Third Gen iPod touch Chip Supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, Has Space for nano-style Camera


We'd heard rumors that the iPhone 3GS would be getting fast 802.11n Wi-Fi to go along with that S for Speed, but that never panned out -- except for the new third generation iPod touch.

iFixit has been doing their prerequisite tear-down of the brand new device, and MacRumors says:

One of the more intriguing differences uncovered so far is the inclusion of a Broadcom BCM4329 combination Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip, which supports the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard in addition to 802.11a/b/g standards. The iPhone 3GS and the second-generation iPod touch utilize a different BCM4325 chip, which supports only the 802.11a/b/g standards. While Apple has apparently not activated 802.11n capability in the iPod touch and it is unknown whether it will choose to do so in the future, the new iPod touch hardware does appear to be capable of supporting the standard.

Speaking of rumored-but-not-delivered:

iFixit has also revealed that there is a small empty space at the top of the device (approximately 6 mm x 6 mm x 3 mm) where an iPod nano-style camera could fit. The iPod touch does not appear to be thick enough to adequately house an autofocus camera as found in the iPhone 3GS.

Would we have wanted an iPod touch with VGA video like the nano, but no 3mp stills like the iPhone 3GS?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Dear Apple: Can the iPhone App Store Have a Community Developer Manager Too?

Next up →

Sprint CEOh-Snap: Comparing Palm Pre to iPhone is "like comparing someone to Michael Jordan"

Reader comments

Third Gen iPod touch Chip Supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, Has Space for nano-style Camera


Now Apple has flipped things around on us. Offering the cutting edge equipment 3 months after the new iPhone comes out and making iPhone users wait 8 months to get something the touch had last year. Apple better bring it with the iPhone next year. I will be in line again next year to get it first day.

Boy, this stuff is really becoming confusing for me! I now do not really know what to do! Do I wait now and hope that a camera model comes out soon, or do I buy the 3rd G Touch now anticipating that the cam/vid simply will not happen for at least a while from now? Hard decisions indeed.

haha the same thing that happened with Bluetooth on the iTouch, it seems apple likes hiding features then just BAM! 802.11n
oh well.

I wouldn't want just a video camera. I did a quick count, and I (literally) shoot 1000x more still photos than videos.
I also didn't realize the Touch was thinner than the iPhone till this week ... the iPhone is pretty darn thin; a little extra bulk on the Touch (up to the size of the iPhone) in return for serious feature additions seems like a no-brainer to me.
802.11n? Nice to have, but until wireless can replace the USB cabled connection to iTunes I don't see that as a killer feature.

According to the Broadcom website the BCM4329 "integrates a complete IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n system (MAC/baseband/radio) with Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), and FM radio receiver and transmitter."
the fm radio/receiver has been included in both 2,3g iPod touches. It has been very agrivating that nobody focuses on it when apple just added a fm receiver to the nano. In addition, fm players and transmitters are expencive and incoviniant and Im sure we would all appreciate it if apple added them both in a firmware update!

if apple do decide to add the camera to the ipod before next years refresh then its really going to fuck up the firmware updates. they are going to have 3 different current generations of the ipod touch to build them for, and the 2 previous ones.

$Sammy: (and @Rene
When Apple orders a gazillion chips they get exactly what they want. So don't assume that this chip is a stock BCM4329 .
Look closely at the picture and you see it says BCM4329FKUBG. You won't find that in Broadcom's catalog. Its Custom.
Further, the difference between this and the standard chip might be the last two letters: B and G).
Unless or until you find this full designation in Broadcom's catalog you can NOT assume it handles N, and you can't assume it has an FM transmitter, because if it did, someone would have found the FCC certification report indicating it was transmitter capable.
So I'd wait on assuming N support was there till Apple (or the Dev team) turns it on.
Not saying it DOESN'T have N support, just saying you can't assume it does just because its from that chip family. Broadcom can order a custom chip run with a surgical laser burn and turn off any feature they want in their chips.
By the way:
The Digital Compass in the 3Gs has a thermometer in it. Apple hasn't mentioned that, but I'm betting it does, because the chip number matches character for character with the catalog from the manufacturer.

all these new features that the itouch is getting and the iphone hadnt, is just making me all the more excited for the next generation of iPhones!, my contract is up in December so you know ill be in line on iPhone D-Day next year!

The iPhone has a thermometer? Hmm that makes sense because it recognizes when it is too hot to handle.

I think... maybe... just maybe, Apple planned to not have a camera... but the same video camera as the iPod Nano.
But as was mentioned a while ago, the supposed 'defective' cameras are the cameras that were supposed to be put into the iPod touch(es). So they took it out. Just my 'thoughts'.
Can't wait for iPhone next year! :DD (not yet saying iPhone HD but hopeful)

I'm wondering if i can get that chip out of the ipod, or buy a replacement one from broadcom with the FM transmitter, and put it in my iphone 3GS(i can solder pretty well, if it's even needed) and then develop an app that uses the N, or even the FM transmitter... Is this a possibility? Sounds so simple... really!

Whilst filming couldn't apple some how use the screenshot feature to take a photo? It may not be great quality but atleast it's something!

Danny: What a dumb*** Go ahead and take the broadcom chip out of an ipod touch and put it in your iphone 3GS. See what happens.
To the first 2 comments, why the hell do you people have to have the latest greatest. Can you not just be happy with what you already have. You people make me sick.

Icebike, you may be right in this instant, but what about the 3.0 update for the touch where Bluetooth suddently appeared???

I'd like to see an am/fm hd radio receiver.. and an fm transmitter.
also, perhaps a breakout cable that allows you to plug in a wired ethernet connection or usb devices (printer, speakers, hd/tv, keyboard/mouse)

all u people ar waste mans just siting round talkin about phones and whats inside them, lets talk anout global warming n how to change the world not phones that we wont need in a few years