iPod Nano 5th Generation Teardown



Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

We've got our hands on the new iPod nano 5G, now with a video camera! We got our nano early on the morning of September 10, 2009.

Want up-to-the-minute updates? Follow @ifixit on twitter.

Check out the YouTube video of the teardown!

Image #1

Edit Step 1 iPod Nano 5th Generation Teardown  ¶ 

  • Apple's got a routine going with the nano. Never fail, come September, we get a new one.

    • 1G - September 7, 2005

    • 2G - September 12, 2006

    • 3G - September 5, 2007

    • 4G - September 9, 2008

    • 5G - September 9, 2009

  • This is the first time Apple's had a similar exterior design two releases in a row. The rear-mounted video camera is the only clear sign that we have a new device in our hands.

  • Notice the white wrapper around the packaging. Not even Apple employees got to sneak a peek at this one.

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Shiny!

  • Many of the new features include a pedometer, voice recorder, voiceover, a genius mix feature, FM radio, a speaker, oh, and a little thing called a VIDEO CAMERA!

  • The one thing the nano didn't receive this release is a capacity upgrade. Like the 4th Gen, this nano comes in 8 and 16 GB capacities.

  • You can [www.twitter.com/ifixit|follow us on twitter] to get all the latest updates as we're doing the teardown!

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • A video camera finally comes to the iPod line. Surprisingly, it's in the nano, and not the touch.

  • According to Apple, the video camera offers:

    • H.264 VGA video

    • 640 by 480 pixels

    • Up to 30 frames per second

    • AAC audio

  • Can you take photos? NO. There is no still camera option in the nano 5th Generation probably due to the low resolution of the VGA camera.

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • A Plastic Opening Tool makes quick work of the plastic bezel surrounding the dock connector.

  • There's not much to see here yet. We're working on getting to the good stuff...

  • So far, there's a lot in common with the 4th Gen nano.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • No surprises here. This design is identical to the 4th Gen nano. Even though the exterior hold switch is near the edge of the iPod, the internal hold switch is actually in the center of the iPod.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Unlike some earlier iPods, the hold switch isn't directly attached to the logic board.

  • That's a really thin ribbon cable. Then again, there's not a lot of data that needs to go through it.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The camera bezel appears to be keeping the iPod's insides from coming out.

  • Eine Deutsche Rasierklinge should fix that...

  • The microphone by the camera ensures you get sound with your VGA moving pictures.

  • Use a pin to remove the small white retainer from between the camera and microphone holes. This keeps the components from sliding toward the bottom of the nano.

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Apple has redesigned the click wheel on this nano. Instead of being (fairly permanently) affixed to the case, we were able to rotate and lift the click wheel.

  • You can use a spudger to completely remove the click wheel without taking the rest of the iPod apart.

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • There's a thick slab of glass covering the LCD. Unlike the iPhone, we haven't seen issues with broken glass on the nanos.

  • If you want your screen to look nice, don't touch it. Fingerprints are quite noticeable on the glass.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Removing the internals... It's a tight squeeze, but we got them out. Getting this iPod open wasn't easy. We don't recommend trying this at home. Take great care not to scratch the screen on the sharp recess for the click wheel, bend up slightly if necessary.

  • We wish Apple would put a little effort into making iPods repairable, instead of forcing people to throw them away when they break. Recent iPods have become increasingly difficult to successfully repair.

  • This iPod employs copious amounts of glue and adhesive to hold everything together. That makes it easy for Apple to put together, but hard to take apart.

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • iPod, sans casing.

  • The tolerances on this iPod are incredibly tight, there's no wasted space inside.

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • The new nano features a larger display (2.2" and 240x376). This is the same width as the 4th Generation nano, but 56 pixels taller. On a pixel basis, that's 17.5% more screen real estate.

  • Apple keeps putting bigger screens in the same size devices. The footprint of the iPod nano has stayed the same over the last four years, but this display has four times the pixels of the original nano.

