iPod Touch 4th Generation Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

We are ecstatic to finally have the opportunity to disassemble an iPod Touch with a camera and not just an empty camera slot.

This is one of three iPod teardowns this week! We also took apart the new iPod Nano and Shuffle. Stay in the loop on twitter for the latest teardown shenanigans.

In case you missed it, last week we celebrated a major milestone. In addition to enabling Apple repair, we now have parts and repair manuals for most game consoles! We decided to celebrate by taking a trip through time and ripping apart five retro consoles.

Shameless plug: We fund teardowns like this by selling iPod Touch Parts! We've also got free open-source repair manuals for every iPod Touch but this one, and we're working on that.

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Edit Step 1 iPod Touch 4th Generation Teardown  ¶ 

  • We've got the new iPod Touch in hand!

  • The feature set of the new Touch is suspiciously similar to the iPhone 4:

    • 640 x 960 pixel resolution retina display

    • Rear-facing camera with 720p video recording

    • Front-facing camera with VGA video recording

    • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi

    • FaceTime video chat

    • Three-axis gyro

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The new Touch has a visible speaker grill on the bottom (to the left of the dock connector). On previous iPod Touches, the external audio simply came out the dock connector. Apple likely beefed up the speakerphone to enable FaceTime on the Touch.

  • The new Touch has once again been slimmed-down. Similar to the iPhone 4, the back of the Touch is now flat. Unlike the iPhone 4, the iPod Touch still features the same shiny stainless steel back that has graced every iPod Touch.

  • We paid $229 for our 8 GB Touch, which seems like a pretty good deal. A 32 GB Touch will set you back $299, and a 64 GB can be had for $399.

  • Bogus math: In dollars per gigabyte, the 8 GB Touch is a terrible deal: $28.63/GB. With the 64 GB Touch a gigabyte will only cost you $6.23.

  • Want bogus logic to go with our bogus math? BusinessWeek has a fallacious column up on how the iPod Touch costs $29 more than the iPhone 4.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The new Touch (right) with its retina display doesn't look exceptionally remarkable in this shot.

  • The retina display features a resolution of 640x960. Compared to the previous Touch (320x480), that's twice pixels in each direction, or four times the total pixels.

  • The retina display is almost completely black when turned off. That's noticeably different from the display of the earlier iPod Touch (left), which is dark gray when turned off.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Cameras!

  • That's right folks, at long last the iPod Touch has not one, but two cameras.

  • The front-facing camera is just like that of the iPhone 4, with support for VGA quality photos and video.

  • Unfortunately, the rear-facing camera is only 960x720 resolution. That's only about .7 megapixels, compared to 5 megapixels on the iPhone 4. It's likely that Apple had to sacrifice still photo resolution in order to squeeze the camera into the Touch's slim package.

  • There's a microphone hole next to the rear camera. Apple's updated the audio input and output prowess of the new Touch to enable it to play nice with FaceTime.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Enough of the exterior, let's get inside...

  • There are no visible screws. We'll have to figure out what combination of glue, tabs, and magic Apple used to hold the Touch together.

  • We first used a heat gun to soften the adhesive holding the display assembly in place.

  • Next, we ran a iPod Touch opening tool around the edge to separate the adhesive.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • That was the easiest iPod Touch we've ever cracked open. Hopefully the insides will continue to be repair-friendly.

    • Dear iFixit: this is Future iFixit and we can confirm that the insides are not repair-friendly.

  • The display assembly is still attached to the iPod, and disconnecting it doesn't look like it's going to be easy.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Like the iPhone 4, it appears that the front glass and LCD panel are permanently fused together. The good news is that this will prevent dust from getting beneath the glass, but unfortunately it will make repair more expensive.

  • There are two cables securing the display assembly to the logic board. One is easy to disconnect, but the other is more challenging. The thin black cable connects beneath the logic board. That means that replacing the display assembly will definitely not be trivial.

  • If you have a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation Touch, it is possible to replace just the front glass without replacing the LCD.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • There's an EMI shield between us and the iPod. Fortunately, it's just held in place with a few Phillips #00 screws.

  • 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.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • After removing the EMI shield, the battery looms large.

  • Apple claims you'll get (up to) 40 hours of audio playback. That's a long time!

  • Apple's making us do some digging to find the chips. This side of the logic board is quite barren.

  • 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.

  • Be careful when removing the EMI shield. There is an adhesive strip near the top of the device that may catch the ribbon cable and cause it to rip.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • The battery lists a capacity of 3.44 Watt-hours.

