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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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?
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Is that a hirose RF connector on the logic board? Could this mean we'll have wireless enabled iPod Nano in the future?
  • Reply 3 of 35
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    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!
  • Reply 4 of 35
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    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!
  • Reply 6 of 35
    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...
  • Reply 7 of 35
    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 Touch?s speaker and potentially worse so it?s likely not something you?ll 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.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    David Pogue chimes in on the new Nano…



    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/te...rssnyt&emc=rss
  • Reply 9 of 35
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    They keep making the iPod Nano bigger and bigger...



    How long until it's not very "Nano" any more? As of yesterday?
  • Reply 12 of 35
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 35
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    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
  • Reply 16 of 35
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 doesn?t mean that it?s not welcome if Apple can swing it, just that it?s 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 didn?t think Apple could pull me away from the Shuffle, but it looks like they did. That said, i?d gladly go back to the impish Shuffle if they could add the Nike+ tech to it.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 don?t want to pay for the data fees because they aren?t in the proper area to utilize it or just don?t care about being tied to the internet 24/7.



    Could the iPod nano?s 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?
  • Reply 20 of 35
    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.





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