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • The battery. Apple warns you right from the get-go that your iPod may melt and/or spontaneously combust: "Potential for fire or buring." We assume they mean burning. It is assembled in China, so we'll give them a little slack.

  • Supposedly if you burn this battery, it will burn.

  • It's readily apparent the battery has not changed much. Just compare it to the battery of yesteryear...

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Here's the speaker. Like the Touch 2nd Gen, the audio simply comes out the bottom of the iPod.

  • For something only about a millimeter thick, it's not really fair to complain about audio quality.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Removing the connector that connects the microphone, speaker, hold switch, and headphone jack to the logic board.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Removing the camera.

  • It's nice to see that the camera's a separate module and not integrated into the board.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • The camera, in all its VGA resolution glory. The camera itself is less than 3 mm thick.

  • Space may have been a factor in not including a better camera. Excluding its mount, the camera in the iPhone 3G is about 6 mm thick. The 5th Gen nano is 6.2 mm thick at its thickest point.

  • Unlike the nano, the touch, at 8.5 mm thick, could conceivably support an iPhone-sized camera, although it would certainly be an engineering challenge.

Image #1

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • In our iPod, Toshiba is the source for the 8 GB of flash memory. On the chip:

    • TH58NVG6D2ELA49

    • ID8038

    • TAIWAN

    • 09299AE

  • It looks like this was made in Taiwan in week 29 of 2009 (mid-July).

  • Also visible to the right of the Toshiba chip is the rubber mounting fixture for the camera, assumedly to dampen vibrations.

Image #1

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • The front of the logic board.

  • The main ARM processor dwarfs everything else on the board. Similar to previous iPods, we expect this is an Apple-branded Samsung processor.

  • Here's the markings from the processor:

    • 339S0081 ARM

    • K4X51323PG-UGC6

    • EDE168AG 0928

    • APL0378A00

    • N1X2XW 0931

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • The shiny chip is visible from this angle:

    • 338S0559

    • ATWV0926

    • SGP

Image #1

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • ~ The End ~

  • Credits:

    • Pictures and hardware analysis: iFixit

    • Flying to Pennsylvania to take apart the new iPod nano for you: iFixit's summer intern.

  • Want a programming job with us? We're hiring.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

where's the FM radio?

stevev1, · Reply

Quote from stevev1:

where's the FM radio?

It uses the head phone wire because all u need is the right programming and a 2 foot wire to get radio

techdude54, · Reply

Quote from stevev1:

where's the FM radio?

tha antenna is in the headphones

arintosh, · Reply

i wish i could afford an ipod :(

illy305, · Reply

does any one have a spare ipod that you would be intrested in giving away please???? any type of ipod..

illy305, · Reply

Quote from stevev1:

where's the FM radio?

Techdude is very very mistaken. Its on the the small chip with the dot on the left side in the middle (vertically) in Step 18.

ufmeifu, · Reply

What is that in step 18, could it be, a connection to get into the root of the OS, no not apple. (Sarcastic)

nav13eh, · Reply

Where can I find a battery for 5th generation nano. It seems no one sells it. Why is that?

Eric, · Reply

hey could you sell me an ipod nano 5th generation's display ??

Dewey, · Reply

Yup, they can be found here.

Andrew Bookholt,

This tutorial explains nothing

zack, · Reply

iPods have come wrapped in that white wrapper for a while now - thats nothing new. It prevents the cases from getting scratched in transit.

warren602, · Reply

Where's the speaker?

imixx, · Reply

Quote from imixx:

Where's the speaker?

The speaker is shown in Step 14. It looks like it's one of these: http://www.murata.com/products/article/p... (or equivalent.)

sendai, · Reply

I'll say the switch at the center is catered for future thinning of the nano.

Zea, · Reply

Make sure the remove the base plate by removing the very small screws. Which make Step 10 (later on) much more easy.

