Tools Featured in this Teardown

Video Overview

Introduction

We got our hands on Apple's new iPod Touch. First thing we do: get inside to see just how much "funner" the new generation is compared to the older generations.

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iPod Touch 5th Generation, use our service manual.

Image 1/2: Tech Specs:
  • Spudgers at the ready! The 5th Generation iPod Touch sprung upon us with an early release, so we jumped out and got it on our lunch break and tore it down for dinner. It's out in stores and coming to a pocket near you.

  • Tech Specs:

    • 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology

    • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz) + Bluetooth 4.0

    • 5-megapixel iSight camera with LED flash and a ƒ/2.4 aperture + FaceTime 1.2 MP HD camera capable of capturing HD video (720p) up to 30 fps

    • New iPod touch loop

    • Three-axis gyro + Accelerometer

    • 32 GB or 64 GB storage capacity

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Image 1/2: While Apple might not provide repair instructions, they do tell you how to get your product free of the packaging—so much for the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Industrial_4kW_laser_with_flying_optics_system.jpg|old-fashioned way] of ripping into it yourself.
  • Monkey see, monkey do.

  • While Apple might not provide repair instructions, they do tell you how to get your product free of the packaging—so much for the old-fashioned way of ripping into it yourself.

  • We're thankful Apple has decided to provide its adoring fans with a proper unboxing procedure. We're just glad we didn't have to resort to extreme measures.

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Image 1/3: If the taste of the rainbow didn't give it away, the Touch has an identifying model number A1421 printed on the back.
  • Whether you're looking at the front or back, the new Touch is sleek.

  • If the taste of the rainbow didn't give it away, the Touch has an identifying model number A1421 printed on the back.

  • With an 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch, the Touch is begging for a test drive. We like to light up our gadgets for a split second before we tear them apart, as a sort of ceremonial goodbye.

  • Now that is over, let's get inside!

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Image 1/2: Apple kindly included a retractable post for "the loop" that comes with your iPod Touch.
  • But wait, there's more! We spy with our little eye…a button. Of course, we just had to press the button.

  • Apple kindly included a retractable post for "the loop" that comes with your iPod Touch.

  • With any luck, this loop will prevent the unintentional iPod "drop test" that often results in shattered hopes and screens.

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Image 1/3: The new iPod Touch shares the same height (within a ± .01 inch difference) as the iPhone 5.
  • How does the 5th Generation iPod Touch stack up to the iPhone 5? Well, literally speaking, they're fairly well matched in terms of size.

  • The new iPod Touch shares the same height (within a ± .01 inch difference) as the iPhone 5.

  • Here is the breakdown of the numbers:

    • Height: 4.86 inches (123.4 mm) versus the 4.87 inches (123.8 mm) of the iPhone 5.

    • Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm) on both the Touch and the iPhone 5.

    • Depth: 0.24 inch (6.1 mm) versus 0.30 inches (7.6 mm) on the iPhone 5.

    • Weight: 3.10 ounces (88 grams) versus the 3.95 ounces (112 grams) on the iPhone 5.

  • For those of you keeping track at home, the iPod is 20% smaller by volume with respect to the iPhone 5.

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  • On your mark, get set....HEAT GUN!

  • It took all of thirty seconds to soften the adhesive at the bottom and top of the Touch to a point where we weren't terrified to pry at it with an opening tool.

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Image 1/2: In case you thought that a quick zap with the heat gun and a gentle pry is all it would take to get into the Touch, think again!
  • Do not adjust your screens, the images you see here have a purpose.

  • In case you thought that a quick zap with the heat gun and a gentle pry is all it would take to get into the Touch, think again!

  • There are clips (first image) and adhesive (second image, near the home button) holding this iPod together.

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Image 1/2:
  • Sadly, getting the lid off doesn't reveal any of the more "funner" we were promised. We were expecting to find a surprise—maybe a clue that would lead to the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa's remains—but instead we were met with an obtrusive EMI shield and several screws.

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Image 1/1: The iPod Touch 5th Generation is optimized to provide up to 40 hours of music when fully charged.
  • With the EMI shield out of the way, we get our first look at the battery.

