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Exposing the guts of Apple's second-gen iPod shuffle

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer's new iPod shuffle digital music player is held together primarily by four screws and some mild adhesive, as show in a disassembly performed by the folks over at iFixIt.

The top and bottom of the player are capped by two thin, white plastic strips, which are secured by mild adhesive that can be relieved with some heat from a hair dryer and use of a spudger tool.

Underneath the top cap lies a shuffle / loop switch and a power switch that connects to the main logic board. It too can be removed with help from a spudger tool.

Once the switch mechanism has been removed, both ends of the player will have a retaining bracket exposed, each attached by two Phillips #00 screws.

After removing both sets of screws and prying off the retaining brackets with a spudger, the main logic board can be pushed out and separated from the player's aluminum enclosure.

According to the iFixIt disassembly guide, the top of the board includes five button sensors, an Apple logo-stamped ARM chip (No. 337S3300 844A N05WDK01 0642 ARM), and a data ribbon cable leading to the headphone / dock jack on the other side.

The top cap of Apple's second-gen iPod shuffle | Photo: iFixIt

Two switch components inside Apple's second-gen iPod shuffle | Photo: iFixIt

Separating the logic board from casing | Photo: iFixIt

On the bottom of the board, Apple has done an impressive job of packing functionality into the headphone jack. "The dock plug has three conductive strips, plus the ground post," said iFixIt. "It's safe to assume that the plug is multi-modal and switches between USB, analog audio, and possibly power modes."

iFixIt presumes that it should be easy for a third-party developer to make a small USB adapter that restores the memory-stick functionality to the new shuffle, as the player currently requires a dock (included) for connectivity.

The top of the main logic board | Photo: iFixIt

The bottom of the main logic board | Photo: iFixIt

Disassembly of second-gen shuffle complete | Photo: iFixIt

The shuffle's Li-ion polymer battery is soldered onto the logic board, while the headphone / dock / power jack and memory chip are nestled beneath the headphone jack component.

Without disrupting the main logic board, the player disassembles into 12 individual components, including the four screws and the enclosure, which appears to be a solid piece of molded aluminum.
post #2 of 21
I think this is a major improvement from the G1 shuffle (except for the handy thumb drive use of of G1). The first generation shuffle always felt very cheap to me.
post #3 of 21
Look at all the wasted space around the headphone jack! There is NO reason Apple couldn't include a dual-layer DVD burner
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme

Look at all the wasted space around the headphone jack! There is NO reason Apple couldn't include a dual-layer DVD burner

it's the heatsink
post #5 of 21
So I'd like to see the springclip mechanism. It seems the main complaint is that it isn't strong enough. I wonder if it could be accessed and strengthened.
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post #6 of 21
But how does it work with the hair curlers?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 21
yeah, anybody out there got any details about the spring clip? if it's flimsy, i don't want it--i can buy a strong spring clip and attach it to my 1G Shuffle.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulyssespdx

yeah, anybody out there got any details about the spring clip? if it's flimsy, i don't want it--i can buy a strong spring clip and attach it to my 1G Shuffle.

i got mine this morning, very happy with it and nothing flimsy about the clip, i just had to use it today and went for a walk (yes i'm vain), i had the shuffle clipped to the bottom of my top, it looks good, works well, and does not slip..... now when will that vPod come out ???http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...s/1biggrin.gif
post #9 of 21
Wow... look how simple it is inside. They must be making a fortune...
post #10 of 21
Yet again Apple show how clean compact design and component miniturisation will make them another boat-load of money. The player is tiny, and most of that is battery! A tiny ARM chip (is that a Samsung design, or a custom Apple design?) and flash memory appear to be the majority of the electronics.
post #11 of 21
The ARM chips turning up at the moment in phones and iPods show the level of sophistication ARM have reached in the past year. In phones it's meant just one chip to run both as the CPU and as the radio stack. In iPods presumably they've merged in what was previously handled by multiple other chips from 3rd parties.

That's where Apple is getting it's cost and power consumption gains from.