Rick van der Zwet, · Reply

Where can i get a new ribbon?

pskaist, · Reply

Take great care with the hold switch ribbon cable. I've broken two up to now. It has the strength of a piece of 2mm wide bathroom tisue. Also has a right angle bend so it willl tear more easily. You will find two very small screws holding the switch to the small metal bracket. Don't remove them - just slacken them and slip the switch off as the holes are slotted. This frees the large metal top piece and you have less weight hanging on that ribbon. Incidentally, if you do have the bad luck to tear the cable all is not lost as the lock position is with the switch closed (shorted).

Pete Green, · Reply

It's Hobelklinge ;))))

mac605, · Reply

and it's Deutsche

DavidL, · Reply

Quote from DavidL:

and it's Deutsche

actually it should say: Eine deutsche Rasierklinge should fix that... ;)

docmeth02, · Reply

Actually, it's a German fad blade to remove callus from your feet.

killerhamster, · Reply

How exactly is the click wheel removed? You have to rotate it left or right before it lifts off? Does it lift off easy or does it snap/pop off?

Phillip Clark, · Reply

Quote from Phillip Clark:

How exactly is the click wheel removed? You have to rotate it left or right before it lifts off? Does it lift off easy or does it snap/pop off?

No rotation possible as I far could see, glue to keep it in place. And a very small clip hidden behind the play/pause button

Rick van der Zwet, · Reply

It is not removed by rotation. There are two spots holding it in, one on the top (menu) and one on the bottom (play/pause). The one on the bottom is put underneath the rectangular protrusion from the bottom metal bezel (the thing around the dock connector). Once you remove the metal bezel, then the click wheel should just lift out, although like Rick said there is a small amount of glue so you may need to use a spudger.

Andrew Marshall,

Click wheel: I have found traces of adhesive here on a metal rim about 0.5mm wide which is part of the machined case. This rim is then cut away into four 1cm long pieces. One at 10 oclock, 4 oclock, 8 oclock and so on. Not much adhesive - but don't underestimate - it's very strong stuff. At the top of the clickwheel (at 12 oclock) is a small metal tab which slides under the ipod body. When prying out the clickwheel, lift from the bottom, otherwise you are pulling against this metal tab as well as the adhesive. Some heat on this area helps to release the adhesive. Don't end up with the metal plate under the clickwheel looking like a potato chip as happpend with my first teardown.

Pete Green, · Reply

Does anyone know where you could get the glass replaced, my had what looked to be a scratch went to rub off and the glass shattered/cracked, and of course being the consumer and customer I'm out of luck apparently....

angi, · Reply

Hey there.

We have a new nano 5g, now with broken glass. It was just a small drop at the sidewalk and the glass went broken.

Do you know where we kan geet a new glass?


LennartT, · Reply

Removing will be much more easier if your first use step 10 to push the internals out a small bit and than gentely push the window out at the upper edges from inside out.

Rick van der Zwet, · Reply

To take off the glass, do we do it similarly to the 4th gen nano, where you just push it towards the clickwheel a bit to loosen the top first? or is a different method better here?

iTronics Repair, · Reply

Can you only get the glass off by taking apart the rest of it?

Patrick Lajeunesse, · Reply

Any idea whether the adhesives and glues used in the Nano are designed to withstand repeated exposure to high humidity as often happens when people strap the device against their body while exercising? I owned a Nano Gen 3 that stopped working after only a couple months. Other people at my gym using their Nano the same way I do reported the same problem with their Gen 3. I never had problems with the Gen 1 or 2 and have no experience with Gen 4.

billyg, · Reply

You don't have to throw away an old iPod...you can use the Apple Recycling Program and take your iPod to a retail store and trade it in and get 10% off your new iPod...as long its got nothing wrong with the battery...

Lumpy, · Reply

Made sure to protect your ribbon cables from breaking from the sharp metal edges of the clickwheel using a small piece of hard plastic (plectrum for example)

Rick van der Zwet, · Reply

Missing a step on how-to remove the metal frame. Takes a fairly bit of effort to disassembly all attached objects of the frame before you are able to lift the 'mainboard' with battery attached out of it.