  • The iPod Touch 5th Generation is optimized to provide up to 40 hours of music when fully charged.

    • That is enough to get you through a standard work week.

if you're playing music that is

jsbrock - Reply

  • Getting at the slew of connectors on the back side of the logic board requires a little bit of careful navigation on our part and flexibility on the iPod's part.

    • No iPods were harmed in the making of this teardown. Unfortunately, we needed to pull off the soldered battery connections before we could tilt the logic board up to peek underneath.

  • A plastic opening tool makes quick work of disconnecting the various connectors on the logic board.

  • Unfortunately, we can't remove the logic board just yet. There is a ribbon cable routed underneath the battery that seems to lead to the lightning connector.

It looks like the mistake here was pulling off both the yellow/green flex circuit and the black tape at the same time. Presumably, if you'd lifted off just the black tape, you would have been able to unsolder the flex circuit from the logic board.

cityzen - Reply

Image 1/2: The antenna is labeled C 2712, with a sub-label of 821-1673-A.
  • A quick flick of the spudger is all it takes to disconnect the single antenna.

  • The antenna is labeled C 2712, with a sub-label of 821-1673-A.

  • The antenna is located near the top left corner. We believe this is the Wi-Fi antenna.

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Image 1/3: The rear-facing camera is easily removed from the entire ribbon cable assembly.
  • Our next step is to peel the volume buttons/microphone/LED flash/power button ribbon cable assembly from the rear case.

  • The rear-facing camera is easily removed from the entire ribbon cable assembly.

  • We've seen this type of design in previous Apple products. The shift to a single ribbon cable is more cost-effective for the manufacturer, but unfortunately it has a negative impact on repairability.

  • Replacing one component requires replacing the entire ribbon cable assembly.

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Image 1/3: The rear-facing camera records HD (1080p) video at up to 30 frames per second with audio.
  • The 5 MP rear-facing camera in the iPod Touch 5th Generation uses a five-element lens with a hybrid IR filter and an ƒ/2.4 aperture.

  • The rear-facing camera records HD (1080p) video at up to 30 frames per second with audio.

    • The rear-facing microphone (pictured third) is labeled N 2620

  • Combined with autofocus and an LED flash, the new iPod Touch provides paparazzi power to the masses.

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Image 1/2: It's no shock to see the glass and LCD are fused. It seems this is becoming the norm for most phones/tablets.
  • Next up to bat is the display.

  • It's no shock to see the glass and LCD are fused. It seems this is becoming the norm for most phones/tablets.

  • The back of the display assembly is labeled C112377185WF2LLT-A13GJ2A530QAJ3.

  • The digitizer and LCD ribbon cables remain, along with the home button and rubber gasket.

  • When comparing the Touch to the iPhone 5 display assembly, it's apparent that this is a much simpler, cheaper design, despite the two having very similar functionality.

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Image 1/3: We were somewhat disappointed with the weaker, rubber-membrane design of the iPod Touch's home button.
  • In our recent iPhone 5 teardown, we praised Apple for designing a stronger home button. The iPod Touch 5th Generation, however, is another story.

  • We were somewhat disappointed with the weaker, rubber-membrane design of the iPod Touch's home button.

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Image 1/3: Fortunately, the notches around the edge of the battery made tactical prying points for our plastic opening tool, freeing the battery.
  • As we expected, the battery inside the Touch is secured with adhesive.

  • Fortunately, the notches around the edge of the battery made tactical prying points for our plastic opening tool, freeing the battery.

  • The iPhone 5's battery utilized 3.8 V chemistry to squeeze every last second of battery life out of its Li-ion power source. Though without LTE sapping all its charge, the iPod Touch didn't require such measures.

  • This Plain Jane battery provides 3.8 Wh at 3.7 V for a rating of 1030 mAh, a little more than the previous model's 930 mAh.

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Image 1/3: This is just another example of how Apple is simplifying and grouping the components in its products. Unfortunately, in doing so, it's inadvertently putting an end to repairability.
  • Confirming our suspicions, the Lightning connector/headphone jack/microphone ribbon cable is indeed soldered to the logic board.

