Teardown of 'New' iPod Touch Reveals Few Changes, If Any

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    With the addition of white models and a new entry-level price point earlier this month, Apple considered the iPod touch line to have been updated despite the lack of any substantial hardware improvements. The company continues to refer the device as the fourth-generation line, first introduced in 2010, but the teardown experts at iFixit decided to crack one open anyway to see if anything had quietly been changed.
    In a close examination of the logic board in the new white iPod touch, iFixit could really only distinguish new markings on the A4 chip, as well as possible upgrades to the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and gyroscope components. But it is unclear from the new chip numbers exactly what has been changed, meaning that they may simply be minor revisions offering the same functionality as earlier versions.

    Article Link: Teardown of 'New' iPod Touch Reveals Few Changes, If Any
  2. macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2010
    Anglesey, UK
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2010
  4. macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
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    I wonder how apple can make the iPod touch so cheap without subsidizing yet the iPhone cost so much more unsubsidized. Same thing with thickness how can the iPod touch be so thin? Does adding a cell phone chip really increase the size that much?
  5. macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2004
    More then just a cellphone chip in the iPhone. You also have all the extra antenna's and gps stuff and microphone as well and higher res cameras. Plus for the iPhone you have many patents and stuff you have to pay on etc.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2009
    Preston, UK
    The iPod Touch uses much cheaper components, as for the thickness not only does the iPhone have the 3G chip it has to have a much beefier battery to make it last. The iPhone wouldn't last very long using the battery from the iPod Touch.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    I don't think they needed to do a teardown to prove this.
  8. macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2007
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I thought the camera was the difference with the thickness. The 8mp sensor won't fit in the iPod touch. As far as price - no clue. NAND? Maybe the R&D? The fact that they had to install and create crazy rooms to test signal strength and what not. The iPod touch doesn't need much of that because the R&D comes from the iPhone. Lastly an explanation is they do subsidize it to get a larger install base of iOS 5 and the app store (30% revenue) they do market it as a gaming device. Those games aren't cheap. And if none of this is right then they're just being greedy with the iPhone.
  9. macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2004
    I found the whole keynote kinda funny. Apple sits there and tells us that the ipod touch is the #1 mobile gaming platform in the world or w.e. Then proceeds to show off the new iPhone 4s and the new games it can play. So basically apple is saying you cant play the latest and greatest games on the #1 mobile gaming platform because we dont want to change its internals and give it the a5.
  10. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Apple may well take smaller margins, but also:

    * The iPod has a lower-quality screen. Same retina res, but worse viewable angle. (The iPhone hardly shifts colors at all when you tilt it quite far, as when it's lying flat, say.)

    * The iPod has half the RAM of the iPhone 4 and 4S, as well as a smaller battery, I believe.

    * The iPod has a much lower-quality rear camera (really dedicated to video, much like the iPad).

    * The iPod lacks a cell radio/antennas, SIM slot, GPS, vibrator, noise-cancelling second mic, mic/remote built into earbuds, rear glass, camera flash lamp, mute switch, proximity sensor, and magnetometer/compass.

    So, lots of small factors add up!

    As for thickness, I believe one issue is that the lower-quality iPod camera is smaller. I believe the terrific camera defines the minimum thickness of the iPhone. (And compare the awkward camera “humps” on some phones—always a design challenge.)
  11. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    Exactly what I was wondering. The touch is so much cheaper when the subsidy is included (or the unlocked price) for what seems like fairly minor differences in hardware.

    All true. But isn't even the 3GS more expensive than the touch at $375? Many of the things you listed don't apply to that model. It really does seem like the iPhones have artificially inflated prices (or at least some of them), and that apple could make either a cheaper iPhone (unlocked price) or offer something better as the free unsubsidized option.
  12. macrumors 68040

    Dec 14, 2006
    somewhere else
    Apple reduces the iPod touch costs by omitting or downgrading certain items.

    The fourth-generation iPod touch has 256MB RAM versus the iPhone 4 which had double the amount. The display is indeed Retina, although it is not IPS, nor does it have an oleophobic coating. The camera is smaller, lower quality and cheaper. There is no cellular system (baseband chip, power amplifiers, antenna and miscellaneous circuitry) nor a GPS chip.

    Apple's margins on the iPod touch are less than the iPhone though.
  13. macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2004
    Around the World
    I guess, for me, that means no new iPod for now...

    Well if you do believe iSuppli, the iPhone components cost is about $188...
  14. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    Again, keeping all that in mind, how is $375 for an iPhone 3GS justified?
  15. macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2011
    An outhouse near you
    Supply and demand 101
  16. macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2011
    Scottsdale, AZ
    If it works, don't fix it. It's a great box which was improved through software. I just gave my parents two of these this week and they are thrilled with the improvements over their older models. Apple has a real winner here and there is no point in messing with it just for the sake of change.
  17. macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Next year, an iPod Touch with an A5 and Siri when connected with WiFi would be awesome!

    Agreed. But do you really think we need an iPhone 4S demo either to know whether or not it will blend? ;)
  18. macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2005
    I was going to get a next gen touch, but when nothing changed, I'm now considering getting an iPhone 4s. I think that is exactly what apple wanted me to do.
  19. WLS
    macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2008
    With new numbers on the A4 chip it really doesn't prove that it is the same old 256meg ram version.
    I would have thought it cheaper to just use the same A4 in all devices going forward.
    I don't see a reason now to buy it though... expecting a new device next year that probably will not be called the Touch :(
  20. macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Well, describing Oct 4th release festivities as "disappointing" would be the understatement of the year.

    Read this disclaimer before you hit the downvote button:
    I'm not saying that iPhone 4S or iPod touch are inferior or bad products (just got a 4S myself)... they're superb products, but they're no iPhone 5/next gen iPod touch.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2011
    iPod touch bill of materials is 130$ to 150$.

    With no updates here the BOM is now as low as 110$ and as another user has said, R&D is covered by the iPhone. Apple still is making a rather large profit from iPod touches.
  22. macrumors regular


    Apr 3, 2008
    Sigh, maybe when the Iphone 5 is released we can look forward to an updated Ipod Touch. My 3G is getting full. I'll have to go classic eventually or split up between music (classic) and apps (touch), something I really don't want to do.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2010
    Well, Apple did not even change a single part number when it comes to the "new" iPods... They just added the white ones. iPod nano part numbers also remained the same so no hardware changes there either.
  24. macrumors newbie


    Aug 9, 2010
    If I'm honest, part of me loves the fact that the iPod Touch wasn't updated since I bought the 4G right after launch in 2010.

    ...makes me feel like it was an awesome, perfectly-timed buy. :)
  25. macrumors 68000

    Apr 17, 2011
    United Kingdom
    I think they should have added 3G support and A5 maybe a better camera. Perhaps that's for next year?

    The big one is missing out A5.

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