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iPod Touch 5 teardown shows Apple resting on its laurels

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power management IC? DDR2? Wi-Fi?

The fifth generation of the iPod Touch shows Apple is not thinking different, this according to iFixit chief information architect Miroslav Djuric. An excerpt of the full teardown of its 16GB model follows:

Sneaky, sneaky Apple. Thought you could pull a fast one on us by releasing a new, stripped-down version of the current iPod Touch without your customary fanfare? Not on our watch.

The exclusion of two main components has earned the iPod Touch 5th Generation 16GB a new model number from its 32 and 64GB brothers: A1509.

iPod Touch 5

Figure 1: Shucking the shell, loosening adhesive securing front panel to rear case.

We used our trusty iOpener to loosen the adhesive securing the front panel to the rear case. We're getting used to this opening method, as it melts adhesive as fast as water melts a wicked witch, without risking screen warp.

The first obvious internal difference between the Touches is the lack of a wrist strap post inside the rear case. The speaker, originally curved to surround the post, remains unchanged.

With the exception of the flash memory, it appears that the ICs on the 16GB model's logic board are the same as those found on the 32 and 64GB models:

  • Apple A5 dual-core processor, with 4Gb (512MB) of Mobile DDR2 RAM.
  • Toshiba THGBX2G7B2JLA01 128Gb (16GB) NAND flash
  • Apple 3381064 dialogue power management IC (similar to the Apple 338S1131)
  • Murata 339S0171 Wi-Fi module
  • Broadcom BCM5976 touchscreen controller
  • STMicroelectronics low-power, three-axis gyroscope (AGD3/2229/E5GEK)
  • Apple 338S1116 and 338S1077 Cirrus Audio Codec

iPod Touch 5 16GB logic board

Figure 2: 16GB logic board almost the same as higher models.

This new iPod is less revolutionary and more iterative than most Apple releases. Aside from the lack of a 5-megapixel, rear-facing camera, there isn't much that distinguishes the iPod Touch 5th Generation 16GB from its (slightly older) forebear. So, for this teardown, we played a game of spot the differences. Here's what we found: there's a gap on the logic board where the camera cable used to connect, the microphone moved from the back of the iPod to the top, and the baffling post for 'the loop' has been nixed.

iPod Touch 5 disassembled

Figure 3: Latest iPod less revolutionary and more iterative than most Apple releases.

Given the lack of major changes between permutations, the iPod Touch 5th Generation 16GB received a 3 out of 10 on our repairability scalethe same as its higher capacity counterparts.

- Miroslav Djuric

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