802.11n, space for camera hidden in Apple's new iPod touch

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A look inside the latest iPod touch hardware reveals the device has space to fit an iPod nano-style video camera, and also sports a wireless chip that supports 802.11n.



The new, faster, higher-capacity third-generation iPod touch was long-rumored to receive a camera, and mounting, convincing evidence in recent months led many to believe it was an inevitability. Apple surprised this week when it announced a 64GB iPod touch without a camera, adding credibility to reports to AppleInsider that hardware issues prevented the new feature from becoming a reality.



Providing even more support for that rumor is a disassembly of the new iPod touch by iFixit. In their teardown, they found enough space to fit a video camera, like the one featured in the new iPod nano. In addition, the space is in the center on the back of the device, where the camera was rumored to be located. However, there are no headers on the iPod's board for a camera cable.



"It appears that Apple left in room for a camera in the top of the device," the solutions provider said. "There is a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm space between the Broadcom chip and the wireless antenna. There isn't enough depth for an iPhone-style autofocus still camera, but just enough room for the camera that Apple used in the 5th generation iPod nano."







The new iPod nano has a video-only camera. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said in an interview with The New York Times this week that the iPod touch was not given a camera because the company wanted to focus on promoting the hardware as a gaming machine, and keeping the low-end model's price under $200. However, sources have suggested to AppleInsider that the hardware maker still intends to introduce an iPod touch with a camera.



iFixit also found a Broadcom BCM4329 chip inside the new third-generation device -- a wireless receiver that supports 802.11n. The iPhone 3GS has a BCM4325 chip, which only supports 802.11 a/b/g. The new iPod touch does not support 802.11n Wi-Fi out of the box.



"This reminds us of last year when we broke the news that the 2nd generation touch had Bluetooth support in hardware," they said. "Apple didn't enable software support until 9 months later with iPhone OS 3.0."







The new device also features a Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and and a FM receiver and transmitter. However, that does not necessarily mean that the iPod touch will be able to receive and send FM signals. The latest iPod nano, however, does have a built-in FM receiver.



"If they built in the antennas, and if Apple adds software support," iFixit said, "you could theoretically stream music to your car stereo without any external hardware. But that's a lot of ifs."







"While we were all disappointed by Apple's underwhelming iPod touch announcement, it is clear that there is more engineering effort under the surface of this device than meets the eye."



«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    And you can bet they're going to charge to enable 802.11n.
  • Reply 2 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by qmt49 View Post


    And you can bet they're going to charge to enable 802.11n.



    Quote:

    "This reminds us of last year when we broke the news that the 2nd generation touch had Bluetooth support in hardware," they said. "Apple didn't enable software support until 9 months later with iPhone OS 3.0."



    Which cost $10 in late June and now has been discounted @ 50% to $5 less than 2 1/1 months later!

    RIP-OFF, APPLE!
  • Reply 3 of 84
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:

    "It appears that Apple left in room for a camera in the top of the device," the solutions provider said. "There is a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm space between the Broadcom chip and the wireless antenna. There isn't enough depth for an iPhone-style autofocus still camera, but just enough room for the camera that Apple used in the 5th generation iPod nano."



    ?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc. The Touch's camera should get both zoom and flash since it doesn't need battery power for phone calls. It should be a total camera replacement. I would even forgo video in favor of a real decent camera.
  • Reply 4 of 84
    This helps me feel better about purchasing a 64g touch. I was really debating holding out for the camera that everyone thought was coming, but if it's just going to be the low-res camera out of the nano, I'll pass. Also, the promise of a FM radio transmitter/receiver and 802.11n is exciting, but I wish they would just go ahead and enable these features, rather than (presumably) waiting for the iPhone to get them first. As the general response on the internet has shown, this new lineup of touches needs all the help it can get.
  • Reply 5 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ninjin View Post


    As the general response on the internet has shown, this new lineup of touches needs all the help it can get.



