iPod touch 5 gets torn open, shows thinnest guts ever

iFixIt tears down the 5th gen iPod touch

Apple's new iPod touch 5 is just starting to hit store shelves but it's already been torn down, and had all it's thinner, lighter parts examined. iFixIt did the tear down duty once again, and while the iPhone 5 was given a 7 out of 10 repairability score, Apple's newest generation iPod touch only achieved a 3 out of 10.

With no external screws, the Touch is tough to pry open, and its logic board utilizes two hard-to-manage ribbon cables: the battery, logic board, front camera, speaker, headphone jack, Lightning connector, and home button switch are all soldered onto one cable, while the volume buttons, power button, LED flash, and rear microphone are all attached to another cable. Repair is not impossible, but it's certainly going to be difficult and expensive if one component breaks. These factors combined earned the iPod a 3 out of 10 on our repairability scale (10 is easiest to repair).

In the past, the trend was typically that the thinner a device got, the harder it got to repair. The iPhone 5 proved that theory wrong and actually ends up being extremely easy to repair. We've already shown you how to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 5 and we believe many users with moderate DIY skills will be able to do it on their own with no problems.

Since Apple has chosen to link many functions to single cables, it can make a hand slip or a torn cable a lot more expensive this time around. While previous generation iPhones and iPods have put functions like the proximity sensor and noise canceling mic on the same cable, they were relatively cheap and inexpensive. Components such as the dock connector, Home button, flash, and speaker had their own assemblies making repairs easier and more cost effective even if you did make a mistake.

This probably won't be the case with the fifth generation iPod touch. While we aren't sure what component cost will be for these guys yet, I'd be willing to bet it's going to be higher than components on previous models. While a repair isn't impossible, it'll definitely cost you more time and money than before.

Outside of repairability, iFixIt also has some details on the specs of the new iPod touch:

  • A5 Processor
  • Hynix H9TKNNN4KDBRCR 512 MB RAM
  • Toshiba THGBX2G8D4JLA01 32 GB NAND flash
  • Apple 3381064 dialog power management IC
  • Murata 339S0171 Wi-Fi module
  • Broadcom BCM 5976 touchscreen controller
  • Apple 33831116
  • STMicroelectronics AGD32229ESGEK low-power, three-axis gyroscope
  • Texas Instruments 27AZ5R1 touchscreen SoC

While it may not have received the same A6 treatment as the new iPhone 5, it's still a worthy upgrade for anyone using a second or third generation iPod touch. If you've got a fourth generation iPod touch, it may not be a huge upgrade unless, of course, you've got your eye set on a specific color and really desire the extra screen real estate.

You can hit the link below for even more images and detail on the insides of the iPod touch fifth generation.

Source: iFixIt

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

iPod touch 5 gets torn open, shows thinnest guts ever

4 Comments

Am I the only one who finds it odd when people criticize a low "fixit" score? I mean the lower the score, that means the more precise and well-built the product is. Smartphones are not meant to be customized etc. It's like giving a Rolls Royce a bad rep because it's easier to fix the engine or transmission on a chevy than a phantom etc.

I think it's more that they like to see fixability so that the device can live on long after the company that made it has stopped supporting it. Cars are built to last a decade, two decades, or even longer, and there are many many more car mechanics out there than phone mechanics. A smartphone, media player, or other similar miniature device may be lucky to live 3 years. On the other hand, it can outlive its maker if it's built to be easily fixed.

In the day and age of thinner and thinner devices, though, fixability sacrifices were made. I'm surprised the iPhone 5 is the most fixable ever even while being thinner. I don't know who keeps asking for these things to get thinner and thinner and thinner, but I would like to walk up to them and punch them in the face. They're a pain in my fingers. I can hardly hold the latest devices. They're hard to type on, they're so thin. Because it's so thin, they can't fit a ginormomongous battery in it, so it only ever lasts about as long as the previous generation. And what's up with that camera bump on the iPod touch now? Such a Samsung thing to do. Damn thing doesn't lay flat now.

'tis a fine piece of engineering, though. I had to marvel at the magic that happened when I AirPlayed Real Racing 2 at 1080p to my Mac on a device less than a quarter of an inch thick (except for that damned camera bump).

The report omits the specifications about the sensors:

Other than the gyro …
There are none! :(

No ambient light detector
Nor
Any proximity detector (which makes using VOIP apps a precarious balancing-act to avoid accidental hang-ups! … it would be nice if app developers had a more thoughtfully designed keypad control that could hide the cancel button once the call was engaged!)