Rick van der Zwet, · Reply

anyone know how to replace the backlight? is it possible?

dave, · Reply

It actually has a typo: "Potential for fire or buring.".

nneonneo, · Reply

Quote from nneonneo:

It actually has a typo: "Potential for fire or buring.".

Cutting these batteries with a sharp knife produces neat looking sparks all around the blade. Between the layers of the foil in the battery is a clear slimy/lumpy substance, akin to semi dried alcohol hand sanitizer.

sflaig, · Reply

Where can I get a replacement battery? Anyone? It doesn't look like I can use 4th generation battery. Although the voltage is same, the connectors are different

Eric, · Reply

where's the pic of the front of the camera? ? ? ? ?

kyletallent, · Reply

that space for the microphone by the camera looks really tiny. what kind of microphone is it?

fdsa, · Reply

Quote from kyletallent:

where's the pic of the front of the camera? ? ? ? ?

The 'front' of the camera, and the microphone is shown with the speaker in Step 14. They are the two padded components at the bottom.

sendai, · Reply

Where are the water contact indicators in the 5G? Are they the white dots seen in some of these steps? I know there's one in the headphone jack, but I have yet to see a picture of it to compare mine too.

Corey, · Reply

interesting that the connector says "foxlink" as opposed to "foxconn"

perhaps foxconn only handles the iphone?

Omega192, · Reply

Any one offer an extension cable for the camera so it can used in a more creative way?

DrPepper1979, · Reply

Watch out for that delicate connector directly left of the apple branded arm chip. Looks like, in the picture, it was broken in half during disassembly.

jdcompman, · Reply

Quote from jdcompman:

Watch out for that delicate connector directly left of the apple branded arm chip. Looks like, in the picture, it was broken in half during disassembly.

EDIT: Easier to see in Step 20

jdcompman, · Reply

Quote from jdcompman:

EDIT: Easier to see in Step 20

Yup, a word from the (recently) wise: remove the click wheel before you slide the internals out.

Andrew Bookholt, · Reply

Quote from andrew:

Yup, a word from the (recently) wise: remove the click wheel before you slide the internals out.

Some of the "Tools" you use to disassemble an item with parts so small are really quite archaic. You should put in for some newer tools for finer work. IPO.

egrau, · Reply

This is wonderful - thank you! Is there any sign of the size of the sensor on the camera? I can't find any specs on the basic Apple site.

sleeper99, · Reply

I was about to make the same comment, noticed that right away. It is a bit scary when even the experts have trouble opening these things intact 0.0 I guess Apple's so hellbent on making these things thinner they sacrifice serviceability. I wonder what their yields and raw production costs are like? Their computers are much easier to work on, even if the iMac does require a big suction cup to pull the glass panel off..

WillyDavidK, · Reply

Do we have a chance to find out which chip is for the FM radio ? Is there a bluetooth ( for Nike? ) or Wi-Fi ( to upload video ) ?

jerryfan, · Reply

Hey, but what about axelerometer? Apple was remove it from iPod nano 5G? Or we still can shake nano for next song?

borshak, · Reply

3.5mm connector missing in final image?

steveisteriffic, · Reply

Quote from borshak:

Hey, but what about axelerometer? Apple was remove it from iPod nano 5G? Or we still can shake nano for next song?

There has to be a way for the pedometer to work, right? It is still there.

Joshrath, · Reply

Quote from steveisteriffic:

3.5mm connector missing in final image?

Nope, the board is upside down, so it is on the left of the dock connector.

Joshrath, · Reply

Quote from borshak:

Hey, but what about axelerometer? Apple was remove it from iPod nano 5G? Or we still can shake nano for next song?

It's still in there, that's how the shake to shuffle feature works. Also, is can detect which way the ipod it turned and put video in that direction (left or right from its usual upright position), and it can decide whether to record video in portrait or landscape mode.

shardsofmetal, · Reply

So what is the chip handling the communications for this machine?

PeterG, · Reply

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