Any internal differences in the 2012 Shuffle?
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Has the September 2012 Shuffle, updated with new colors, but still "4th generation", received any updates to the way it's being constructed or assembled? Are the internals still the same? (Sometimes these devices do receive changes over time without so much as a whisper from the manufacturer.)
The version that I bought, before the color change, has a manufacturing defect where the backplate bulges slightly at one side, presumably from too much internal glue. This causes a seam which is not flush, and when pressure is applied, the backplate moves up and down very slightly. The clip attaches to that backplate, so I'm thinking that one day that plate is just going to pop off due to metal fatigue.
According to the teardown, this iPod is pretty much impossible to open without doing damage to it, so in this case, why not just make it rock solid, but concede that it won't ever be repairable? That would be, I think, preferable to weak(ish) construction which is also extremely difficult to repair.
More importantly, is there new hardware present which would necessitate Apple to raise the system requirements to iTunes 10.7 when the previous Shuffle (externally identical except for color and ID numbers) required only 10.0?
I mean, is this just an arbitrary decision by Apple to force users into the never-ending cycle of hardware-software-hardware updates, or is there a really good reason for requiring people to update to the latest version of iTunes? (I consider iTunes 9 to be my favorite release based on its IU design, but was forced to stop using it in favor of iTunes 10 ever since buying my 4th gen. Shuffle.)