  • This is just another example of how Apple is simplifying and grouping the components in its products. Unfortunately, in doing so, it's inadvertently putting an end to repairability.

    • We can't suss out the reason behind the shape of this ribbon cable. Perhaps Apple put it there for sh*ts and wiggles?

  • The backside of the logic board.

Is the headphone jack 2 pin or 3pin (for a mic headset)? Thanks

Malcolm Hall - Reply

The reason for the shape of the cable:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmissio...

ddink - Reply

It's the first time I see iFixit use foul language

Honam1021 - Reply

Image 1/2: This was a great chance for us to take a closer look at the inside of the loop post.
  • Our case rests, just an empty shell of what it used to be.

  • This was a great chance for us to take a closer look at the inside of the loop post.

    • The squared-off edges got us excited about unscrewing the post from the rear case, but we were disappointed when it just spun in place, suggesting a pressed fit.

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Image 1/3: The long, winding ribbon cable road ends at the [guide|10525|Lightning|stepid=38316] dock.
  • Snuggled away under the lower left corner of the Lightning connector, we find the Apple 338S1077 Cirrus audio codec. This is the same audio codec found in the iPhone 5.

  • The long, winding ribbon cable road ends at the Lightning dock.

  • Fortunately, this Apple proprietary technology has been cloned just in time for the release of the iPod. Accessories are soon to follow.

This red marked on dock flex is speaker amplifier ic.

Filip Pusca - Reply

Image 1/1: Apple A5 dual-core processor, with 4 Gb (512 MB) of Mobile DDR2 RAM, denoted by the [link|http://www.skhynix.com/products/mobile/mobile.jsp?info.ramCategory=&info.ramKind=28&info.eol=NOT&posMap=MobileDDR2|H9TKNNN4KDBRCR] silkscreen label on the A5
  • The iPod Touch finally shows us what's up its sleeve:

    • Apple A5 dual-core processor, with 4 Gb (512 MB) of Mobile DDR2 RAM, denoted by the H9TKNNN4KDBRCR silkscreen label on the A5

    • Toshiba THGBX2G8D4JLA01 256 Gb (32 GB) NAND flash

    • Apple 3381064 dialog power management IC (similar to the Apple 338S1131)

    • Murata 339S0171 Wi-Fi module

    • Broadcom BCM5976 touchscreen controller

    • Apple 338S1116 is unknown at this time (although it bears a striking resemblance to the Apple 338S1117 found in the iPhone 5)

    • STMicroelectronics low-power, three-axis gyroscope (AGD3/2229/E5GEK)

That purple marked is Audio Codec ic.

Filip Pusca - Reply

Image 1/1: Texas Instruments 27AZ5R1 touchscreen SoC
  • More tricks:

    • Texas Instruments 27AZ5R1 touchscreen SoC

    • STMicroelectronics 2226 DSH CKBEV

    • NXP Semiconductors 1608A1

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Image 1/2: While very difficult, opening the case and replacing components is not impossible.
  • iPod Touch 5th Generation Repairability: 3 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • While very difficult, opening the case and replacing components is not impossible.

  • The battery is flanked by notches that make prying it out of the rear case fairly easy.

  • Many components are soldered together, requiring either a very difficult or very expensive repair if any one part breaks.

  • The Touch has no external screws. Instead, a combo of clips and adhesive makes it difficult to open the case.

  • Cables connected to the logic board run over the top and connect on the bottom, making it difficult to remove the board or disconnect the cables.

I think the fact that there's less parts and that this iPod Touch is crazy light will cause less damage from drops and bumps. The lightning connector and the speaker grill will probably allow less water in than the larger iPod connector if the device were to be briefly submerged. Basically, keep an iFixit thirsty bag with you and perhaps get a case for your device and everything should be relatively safe.

jsbrock - Reply

I think the repairability score is too high. The iPads get lower repairability scores, yet the batteries are not soldered on, the glass and display are not fused together, and there are more removable components.

Ashley Ryan - Reply

18 Comments

Yellow wavy ribbon seems to have a waveguide in it to prevent LF EM from traveling up it. Look at the shape.

