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7th-gen iPod nano teardown reveals new Apple processor, SanDisk flash

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
A teardown of Apple's seventh generation iPod nano, announced Tuesday, revealed a new Apple processor and a switch to SanDisk flash inside the diminutive music player, but few other internal changes from the previous model.

A report from the teardown experts at iFixit shows that the new model of Apple's popular music player has an identical internal build when compared to the previous generation, with most components carried over from last year.

The two most noteworthy component changes to the nano's hardware are an updated Apple processor and a switch from last year's Toshiba flash memory to modules supplied by SanDisk.

The new processor, a repackaged Samsung stacked package-on-package chip, carries an ARM application processor and 512 Mbits (64 MB) of mobile DDR SDRAM, reports TechInsights.

The new nano features re-worked software with a refreshed UI sporting 16 new clocks, and a firmware update that gives users an "improved fitness experience" without the need for a Nike+ sensor. The new software has also been made available to owners of last year's model.

Apple acknowledged that some users had taken to wearing the iPod nano as a watch. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said the company "thought that was really fun," so it had designed the new clock faces, which include Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog themes.

New Apple processor from seventh-generation iPod.
Teardown of seventh-generation iPod nano by iFixit.

But for some, the most compelling feature of the new nano may be its reduced price. The 8GB model now sells for $129, while the 16GB nano is now $149, down from $149 and $179, respectively.

The device continues to feature the same 240-by-240 pixel multitouch display, as well as an identical logic board and chipset. iFixit gives the new nano a moderately difficult repairability score of 5 out of 10, mostly due to the need for a heat gun to remove the screen and the battery being soldered directly to the logic board, making replacement cumbersome.


post #2 of 66
Can anyone clear up the fitness feature: does the new Nano software completely replace all the functions of the Nike+ sensor? Is there now absolutely no advantage to using the latter?
post #3 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Can anyone clear up the fitness feature: does the new Nano software completely replace all the functions of the Nike+ sensor? Is there now absolutely no advantage to using the latter?

And does last year's clip-on iPod Nano also get this new Nike+ feature or is there new HW in the new model to make it work?
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post #4 of 66
I love it. See you at the mother ship Steve. \
An Apple man since 1977
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post #5 of 66
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post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And does last year's clip-on iPod Nano also get this new Nike+ feature or is there new HW in the new model to make it work?

It's out now and I have it installed on my 16GB 6th gen. It's pretty sweet. I love the new clock faces. It does in fact have the Nike+ feature and has had it for at least 2 generations.
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post #7 of 66
We miss you Steve.

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post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

According to the website, an accelerometer is now built in.

http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/features.html#fitness

The nano has had an accelerometer since at least gen 4.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=559327
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post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

According to the website, an accelerometer is now built in.

http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/features.html#fitness

Thanks.

AI's writing makes it sound like it's not a new HW feature…
Quote:
A report from the teardown experts at iFixit shows […] an identical internal build when compared to the previous generation, with most components carried over from last year.

The two most noteworthy component changes to the nano's hardware are an updated Apple processor and a switch from last year's Toshiba flash memory to modules supplied by SanDisk.

[…] and a firmware update that gives users an "improved fitness experience" without the need for a Nike+ sensor. The new software has also been made available to owners of last year's model



Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

It's out now and I have it installed on my 16GB 6th gen. It's pretty sweet. I love the new clock faces. It does in fact have the Nike+ feature and has had it for at least 2 generations.

And you have Nike+ built into your 6th gen Nano simply from the firmware update?
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post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And you have Nike+ built into your 6th gen Nano simply from the firmware update?

The app was on there in the old version. I haven't seen any improvements or differences between the 1.0 and 1.2 update. To my knowledge, the dongle sensor is for much more precise measurements than just the accelerometer; while the app remains the same.
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post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And does last year's clip-on iPod Nano also get this new Nike+ feature or is there new HW in the new model to make it work?

You still have to buy the shoe. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it won't work with out it. I may have been built in for a while, (i'll check the code when i'm done studying).

Sol, are you o.k. today?

Yes. Last gen has Nike+ built in.
post #12 of 66
Can anyone recommend a watchband for this?
I think this is a very cool product now with the update- esp its pricing. Schiller seemed to really light up when presenting it. A pure fun device with lots of music for the gym-I'm looking to upgrade my 3G shuffle with this. iLounge has upped their rating for it too.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

Can anyone recommend a watchband for this?
I think this is a very cool product now with the update- esp its pricing. Schiller seemed to really light up when presenting it. A pure fun device with lots of music for the gym-I'm looking to upgrade my 3G shuffle with this. iLounge has upped their rating for it too.

Really? You can't even use the nano at the gym anymore. If you want it as a watch, go ahead. So you want a woman to show you to (probably a plastic) band that you will put your iPod on that takes ten minutes to get to a song. O.K.

Would you buy your women a plastic engagement ring?



