Teardown Of 4G iPod Touch Reveals Thin Is In

Teardown Of 4G iPod Touch Reveals Thin Is In

“This thing is thin!” says iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens, who just performed a teardown of the 4G iPod touch. “So thin that there is literally no room for the 5 MP camera in the iPhone 4.”

Here’s what he found:

Teardown Of 4G iPod Touch Reveals Thin Is In

* The 4th Generation iPod Touch’s A4 processor package has the same 256 MB Samsung SDRAM markings found on the iPad’s processor. Many developers will be disappointed that it doesn’t have the 512 MB found in the iPhone 4, but Apple had to keep costs down to hit the $229 price point.

* This is the easiest iPod Touch we’ve ever cracked open — a bit of glue and two tabs hold the front panel in place. We hoped that the insides would continue to be repair-friendly, but then found that the front glass and LCD panel were permanently fused together. This will prevent dust from getting beneath the glass, but unfortunately will also make repair more expensive.

* Like all other revisions of the iPod Touch, the battery is soldered to the logic board. This isn’t a surprise given the slim form factor of the iPod, but we wish Apple would make battery replacement easier, especially on a Touch that is now easier to open.

* Apple did add more space between the battery’s three solder points compared to the 3rd Gen Touch. This should make the soldering job a little easier when replacing the battery, as there’s less chance of accidentally bridging the contacts.

* The EMI shield is surprisingly heavy, weighing in at 11 grams. The entire iPod Touch is only 101 grams, meaning Apple has devoted more than 10% of the iPod’s weight to this metal EMI shield.

* Unfortunately, the rear-facing camera is only 960×720 resolution. That’s only about .7 megapixels, compared to 5 megapixels on the iPhone 4. Apple was forced to sacrifice still photo resolution in order to squeeze the camera into the Touch’s slim package. Going forward, we expect Apple to adopt improved micro camera technology as better cameras come to market.

* For those of you who are wondering, there’s no way the iPhone 4’s rear camera can be installed in the Touch.

* In a first for the iPod Touch line, the headphone jack is not soldered to the logic board. There’s also a liquid damage indicator on the bottom of the headphone jack, so don’t use your Touch to stir the coffee.

* This primary antenna is situated near the front glass panel. Its new location eliminates the need for the plastic “window” found on the 3rd generation Touch. There also appears to be a secondary antenna located on the headphone jack.

* Contrary to Apple’s initial claims on their FaceTime marketing page, the iPod Touch does not have a vibrator. Apple’s website has been updated to remove this claim.

The Touch is very similar to the iPhone 4. Here’s a brief comparison:
Better:
* Lighter and thinner
* More durable metal back panel (we’ve seen many broken glass iPhone 4 rear panels)
* Half the price at only $229!
Worse:
* Only 256 MB RAM
* No GPS
* Harder to disassemble
* No vibrator
* John Gruber has postulated that the iPod Touch does not have an IPS display. We are still working to verify this, and will post comparison photos soon.

Repairability score: 4/10

Related
  • marktz

    where can you buy the part that is solder onto the logic board where the headphon jack clips on to

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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