced it personally yet) FM reception will be quite good. If FM radio is your thing and all............

How do you know what chip is in it? The tear-downs don't mention it and the chips aren't very well identified.
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredAppleHead View Post

The FM tuner IC is from a good company and known to work really, really good where other tuner ICs fail. So I imagine (have not experienced it personally yet) FM reception will be quite good. If FM radio is your thing and all............

Do you know anything of the sound quality in Nano's. If this has changed or improved? Is it the same as the shuffles (not great)? I suppose I should check for the in depth review at the iLounge.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

They must be joking. Replacing iPods has always been part of Apple's $uccess story. Who's had theirs repaired?

A lot of people do. The main "repair" would be a battery, followed by the headphone jack. Why throw away a $150 device?
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post

A lot of people do. The main "repair" would be a battery, followed by the headphone jack. Why throw away a $150 device?

I think Apple replaces broken ones with a refurbished one, the one they take back gets refurbished. By the wording of their out of warranty battery replacement program, it sounds like they do the same thing there too. I'm guessing they send them in bulk to China for reconditioning because of the low labor costs.

When it's out of warranty, I don't know if it's worth repairing a $150 electronic device. Most likely, it's a couple years old, by then, it might be worth $60, and I think that's about the minimum you would have to pay someone to get it fixed. Instead, you can put the money towards a brand new model with four times the storage, a better battery and more features.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think Apple replaces broken ones with a refurbished one, the one they take back gets refurbished. By the wording of their out of warranty battery replacement program, it sounds like they do the same thing there too. I'm guessing they send them in bulk to China for reconditioning because of the low labor costs.

When it's out of warranty, I don't know if it's worth repairing a $150 electronic device. Most likely, it's a couple years old, by then, it might be worth $60, and I think that's about the minimum you would have to pay someone to get it fixed. Instead, you can put the money towards a brand new model with four times the storage, a better battery and more features.

I was given a Gen 4 20GB and within a year, it needed a new battery. It seemed crazy to spend $250 on a new one, eventhough the new Classic has so much more of everything. So, for $30, I put in a new battery. The place I purchased the battery from will also do most repairs like replace the headphone jack, screen, clickwheel for much less than a new iPod. If you like the iPod you have, why throw it away in three or so years if the battery gives up?

Side note...my beloved Gen4 was stolen recently, so I am in th market for a new 160GB Classic. Aside from the pain of coughing up $250, I am looking foward to the major upgrade!
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post

I was given a Gen 4 20GB and within a year, it needed a new battery. It seemed crazy to spend $250 on a new one, eventhough the new Classic has so much more of everything. So, for $30, I put in a new battery. The place I purchased the battery from will also do most repairs like replace the headphone jack, screen, clickwheel for much less than a new iPod. If you like the iPod you have, why throw it away in three or so years if the battery gives up?

Side note...my beloved Gen4 was stolen recently, so I am in th market for a new 160GB Classic. Aside from the pain of coughing up $250, I am looking foward to the major upgrade!

Nice. I hadn't found a shop that would do affordable repairs.
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