I still like the last, last iPod... with the click wheel and the screen so I know what I'm doing.
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

The app was on there in the old version. I haven't seen any improvements or differences between the 1.0 and 1.2 update. To my knowledge, the dongle sensor is for much more precise measurements than just the accelerometer; while the app remains the same.

In the old version, the pedometer app worked without the Nike+ shoe transmitter, but to get the full features of Nike+, you needed not only the transmitter, but the receiver as well.
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

In the old version, the pedometer app worked without the Nike+ shoe transmitter, but to get the full features of Nike+, you needed not only the transmitter, but the receiver as well.

So if you still need the shoe fob then it means they added the proprietary wireless tech built off of 802.11 to the new Nano. That, the new SW, and a price drop sound pretty good but not good enough for me to give up using Nike+GPS on my iPhone. I love that app!
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post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

Can anyone recommend a watchband for this?
I think this is a very cool product now with the update- esp its pricing. Schiller seemed to really light up when presenting it. A pure fun device with lots of music for the gym-I'm looking to upgrade my 3G shuffle with this. iLounge has upped their rating for it too.

If you intend to wear your Nano as a watch exclusively, I absolutely recommend the LunaTik, which I have and I love, and never cease getting compliments about, and I especially love the look of the brand new LunaTik Lynk:


If you want to remove your Nano often and use it without the watch band, I would recommend the TikTok, from the same site.
post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

In the old version, the pedometer app worked without the Nike+ shoe transmitter, but to get the full features of Nike+, you needed not only the transmitter, but the receiver as well.

Yea, I hear ya. The receiver is in the shoe. I've tried to buy several different brands and I have to admit that the salesmen have always been very honest with me.

Thanks for being rather evasive with your post.
post #18 of 66
Wow these new Nanos truly are remarkable devices. Imma buy one now I think.
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by eksodos View Post

Wow these new Nanos truly are remarkable devices. Imma buy one now I think.

Yes! Very remarkable. Let me know if you want a 'run down' compared to last years model.

No, really, I don't mind.\
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thanks.

AI's writing makes it sound like it's not a new HW feature




And you have Nike+ built into your 6th gen Nano simply from the firmware update?

Yes, we've been running along to the "oldies" so to speak, for a while now.

Literally Sol, the only change was being able to change it to one button per screen...
post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadania View Post

Yea, I hear ya. The receiver is in the shoe. I've tried to buy several different brands and I have to admit that the salesmen have always been very honest with me.

Thanks for being rather evasive with your post.

???

No, it's the pill-shaped transmitter that you put in the shoe. It's not "in" the shoe when you buy the shoe, and you can actually buy a shoelace adapter for any shoe, not just Nike. The receiver connects to the dock connector on the Nano and the Classic, and is built-in on the iPod Touch and iPhone.

My question was whether the new Nano can provide all of the Nike+ functions as the transmitter/receiver combo. I still haven't got an answer.


Receiver on the left, Transmitter on the right. The receiver is built in to the iPod Touch 3rd and 4th gen, and the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4/4S.


Shoelace adapter for non Nike+ shoes.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadania View Post

Yes, we've been running along to the "oldies" so to speak, for a while now.

Literally Sol, the only change was being able to change it to one button per screen...

No, you haven't. You've been using the pedometer, not the full Nike+ features.
post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So if you still need the shoe fob then it means they added the proprietary wireless tech built off of 802.11 to the new Nano. That, the new SW, and a price drop sound pretty good but not good enough for me to give up using Nike+GPS on my iPhone. I love that app!

Okay, according to Apple's website, you no longer need the transmitter or receiver to have the full Nike+ feature set. This is absolutely different than before. I don't know if it's software only, or if there's a difference between the accelerometer in the old Nano and the new one that enables this feature. I'll have to test mine out to be sure.

But if it really is software only, then that's great, since my old transmitter appears to be completely dead (out of battery, i suppose).
post #24 of 66
And the problem I have with the one button per screen feature is the inertial scrolling. One swipe should move you one icon, so that you can swipe without looking, assuming you've memorized your custom icon order.
post #25 of 66
I gotta admit, that watch band that tonton linked to looks pretty cool with the nano. I can see many people using these iPod Nanos as watches, especially with all of the new faces that Apple added.

I looked at all 18 faces and there are 5-6 of them which I like which I can see myself using if I were to use the nano as a watch.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but this one caught my eye. I don't like the orange band and the yellow nano, but give me both in black, and I'd be happy
post #26 of 66
Update on the fitness feature. It appears that the new features are only for the new Nano with updated internals. I do not have the "run" option in my Fitness menu unless I plug in the Nike+ receiver. The new Nano has this built in. So I guess it really is a "new" Nano, hardware-wise.
post #27 of 66
The 'old' nano has a software update (via iTunes) which makes it a 'new' nano.
Nice.

J.
post #28 of 66
Price is not a feature.
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post #29 of 66


Very cool photo!
post #30 of 66
One comment: Not familiar with the Nike thing, but even with an accelerometer in the Nano and no matter the software, it seems apparent to me that having an accelerometer hanging from a belt or even on a wrist can't work the same as having an accelerometer on your foot.

