Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,466
17,807



white_ipod_touch_teardown.jpg



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.
So what does this year's Touch have in store?

After close examination, we confirmed that the front panel is, in fact, white. +1 for us. So far so good.

And... that's about it. To our dismay there is not much else different between the iPod Touch released last year and the one released last week.
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
 

Chaos123x

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
1,696
33
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 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?
 

Tyler.Schmaltz

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2004
43
0
Velva
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.
 

adztaylor

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2009
1,723
2
Preston, UK
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 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?

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.
 

macthetiger85

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2007
125
0
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.
 

Tyler.Schmaltz

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2004
43
0
Velva
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.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
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?

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.)
 

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,889
518
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?

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.


Apple may well take smaller margins, but also...

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.
 

cvaldes

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2006
3,237
0
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.
 

morespce54

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2004
1,331
11
Around the World
I guess, for me, that means no new iPod for now...



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 wonder how apple can make the iPod touch so cheap without subsidizing yet the iPhone cost so much more unsubsidized...

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

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,889
518
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.

Again, keeping all that in mind, how is $375 for an iPhone 3GS justified?
 

johncrab

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2011
341
0
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.
 

PeterQVenkman

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2005
2,023
0
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.
 

WLS

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2008
1,254
78
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 :(
 

colbertnation

macrumors regular
Nov 20, 2009
163
259
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.
 

Invincibilizer

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2011
769
2
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 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?

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.)

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.
 

kschles

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2008
242
31
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.
 

atheos

macrumors newbie
Sep 4, 2010
5
0
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.
 

sugarbear

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2010
28
30
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. :)
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.