It looks more like an aluminium extrusion than 'Aluminum moulding'. They're squeezed from a die in long lengths of iPod and then chopped to size in the same way window frames and bike parts are made. It's probably cheaper than plastic injection moulding and quite possible more environmentally friendly too. At least the casing is recyclable.

It's a pity the innards aren't more easily accessible though for that day when the battery dies and it needs replacing or recycling.

A pity it's not got the new headphones too.
post #12 of 21
It looks like the switches should be better this time. The original shuffle's on switch can be hard to slide. On my sister's shuffle, I have to press in on it while pressing in the slide direction, and that adds friction.
post #13 of 21
So when are they going to do 'Shuffles in Colour?'
- that would be a good stocking filler for Xmas!
- plus since it's promoted as a clip-on fashion accessory, I think a variety of colours would make a lot sense
post #14 of 21
bought one today.

the clip is strong enough. but, i looked at two demo models at the store, and they both had spongy clips that didn't always snap back into place.

the spring mechanism looks fragile and weak. i wonder how long it'll last. hmm.

but, i love it!
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulyssespdx

yeah, anybody out there got any details about the spring clip? if it's flimsy, i don't want it--i can buy a strong spring clip and attach it to my 1G Shuffle.


Yeah, I have the new 2G shuffle. The spring clip doesn't feel bad, and it is very functional. It has a lot of hold but it is true that it is a little less springy then you'd expect.

I've worked out with it and it's never fallen off. The only problem is that on the end of a sleeve it bounces around more than an ipod on a strap would.

And remember, the thing weighs practically nothing. It doesn't need an industrial strength spring. In fact, I have tested it to see if I could just drop it, and it just dangled there and didn't even pull out the earbuds. If you use behind the head or standard headphones you have even less to worry about.

Finally, it works best when it's clipped over a seam, like at the bottom of a t-shirt or on the sleeve. Or a jeans pocket.

Bottom line is, even when jogging and working out, it has never fallen off.
post #16 of 21
Awesome to hear that it is strong enough for its weight!! I'm not a crazy iPod person, but this is definitely and finally in the stocking stuffer class of devices and that means even I might get a few. Apple will sell an ocean of these!

I wonder how long Zune will take to get to this size ... ha.
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post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign

It's a pity the innards aren't more easily accessible though for that day when the battery dies and it needs replacing or recycling.

It's an $80 player. It will last 2-3 years. If the battery dies, you can get a replacement from Apple, but they throw in a free player to go with it.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade

It's an $80 player. It will last 2-3 years. If the battery dies, you can get a replacement from Apple, but they throw in a free player to go with it.

Yes, but that doesn't change anything about how easy it is to remove and replace or recycle the battery be that yourself that's doing it or Apple or some other 3rd party. Many of these will just end up as landfill because it's commercially not viable to remove the battery easily.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign

Yes, but that doesn't change anything about how easy it is to remove and replace or recycle the battery be that yourself that's doing it or Apple or some other 3rd party. Many of these will just end up as landfill because it's commercially not viable to remove the battery easily.

It may not be personally viable for individuals to remove the battery and seperate it from the other components (aluminum tube being the only significant piece), but it looks to me to be commercially viable if there were a market for these batteries and Apple took the position that recycling aluminum and batteries were in its corporate interest, even if it was a cost line in the budget.

This is where a simple 1% tax or a standard, defined deposit (like the 5-cent deposit for bottles) could be reasonably added-on for such devices so that their price reflected the true cost of the device and included the labor for recycling materials. We either pay now or pay later.
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post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor

I wonder how long Zune will take to get to this size ... ha.

about 2 years :-)

(Shrinking down WiFi so that we can deliver it in this size for under $100 is the challenge. And where would we put the screen?)
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zUUneArch

about 2 years :-)

(Shrinking down WiFi so that we can deliver it in this size for under $100 is the challenge. And where would we put the screen?)

Not that big a challenge. You can get WiFi Mini SD cards now. Why you'd want WiFi in an iPod Shuffle class device is perhaps another question.
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