iPod Nano 7th Generation Teardown

Last week, Apple invited its fans via email to “meet the new iPod family”: the iPod Touch, Nano, and Shuffle. We already got up close and personal with the 5th Generation iPod Touch, so we decided it was high time to formally introduce ourselves to the iPod Nano 7th Generation: “Hello, Nano. Meet our friend, Teardown.”

iPod Nano 7th generation teardown

With a plastic opening tool in hand, we probed the depths of the Nano’s compact design. Good news: the Nano’s case can be opened with a standard Phillips #00 screwdriver and a little prying from a plastic opening tool. Unfortunately, the Nano’s battery, Lightning connector, button cable, and headphone jack are all soldered to the logic board. To top that off, the battery is also adhered to the back of the assembly, which will make the battery difficult to replace when it fails (as batteries inevitably do). With a repairability score of 5 out of 10, the iPod Nano outperformed its Touch brethren’s dismal 3-point ranking.

Teardown highlights:

  • The 6th Generation Nano came in at 1.48 x 1.68 x 0.35 inches, and weighed 0.74 ounces. The new 7th Generation is just over twice as tall as the 6th Gen, while also a little thinner and more narrow at 3.01 x 1.56 x 0.21 inches. At 1.1 ounces, the newest Nano only gained an extra third of an ounce.
  • The battery is soldered directly to the logic board and adhered to the back of the display. Replacing it will be a doozy.
  • There’s an adorable plastic pull tab underneath the battery. It’s likely there for battery removal, but we aren’t sure it’s up to the task. It seems the adhesive holding down the battery is much too strong for the feeble pull tab to break through.
  • Forgoing the tab in favor of some spudgering, we’re able to pry the 3.7 V, 0.8 Wh, 220 mAh battery off the back of the display assembly. 0.8 Wh is more than twice that of the iPod Nano 6th Generation’s 0.39 Wh rating.
  • The LCD and digitizer glass are not fused together, allowing replacement of either component separately.
  • As in the iPod Touch 5th Generation, many of the important components—including the battery, Lightning connector, and volume controls—are soldered to the logic board. So if you bend your Lighting connector or break your volume control, you’re stuck with replacing the whole suite of components.
  • Pulling out the logic board really feels like pulling out the entire iPod—the battery, button cable, Lightning connector, and headphone jack all come with it.
  • Our usual rundown of the ICs on the logic board was hindered by the fact that many are anonymous, Apple-branded units:
  • Toshiba THGBX2G7D2JLA01 128 Gb (16 GB) NAND flash
  • Texas Instruments 343S0538 touchscreen controller
  • Broadcom BCM2078KUBG Bluetooth + FM radio
  • NXP Semiconductors 1609A1
  • 75203 23017
  • 75292 98820
  • 339S0193
  • Apple 338S1099
  • Apple 338S1146