Just a theory.

abcd - Reply

I was going to suggest something similar. I don't think its for "sh*ts and wiggles"

jsbrock -

Could you please show an image of the other side of the motherboard?

I'm trying to understand how the battery connects to it.

cityzen - Reply

Hi cityzen, thanks for your interest in our teardown! We added a picture of the backside of the logic board, in step 18, that shows the three battery connections (and a bit of the cable that got left behind when we disconnected the battery).

Andrew Optimus Goldberg -

"Sadly, getting the lid off doesn't reveal any of the more "funner" we were promised. We were expecting to find a surprise—maybe a clue that would lead to the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa's remains—but instead we were met with an obtrusive EMI shield and several screws."

Now that you guys have been "bought" by Microsoft, do THEY write the snarky anti-Apple BS, or do you?

zatogibson - Reply

If you just rate the replacement of the screen, how hard is that? I want to swap screens between a RED and a black iPod for cooler looks.

Blanka - Reply

Probably still a 3 out of 10. Adhesive is an automatic 5 point reduction and it appears you have to remove the logic board from the soldered battery connection to disconnect the display, though conceivably, you could peel the battery out of it's adhesive with the logic board. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong. Hopefully, we'll see a screen replacement guide soon.

jsbrock -

No iphone for me - I don't want people calling me while I'm out on my run thanks. I just bought the 64gb 5th gen ipod touch. It's awesome and I can't imagine why anyone would want the 16gb version when you can get the 32gb (and all the bells and whistles) for not all that much more $$. I read this review here: http://www.squidoo.com/apple-ipod-touch-... which was cool, as it was awesome for running, something I was quite surprised about, even though that's exactly what I bought it for.

Kate - Reply

Can you please post a wallpaper of the iPod touch 5th generation's internals just like the ones posted for the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s.

Sid - Reply

It wasn't mentioned but what is the speed of the A5 SoC?

Hal - Reply

Anyone know how to remove the loop button? It's pretty much the last thing left on the case but new cases don't usually come with them.

Thanks!

brent - Reply

Yeah, how am I supposed to replace the rear case. The loop is unremovable, and NOBODY sells rear cases that include the loop button. And nobody sells the button itself.

Trayton - Reply

Lifeproof makes a case explicitly for this unit and it does have it's own separate button for attaching the loop supplied with the iPod. That loop is removable. I plan to make my own loop from #325 paracord instead of using Apple's. The button is not removable on the Lifeproof case.

TeeKay -

Assuming I can take it apart and want to finish putting it back together -- what do I do about the adhesive that was melted to open the case? Will I need some kind of replacement adhesive, or will the case together without it?

Coral - Reply

Teardowns said to provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions. Then why the &&^& placed the video and links to instructions for repair and dismantling? Speak clearly.

Jhonny Ontiveros - Reply

Weird, I keep seeing your images all over the web. Like on Tom's Hardware.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/iPod-To...

mike - Reply

My ipod has recently went into a state where it is now renders useless because it is stuck on the apple logo, I've tried to put it in recovery mode but that didn't do anything because now its stuck in recovery mode. I don't believe this can be fixed but I've heard its theoretically possible to remove the data chip from and ipod and put it in a new one, but I don't know what it looks like and so I was hoping you could post a picture of it. I realize I might just destroy two ipods in the process but I thinks it worth trying to save my data.

Angelo - Reply

Three out of ten rebarability score is far to generous. The Lightning port is very prone to breaking in this model as Lightning port pins are raised, also there is no waterproofing around either the Lightning port or headphone jack. This frequently makes replacements necessary for the entire lower portion of the iPod (headphone jack Lightning port speaker ) this repair requires a mircrosoldering station (something I seriously doubt the average iPod owner has lying around) as that damage prone lower portion is soldered directly onto the logic board with about 50-70 solder points.

Seems like Apple is at it again with the planned obsoletion and screwing over both their customers and third party repair shops. Almost no repair shops touch this device and repair of any problem pertaining to a connector on this thing is near impossible to repair at home

Josh - Reply

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