    Ha-ha, right. They'll sell millions of them.
  • Reply 6 of 84
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    As sad as it is guys, you'll have to live with what you've been offered. The real reason it got no camera is the iPhone /sobvious
  • Reply 7 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Anyone notice that the battery time for the Touch has fallen for music? It’s still 6 hours for video, but audio has dropped from 36 hours to 30 hours.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    ?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc. The Touch's camera should get both zoom and flash since it doesn't need battery power for phone calls. It should be a total camera replacement. I would even forgo video in favor of a real decent camera.



    There isn’t enough room at this point without making it thicker. The devices are only similar when looking at them from the front. Their thicknesses are very different.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ninjin View Post


    This helps me feel better about purchasing a 64g touch. I was really debating holding out for the camera that everyone thought was coming, but if it's just going to be the low-res camera out of the nano, I'll pass. Also, the promise of a FM radio transmitter/receiver and 802.11n is exciting, but I wish they would just go ahead and enable these features, rather than (presumably) waiting for the iPhone to get them first. As the general response on the internet has shown, this new lineup of touches needs all the help it can get.



    That Nano is better than I thought it would be. It’s still crap, but for a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm camera that does 640x480 video at 30fps, I’m quite impressed.



    I think the FM receiver may eventually come but the transmitter may be too low tech for Apple and, perhaps more importantly, it would hurt there 3rd-party vendors who pay for the 30-pin connector licensing if people didn’t buy the transmitters and the direct connect. There is also a strong possibility that it may also not work well without the headphones in as an antenna. I’ve tried these transmitters with sat radio and even with the supplied antennas they can still be really crappy.



    As for 802.11n, it would be nice if they turned it on, but the iPhone 3GS chip has 802.11a and it has yet to be turned on, as far as I know. I’d prefer to keep my devices on the 5Ghz network but I wonder if Apple is unable to make the 5GHz of 802.11a/n and the 2.4Ghz 802.11n power friendly enough to not mess with their battery specs. I’d think they’d have to append the WiFI stats if they allowed it. I’m looking forward to the jailbreak community getting it working.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    As sad as it is guys, you'll have to live with what you've been offered. The real reason it got no camera is the iPhone /sobvious



    I can’t recall Apple ever releasing an iDevice that had a planned space for a feature that they had no intention of including. It seems obvious that the reason is from the rumoured technical issues, not to push the iPhone. The iPhone was still going to have a better video camera with autofocus and the ability to take stills.
  • Reply 8 of 84
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Apple's RDF makes you believe that they are really giving away the goods by selling an old tech Touch on the low-end with 8Gb of RAM. That should have been $149 since it doesn't make sense that the two high-end Touch models are $100 apart with the new CPU and GPU built-in. The mid model being 4x the RAM as the 8Gb and the high end 8x the RAM.



    That's called upselling. Consumer says, "Wow, for an extra $100 I can get the latest tech and 4x the memory of the low-end."



    No doubt the 8Gb model is temporary until the hype dies down. Then they'll do a mid-year bump with a 16Gb model with the new internals. We might see the video cameras then too in all of the models.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Apple's RDF makes you believe that they are really giving away the goods by selling an old tech Touch on the low-end with 8Gb of RAM. That should have been $149 since it doesn't make sense that the two high-end Touch models are $100 apart with the new CPU and GPU built-in. The mid model being 4x the RAM as the 8Gb and the high end 8x the RAM.



    That's called upselling. Consumer says, "Wow, for an extra $100 I can get the latest tech and 4x the memory of the low-end."



    No doubt the 8Gb model is temporary until the hype dies down. Then they'll do a mid-year bump with a 16Gb model with the new internals. We might see the video cameras then too in all of the models.



    I don?t think it makes sense for the 8GB Touch to be the same price as the 8GB Nano. That makes no sense from a marketing standpoint. I have no doubt that Apple makes a higher percentage on the 8GB Touch than it does on the 16GB Touch, but that doesn?t mean it makes more money per unit.



