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Teardown finds design features unique to iPod Touch

Posted: 21 Dec 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPod Touch? teardown? flash memory?

While Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch use 90 percent of the same components, there are some unique design differences in the latter gadget, a market research firm said this week.

The touchscreen iPod contains space-saving components in its WLAN module that aren't seen in the iPhone smart phone, iSuppli said in releasing its breakdown analysis of Apple's most advanced portable media player. The overall footprint of the component packaging is reduced through the use of state-of-the-art 0201 diodes and 01005 resisters.

"This is the first time iSuppli has seen these components in a product we've torn down," Andrew Rassweiler, teardown services manager and principal analyst for iSuppli, said in a statement. "Apple products always seem to push the envelope in terms of space savings, and therefore we often first see the newest, most-compact components in Apple products."

In addition, the high-end version of the iPod Touch pushes the envelope in terms of memory density for Apple by packing in 16Gbytes of NAND flash memory for storing data, which is double the amount of the high-end iPhone. Other differences include the use of a single PCB design, rather than the iPhone's modular two-PCB design, iSuppli said. The touchscreen circuitry is located on the PCB in the iPod, as opposed to being a separate module on the iPhone.

iSuppli also found that the iPod Touch follows Apple's pattern of setting retail pricing at about double the cost of the company's BOM for hardware and manufacturing costs. The 8Gbyte version of the Touch has components worth $149.18, plus $5.86 in manufacturing, assembly and test expenses, for a total cost of $155.04. The $299 retail price of the device is 92.9 percent higher, according to iSuppli.

In general, the iPod Touch and iPhone use 90 percent of the same components. Each, for example, has a Samsung Electronics' video/applications processor and an NXP Semiconductors power-management integrated circuit.

Of course, the devices also have Apple's innovative 3.5-inch diagonal touchscreen, which lets people use their fingers to manipulate images and data.

- Antone Gonsalves

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