  • 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.

  • Fortunately, compared to the 3rd Generation Touch, Apple did add more space between the battery's three solder points (on the orange ribbon just to the left of the battery). This should make the soldering job a little easier when replacing the battery, as there's less chance of accidentally bridging the contacts.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • In a first for the iPod Touch line, the headphone jack is not soldered to the logic board.

  • One screw, one connector, and the headphone jack lifts out.

  • Having the headphone jack on a separate board is definitely a plus for repairability.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Here's the headphone jack all by itself. Notice the liquid damage indicator on the bottom of the part.

  • The headphone jack is stamped with Foxconn. Foxconn has long been one of Apple's primary contract manufacturers and this part has one of the few indications that Apple doesn't actually manufacture the iPod.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • It took a bit of prying to lift the battery and logic board out of the casing, but unfortunately the headphone/sleep button control ribbon cable is both soldered to the logic board and glued to the outer case.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • After wrangling the logic board/battery/display assembly out of the rear panel, we can finally access the screws holding the volume button cover and the sleep button down.

  • After a good bit of anxiety-filled scraping with a metal spudger, the ribbon cable is finally free from the rear panel.

    • The control ribbon cable is bonded to the rear panel extremely well, especially near the volume buttons. Since the volume buttons have no structural bracket (just a steel cover) holding them to the rear panel, the adhesive bond must be strong enough to survive presses from the strongest of button pushers.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • After removing a loop of copper tape around the digitizer connector, the display assembly can finally be separated from the logic board.

  • A copper shield fastened to the back of the battery can also be removed at this point.

    • Presumably, the rear case is thin enough to warrant a copper shield for either heat dispersion or EMI protection, or both.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • The display assembly of the Touch measures 2.93 mm thick. That is slightly thinner than the 3.05 mm iPhone 4 display, and 30% thicker than the 2.27 mm display on the new iPod Nano.

  • The retina display on the 4th generation Touch is rumored to be lacking IPS, differing from the display installed in the iPhone 4. A way to test the difference is to examine an identical image on both devices at an extreme viewing angle. As seen in the second picture, the Touch (bottom) loses a great deal of contrast when viewed from a low angle.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • At this point, the rear facing camera can be disconnected from the logic board.

  • Unlike the iPhone 4, the fourth generation Touch's rear-facing camera does not support autofocus and is a much lower resolution.

    • For those of you who are wondering, there's no way the iPhone 4's rear camera can be installed in the Touch without some extreme hackery.

  • This camera is 6.5 mm square by 3.3 mm tall. That is dramatically smaller than the iPhone 4's rear camera.

  • Just above the rear camera, the cylindrical silver object is the microphone, a new feature for the iPod Touch line.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • The front-facing camera is readily accessible and can be disconnected from the logic board at this point.

  • Unsurprisingly, it looks just like the iPhone 4's front-facing camera.

    • We're not surprised: they have the same resolution.

  • This camera is 4.9 mm square and 2.5 mm thick, slightly (0.3 mm) thinner than the iPhone 4's front facing camera.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Next, we disconnected the Touch's singular external antenna.

  • This antenna is presumably used for Wi-Fi reception and is situated near the front glass panel when the Touch is completely assembled. Its new location eliminates the need for the plastic "window" found on the 3rd generation Touch.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Finally! We found some serious chips.

  • This iPod features the same A4 processor that's found in the iPad and iPhone 4. The Toshiba chip is very similar to the one which was present in the iPad in the FCC teardown, that was replaced by a Samsung one.

  • The key marking of interest on the A4 processor package is K4X2G643GE. This is identical to the marking found on the iPad processor, but different from the iPhone 4 processor. The iPad has 256 MB RAM, while the iPhone 4 features 512 MB. Unfortunately, this means that like the iPad, the new iPod Touch includes only 256 MB of RAM.

  • The NAND flash memory is now provided by Toshiba, not Samsung like that of the iPad.

  • Probably the WiFi and Bluetooth-Chip.

  • And no, there's no RAM upgrade slot.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • There are a few more chips at the other end of the logic board.

    • On the far left is a 338S0859 chip. It's similar to the Cirrus Logic audio codec of the iPhone 4 (338S0589).

    • The new AGD8 2032 gyroscope is very similar to that one of the iPhone 4.

    • The 2032 33DH chip is found next to the gyroscope. It seems this chip was packaged in the same die with the gyroscope in the iPhone 4.