One question: Can anyone who has used the Nano as a wrist watch comment on how long the battery lasts if you use it just as a watch and don't play music? I assume that it must be possible to configure it so that the screensaver will not cause the screen to blank out, but when configured this way, with the LED constantly burning and the screen pixels being updated every second (or every minute perhaps), how long does the battery last then?
post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

One comment: Not familiar with the Nike thing, but even with an accelerometer in the Nano and no matter the software, it seems apparent to me that having an accelerometer hanging from a belt or even on a wrist can't work the same as having an accelerometer on your foot.

One question: Can anyone who has used the Nano as a wrist watch comment on how long the battery lasts if you use it just as a watch and don't play music? I assume that it must be possible to configure it so that the screensaver will not cause the screen to blank out, but when configured this way, with the LED constantly burning and the screen pixels being updated every second (or every minute perhaps), how long does the battery last then?

On your question: unfortunately, you have no option for screen dimming. The default and only option is dim after 15 seconds and off after 45 more (60 seconds total). Using it extensively for watch plus music on a year-old nano, the battery lasts about 3 days. If I'm using it more as a watch and not turning it on much, it's more like 5-7.
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post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Update on the fitness feature. It appears that the new features are only for the new Nano with updated internals. I do not have the "run" option in my Fitness menu unless I plug in the Nike+ receiver. The new Nano has this built in. So I guess it really is a "new" Nano, hardware-wise.

I have the run feature and no receiver or transmitter...
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post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

Can anyone recommend a watchband for this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

If you intend to wear your Nano as a watch exclusively, I absolutely recommend the LunaTik, which I have and I love, and never cease getting compliments about, and I especially love the look of the brand new LunaTik Lynk.

If you want to remove your Nano often and use it without the watch band, I would recommend the TikTok, from the same site.

I have the TikTok and find it fantastic. It's very stylish and I've gotten a many compliments on the pairing. I also find it better for active living than the chain link versions.
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post #34 of 66
I still don't understand why Apple doesn't open these things up to the App Store and developers, or at least build in 240x240 versions of some of their more practical apps, like calculator and address book. Casio's been doing it since the early 80s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculator_watch), and those buttons are smaller than they would be on the nano screen. There's actually a lot you can do in 240x240. Some developers are very clever at finding solutions for small screens.



There, proof of concept. Apple's calculator at 240x240. Why is that so hard?

Especially with people wearing these as watches. I'd consider wearing one as a watch if they open it up to third party apps. Then maybe I would't need to carry around my iPod touch. That would be awesome.
post #35 of 66
I wish apple added bluetooth 4 (low energy version, which is based on Wibree) to the nano.
The iPhone 4s has it and it would have been cool if the iPhone would talk to the nano so you could see alerts and maybe even use siri.

If they did that they would have sold millions of these.
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post



There, proof of concept. Apple's calculator at 240x240. Why is that so hard?

Because that's not at all what it would look like in reality. 240x240 depends on your monitor. On my 27" Cinema Display, that's huge.

You have to design it by physical size. And there's no way that interface there is going to ever be usable on a screen 1.08" x 1.08".
post #37 of 66
Is there any difference between the "new" one and the previous one with the software update?
post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Because that's not at all what it would look like in reality. 240x240 depends on your monitor. On my 27" Cinema Display, that's huge.

You have to design it by physical size. And there's no way that interface there is going to ever be usable on a screen 1.08" x 1.08".

Yes, I understand pixel density and that perceptually that 240x240 image would be constrained to 1"x1", but I disagree that it wouldn't be usable.

Not only was that example put together quickly, and could've used the space more efficiently (no space between buttons), but as I pointed out in my previous post, Casio has been doing it in the same or less space than that for years.

At four buttons wide, if they were edge-to-edge, each button would be at lest .25" wide. The buttons on the Casio wristwatch calculators range from >.125" to .25". So, how is it not possible? Casio has sold millions of those watches over the past 30 years, it must've worked for someone.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

I still don't understand why Apple doesn't open these things up to the App Store and developers, or at least build in 240x240 versions of some of their more practical apps, like calculator and address book. Casio's been doing it since the early 80s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculator_watch), and those buttons are smaller than they would be on the nano screen. There's actually a lot you can do in 240x240. Some developers are very clever at finding solutions for small screens.



There, proof of concept. Apple's calculator at 240x240. Why is that so hard?

Especially with people wearing these as watches. I'd consider wearing one as a watch if they open it up to third party apps. Then maybe I would't need to carry around my iPod touch. That would be awesome.

The calculators in your link look very obviously bigger than the Nano, and it wouldn't be as big as your 240x240 picture either. We're talking about a 1 inch across screen here, its not just pixels.
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

So, how is it not possible?

You don't think that that not being a touchscreen might have something to do with it?
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