    As for up-selling, I don?t see how that is a problem. That is a very old business practice that has served many businesses well. Why Apple shouldn?t be allowed to execute this seems silly.



    I do think that you might be right about the mid-release bump and upgrade. Though it will depends on current supply and demand.
  • Reply 10 of 84
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    I think it is clear from the pics now that a camera was destined for the iPod Touch but is not there for what ever reason. It is very likely that the reported technical reasons are accurate, as I can't see Apple getting this far and then having a plastic spacer produced so they can scrap the camera idea.



    While the camera may have the same dimensions as the Nano, one should not assume that it was exactly the same device. It could have had other features they wanted to explore such as higher res video, high res still pics, or auto focus for that matter. Any of these could have been tripping points for the camera. Frankly we don't even know at this moment if the hardware in the Nano even has a still pic mode. In other words maybe the camera in Nano could do stills but they are so bad Apple didn't want to consider them and are suing the sensor only as a video device. Maybe video only wasn't in the game for the Touch.



    The expanded Flash capacity is going to make many people happy and frankly is likely to be a bigger draw than the camera would have been. However one thing that hasn't been investigated or reported yet is the amount of RAM installed? I'm wondering if the high end devices went to 256MB, info here would be appreciated. The more RAM the more flexible and interesting the apps that can be installed.







    Dave
  • Reply 11 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    IWhile the camera may have the same dimensions as the Nano, one should not assume that it was exactly the same device. It could have had other features they wanted to explore such as higher res video, high res still pics, or auto focus for that matter. Any of these could have been tripping points for the camera. Frankly we don't even know at this moment if the hardware in the Nano even has a still pic mode. In other words maybe the camera in Nano could do stills but they are so bad Apple didn't want to consider them and are suing the sensor only as a video device. Maybe video only wasn't in the game for the Touch.



    It?ll absolutely do stills. After all, the video is just 30 still frames a second. The question is at what resolution they would be in. The video is a modest 640x480, which is 0.3Mpx. If that is the maximum it could do for stills then I think Apple did right by not allowing that as a feature. This camera is clearly being marketed against Flip cameras, which also can?t do stills.



    Quote:

    The expanded Flash capacity is going to make many people happy and frankly is likely to be a bigger draw than the camera would have been. However one thing that hasn't been investigated or reported yet is the amount of RAM installed? I'm wondering if the high end devices went to 256MB, info here would be appreciated. The more RAM the more flexible and interesting the apps that can be installed.



    The teardown revealed a CPU that has a slightly higher model number than the current iPhone so I imagine that it would have the same RAM as the 3GS. 128MB was the minimum that the iPhone OS could handle. I?d be extremely surprised if isn?t 256MB.



    Anyone with a new Touch can run iStat to see how much RAM they have.
  • Reply 12 of 84
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    ?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc. The Touch's camera should get both zoom and flash since it doesn't need battery power for phone calls. It should be a total camera replacement. I would even forgo video in favor of a real decent camera.



    In that case you're going to have to get a real decent camera, not an iPod. No device that size is going to be decent. You're getting a crap point and shooter no matter how much work they do, because the lens and the CCD are so tiny.
  • Reply 13 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    In that case you're going to have to get a real decent camera, not an iPod. No device that size is going to be decent. You're getting a crap point and shooter no matter how much work they do, because the lens and the CCD are so tiny.



    And when it can finally do 720p video and take 3Mpx images the tech for larger devices will be so far ahead that we?ll hear complaining about that quality.



    I?ve already heard people complaining about the Touch only being 64GB. That it should be at least as much as the Classic is and that the Classic should have a much larger HDD. I?ve even heard the price compared to that of a $300 netbook with a 250GB HDD. Who said, ?You can make some of the people happy all of the time, you call can make all of the people happy some of the time, but you can?t make all of the people happy all of the time??
  • Reply 14 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    ?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc....