  • You can clearly see the 30 pins of the dock connector, located just below the row of chips.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • The iPod Touch now has a legitimate speaker, although we doubt it'll satisfy many audiophiles.

  • Apple appears to be routing the audio out not only the newly-added speaker grill (large hole), but also out of the dock connector (small hole).

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • What's this? Empty space?

  • We don't know what this white plastic piece does other than take up space. Perhaps it's a weight-saving device.

  • From a user: "it is used to keep the Wi-Fi antenna above the lower metal housing to achieve proper RF gain." Neat!

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • iPod Touch 4th Generation Repairability: 4 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

  • Opening the device is pretty straightforward, as long as you have a heat gun and some iPod Touch opening tools handy.

  • The headphone jack is not soldered to the logic board, a first for the iPod Touch line.

  • The front glass and LCD are permanently fused together, increasing the cost of repairing broken front glass.

  • Removing the display completely requires removing the logic board.

  • Apple soldered the volume button and sleep button cable to the logic board. The previous Touch had a ZIF connector. This makes removing logic board very difficult.

  • The battery is still soldered to the logic board, just like previous models.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Metal Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Heat Gun

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 43 In stock

Popular Device Products

iPod Touch Gen 4 Display Assembly

$64.95 · 17 In stock

iPod Touch Gen 4 Home Button

$9.95 · 40 In stock

iPod Touch Gen 4 Adhesive Strips

$3.95 · 50+ In stock

iPod Touch Gen 4 Replacement Battery

$17.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

Very good Teardown! =)

But got still some open questions:

- What about the WiFi and Bluetooth Chip? Must be in the white case named "RV" on the logic board, as I see?

What about looking after the chip?

- Where's the gyroscope? On the iPhone 4 it's clearly visible as a big part, but here I can't find it.

- What about the microphone? Similar or identical to the iPhone 4?

Greetings

Marcel

Marcel601, · Reply

Adding something:

- Processor speed: 1 Ghz like the iPad or 800 Mhz like iPhone 4?

Could you do a benchmark?

- Any differences from the 8 to the 32 and 64 GB version? Maybe unofficial?

Marcel601, · Reply

any differences from the 8 to the 32 or 64gb version?????

maybe retina display quality or amount of RAM???

PLEASE ANSWER

isaac, · Reply

Great guide! I'm a bit confused by the camera descriptions.

Which is "front"? The text seems inconsistent but it could

just be my confusion. When face-to-face with an iPod, the

camera on its *back* shows what's in front of you. Is that

the "front camera"?

.

- jam

Jamoross, · Reply

Good question - we generally call the camera that is pointed toward you when you are looking at the LCD the front-facing camera. We generally call the back portion of most devices the rear case or rear bezel, thus the camera that is pointed toward the rear case/bezel is titled the rear-facing camera.

Andrew Bookholt,

A couple of notes:

The copper tape on the back of the EMI shield is easily torn off. It doesn't seem to affect the unit but worth noting. When you lift the EMI shield lift it from the button end upwards, not from the side outwards to avoid tearing it.

Also, the camera shield plate which is attached to the top assembly neds to be replaced very carefuly to match the existing position otherwise when you come to reassemble the top you will not get a flush finish.

Finally, It is not neccessary to remove the whole logic board when replacing the LCD, you can remove the Camera screw, the WiFi screw and the right hand top logic board screw. Once they are removed the logic board will bend upwards about 8mm allowing you enough room to remove the old Digitizer connector and replacing the new one. It's rather fiddly but decidedly easier than removing the whole logic board.

Overall this is the hardest of the ipod touches to work on but still consdierably easier than disassembling the Nano range. Have Fun!

Dave, · Reply

As the intro states, this is a teardown and should not be used as disassembly instructions. The repair guides for this device can be found here.

Andrew Bookholt,

hello I want to know how to change the HOME button

florian, · Reply

What is the name of that plate bolt that secures the flex cable on the power button?

My Iposestragou and went to repair this piece broke.

Where can I find it?

mickfelipe, · Reply

What is the name of that plate bolt that secures the flex cable on the power button?

My Iposestragou and went to repair this piece broke.

Where can I find it?

mickfelipe, · Reply

In the iphone the EMI sheild acts like wi-fi anntena. Why they didnt use the holy EMI sheild like a wi-fi anntena in the ipod. That will improve the signal very much.

