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


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.

Related roundup: iPod touch

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 36 months ago
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.
Rating: 11 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago

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.)
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago
Lame
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago

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.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago
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.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago



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.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago
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. :)
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago
No big surprise, here. A shame, though.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 36 months ago
why are people even asking these questions about the difference in price between the iPod Touch and the iPhone?? The reason there is such a price gap is simply because Apple CAN... The iPhone is targeted at wealthy adults who want the best phone regardless of price; fundamentally the iPod Touch is targeted at kids and people who like watching their portable movies on a big screen. iPhone competes with other $500+ phones; iPod Touch competes with the 3DS and PSP, as well as other more conventional portable music players to some extent.

If you can shift 4 million phones in your opening weekend and your demand exceeds your supply pretty much all year round why wouldn't you make a killing with a huge profit margin???
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 34 months ago
I think Apple is not upgrading them because the price would be the same anyway and there is no competition for them anyway. It sucks. Companies get lazy when there is no one to compete with. Look at MS and Windows. Vista and windows 7 are the same with the User annoying messages turned off. :(
Rating: 1 Votes

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