    It just jumped out at me why Apple might be doing this. They don't want to distract attention from the tablet device. If the iPod touch is too compelling then there is less room for a more expensive alternative. Treating the iPod touch as a gaming device seems daft when it is so much more but not if you want that position taken by a yet to be introduced device.
  • Reply 15 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sdbryan View Post


    It just jumped out at me why Apple might be doing this. They don't want to distract attention from the tablet device. If the iPod touch is too compelling then there is less room for a more expensive alternative.



    I don?t see how the Touch and a Tablet are rivalries when one will fit in your pocket and the other won?t. But more importantly, I can?t imagine Apple only figuring that out at the last minute when both devices would have had been in development for a long time. It seems much more likely that the camera did have the rumoured issues that were mentioned, thus the space for a Nano-like video camera.
  • Reply 16 of 84
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    There isn?t enough room at this point without making it thicker. The devices are only similar when looking at them from the front. Their thicknesses are very different.









    I can?t recall Apple ever releasing an iDevice that had a planned space for a feature that they had no intention of including. It seems obvious that the reason is from the rumoured technical issues, not to push the iPhone. The iPhone was still going to have a better video camera with autofocus and the ability to take stills.



    Is the re any reason the Touch needs to be paper thin? Added thickness with more and better functionality is more desired IMO. Make it thicker and give it a great camera. All this fearfulness about cutting into the iPhone is really absurd.



    Well the AppleTv has a USB port where I've yet to hear Apple explain what's it's for. It's not mentioned in the manual.
  • Reply 17 of 84
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    In that case you're going to have to get a real decent camera, not an iPod. No device that size is going to be decent. You're getting a crap point and shooter no matter how much work they do, because the lens and the CCD are so tiny.



    Make it thicker- very simple. So do we all really want this mediocre gaming device that SJ is trying to spin on us? The PSP runs rings around it. I mean- it's OK but seriously?
  • Reply 18 of 84
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don?t see how the Touch and a Tablet are rivalries when one will fit in your pocket and the other won?t. But more importantly, I can?t imagine Apple only figuring that out at the last minute when both devices would have had been in development for a long time. It seems much more likely that the camera did have the rumoured issues that were mentioned, thus the space for a Nano-like video camera.



    Not only that but the Tablet is supposed to run a full fledged OS not some mobile iPhone version.
  • Reply 19 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Is the re any reason the Touch needs to be paper thin? Added thickness with more and better functionality is more desired IMO. Make it thicker and give it a great camera. All this fearfulness about cutting into the iPhone is really absurd.



    Hi, let me introduce to Apple as you two have obviously not met. They are a company obsessed with thinness and they apparently find that the thinness, weight and overall size of their products are important factors for marketing and selling their wares. Looking at their market dominance with PMPs while historically having less features in HW and SW as other devices shows that there strategy is working well for them.



    The good thing is there are plenty of other companies that make thicker devices with more and better features that may suit your needs. Don?t ever expect the Nano to outdo the Flip or the iPhone to outdo Nokia with their cameras.





    Quote:

    Well the AppleTv has a USB port where I've yet to hear Apple explain what's it's for. It's not mentioned in the manual.



    It?s explained. It?s a service port at this time.
  • Reply 20 of 84
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    It?ll absolutely do stills. After all, the video is just 30 still frames a second. The question is at what resolution they would be in. The video is a modest 640x480, which is 0.3Mpx. If that is the maximum it could do for stills then I think Apple did right by not allowing that as a feature. This camera is clearly being marketed against Flip cameras, which also can?t do stills.





    The teardown revealed a CPU that has a slightly higher model number than the current iPhone so I imagine that it would have the same RAM as the 3GS. 128MB was the minimum that the iPhone OS could handle. I?d be extremely surprised if isn?t 256MB.



    Anyone with a new Touch can run iStat to see how much RAM they have.



    I think stills grabbed from the nano's VGA camera will be at least as good as most photos sent to Facebook. The only show stopper about the video quality for the average person might be the rolling shutter wobble. I'm not saying the camera is great, but it's still workable.
Sign In or Register to comment.