Adham, · Reply

For anyone who is trying to take a 4. Generation iPod Touch produced 2012 late/2012, will have serious problems , as Apple did change the production towards glue and tape. They did especially tape the logic board onto the shield underside and if you are not aware of this, you definitely brake the flat cable connection between the volume buttons and the logic board. Also the volume button base plate is taped and NOT fixed with screws anymore. There are also more copper shields added to the device. The best would be, if iFixit does take apart the iPod Touch 4. Generation produced in 2012 and late/2012 as there are a lot less parts hold in place with screws. I would change the rating from difficult to extremely difficult.

support, · Reply

Replaced the lcd/digitizer, and realized that I had torn the volume/power on flex cable in half. Then i found this website and actually found some good directions for teardown for this ipod touch. Since the flex cable was near the end portion of the teardown, i replaced the middle frame bezel because it had also cracked when my daughter broke the lcd screen. put back together and all worked like new.

About 7 dollars for the middle frame, 3 dollars for the flex cable and 35 dollars for the lcd/digitizer. The local store wanted 100$ plus parts to fix this. I found all parts on Amazon.

I would recommend putting a small piece of black electrical tape on the top side of the solder joint on the flex cable just to prevent shorting of the solder joint to the back of the lcd as a precaution. My soldering is not as good as factory. The key for this is to take your time. Took me about three hours.

Thanks for the good guide.

David, · Reply

What does the 2032 33DH chip do?

Jennifer, · Reply

What is the purpose of the 2032 33DH chip?

Jennifer, · Reply

Hi guys. Thank you for taking the time for this tear down.

I am wondering if it is possible to remove the surrounding black rubber bezel between the screen and metallic frame at the moment of step 6?, step 8 after the screws?, or is it needed to be done until the end when you have it in bare bones.

Thank you guys in advance and greeting from Texas =)

whiteappleaccount, · Reply

There is another screw not marked which is to the right of the home button.

Carl, · Reply

Check out this page for detailed repair guides.

Andrew Bookholt,

im bent and t

elias, · Reply

What is that copper strip known as. I broke it. Can I replace it?

Kalp, · Reply

Hmm, assembled in China!

Kazi Shantonu, · Reply

The control cable can be replace ($6 part). Be careful to double check the orientation when re-soldering to the board. It's easy to put it on backwards.

kyoungdale, · Reply

what it that metal piece you pulled out?

jonathan, · Reply

in step 16 wat happens if u were on ur ipod and the cord got off and wounldnt put it back and ur ipod is working and not showing anything i need help

mimi, · Reply

I accidentally disconnected the wifi antenna and now I can't seem to put it back where it belongs. Any ideas on how to solve this?

Caia, · Reply

hey u review a ipod touch 4g 8GB, in the past the 8GB vercion have slower cpu and less ram... could u review an ipod touch 4G 64GB ? the may have more ram or even better cpu thanks!!

humberto del castillo, · Reply

So what;s that little silver circle in the bottom right corner? There was some speculation that that thing was a vibrate motor? Can you at iFixit find out what it is? Is it a vibrate motor, but disabled until future use? Like bluetooth for the iPod touch 2G?

Peter Nguyen, · Reply

It is the microphone.

Andrew Bookholt,

In step 23 the person who was dismantling the iPod said they didnt know whats the white plastic thing for. To me it looks like an antena for wi-fi. It has built in metal dots and by the pictures it seems that it has conact with the ribbon which goes to the mobo.

turb0, · Reply

It's definitely not an antenna, and there's no metal contained in/on it. It's just a chunk of white plastic; what you're seeing are shadows and/or adhesive residue.

Andrew Bookholt,

oo right i see :) my bad then sorry :)

turb0,

Could it be a space for the micro-sim card that finally didn't include?

luis, · Reply

Since currently the only mic is at the back of the ipod touch. Is it possible to add a 2nd microphone at the place of the weight saving device to make it more like a phone? what about adding a 2nd speaker? I head the speak on board is very weak.

Frank, · Reply

It's a part of the antenna. It keeps the space to the metal back

Arfst Braren, · Reply

Yes, for better performance

Tom Chai,

Maybe that was supposed to be the vibrating unit?

killerhamster, · Reply

Probably space for a vibrator for future generations

Jonah McPartlin, · Reply

Also bad: the display and RAM is not the same with iphone 4.

sanders xu, · Reply

What is the name of that plate bolt that secures the flex cable on the power button?

My Iposestragou and went to repair this piece broke.

Where can I find it?

mickfelipe, · Reply

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