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Apple iPod Nano 6th Generation (2010) Teardown

Bill Detwiler cracks open the 6th gen. Apple iPod Nano--released in 2010. See the hardware inside Apple's smallest Multi-Touch music player.
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Topic: Apple
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In September 2010, Apple unveiled the 6th generation iPod Nano (Model: A1366). The new Nano is a significant departure from previous versions--resembling the new iPod Shuffle more than older Nanos.
As with the iPod Shuffle, the Nano isn't designed to be easily disassembled. But if you're working on a device that's already broken and out of warranty, you might not have anything to lose.
To disassemble the iPod Nano, you'll need a Phillips #00 or #000 screwdriver, a thin metal blade or plastic spudger, and a hair dryer or heat gun.
Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
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The iPod Nano comes in a box that's remarkably similar to the one for the 4th generation iPod Shuffle--released the same year.
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The 6th generation iPod Nano is available in seven colors and two memory sizes (8GB or 16GB). The 8GB Nano sells for $149 (US). The 16GB version costs $179 (US).
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The headphones, data/charging cable, and product documentation are located under the iPod Nano.
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The redesigned 6th generation iPod Nano measures 1.48 inches high, 1.61 inches wide, and is 0.35 inches deep--including the rear clip.
It also features a new touchscreen that supports Apple Multi-Touch gestures and can display photos. Video playback is not supported, and the new Nano lacks a camera.
According to the Nano's technical specifications, the color TFT display measures 1.54-inches (diagonally) and has a resolution of 240x240-pixels at 220 pixels per inch.
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On the top edge of the iPod Nano are the volume controls and the Sleep/Wake button.
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Apple's 30-pin dock connection and headphone jack are located on the bottom edge of the iPod Nano.
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A removable sticker illustrates the iOS-like icons used by the iPod Nano's GUI.
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Like the 2010 iPod Shuffle, the Nano has a large clip on the back.
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Unlike the 4th generation iPod Shuffle, the 6th generation iPod Nano's enclosure has no visible entry points. Assuming that the touchscreen was held on with adhesive, I heated the Nano to soften the glue. You could use a heat gun for this task, but I prefer a hair dryer for gadgets like the Nano. Heat guns can get very hot, very quickly. Too much heat can ruin sensitive components.
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With the adhesive softened, I used a very thin metal blade to gently pry the touchscreen away from the iPod Nano's enclosure. Take care when doing this not to insert the metal blade or plastic spudger too far into the Nano. You don't want to damage the internal components.
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The touchscreen is attached to the logic board via a thin ribbon cable--located along the side below the volume buttons.
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Take care not to damage the display's ribbon cable when prying it loose from the enclosure. We'll need to disconnect the cable before completely removing the screen.
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A metal shield covers the logic board and most of the components inside the iPod Nano.
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There are two screws that hold the metal shield to the iPod Nano's enclosure. I used a Phillips #000 bit to remove these and the other screws inside the Nano.
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The second screw is located in the corner opposite the first.
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With both screws removed, you should be able to left the shield away from the iPod Nano's aluminum enclosure.
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The side of the shield facing the battery and logic board is covered with a black material.
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With the shield removed, we get our fist look inside the 6th generation iPod Nano. After taking with photo, I disconnected the TFT display and headphone control button cables from the logic board.
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The iPod Nano's TFT display is connected to the logic board with two connectors. Using a thin plastic blade, you should be able to pop both connectors free without using too much force.
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The space inside the iPod Nano's enclosure is almost evenly split between the battery and logic board.
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A single Phillips screw hold the logic board to the aluminum enclosure.
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Like the 4th generation iPod Shuffle, the 6th generation Nano has a battery that's soldered to the logic board. Adhesive holds the battery to the enclosure, but I was able to pry it loose without damaging it or the wires.
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A small strip of black tape and a rubber gasket are attached to the enclosure and the 30-pin connector on the logic board. To remove the logic board, you'll need to pull the tape away from the logic board, enclosure, or both. I pulled the tape away from the logic board and left it attached to the enclosure.
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On the front of the main logic board are four chips of interest, with the following markings:
?Apple
339S0104
YGC7 1028
K4X51323P1
YRF 008A3 ARM
N2N24M03 1031
?33753907
1025
A 04
629749
A2L
121Z
J0FG
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The iPod Nano's has a 3.7V, 0.385 Whr Lithium-ion battery. We'll need to remove that white sticker to get a better look at the Nano's memory chip.
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The large storage chip dominates the back of the iPod Nano's logic board. Our 8GB model had a chip with the following markings:
SanDisk
0501-008G
CHINA
0276D3P14S
Two other chips have the following markings:
338S0783-B1
10298HLT
0650
D0YF
028
The marking on a fourth Apple chip were obscured by a crusty substance that I didn't want to scrape off.
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With the battery and main logic board removed, we can detach the exterior clip and remove the headphone jack / control button assembly.
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This photo shows the black tape and rubber gasket that is still attached to the enclosure (top of image).
Another strip of black tape covers the contacts for the control buttons (bottom of image).
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Like the 4th generation iPod Shuffle, the Nano's external clip is attached to the enclosure with four Phillips screws. Three of the screws are readily visible, but one is hidden under a ribbon cable on the headphone jack and control button contact assembly.
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The iPod Nano's spring-loaded clip is nearly identical to the one on the 4th generation iPod Shuffle.
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I was able to pull the the black tape away from the control button contact assembly and the iPod Nano's enclosure without tearing it.
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I'll put the tape back when I reassemble the iPod Nano.
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Four tiny Phillips screws hold the headphone jack / control button contact assembly to the iPod Nano's enclosure. I was able to remove them with a Phillips #000 bit.
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With the screws removed, you can pull the control button contact / headphone jack assembly away from the iPod Nano's aluminum enclosure. Some of the ribbon cables are held against the enclosure with adhesive, so take care not to rip them during the removal.
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Unlike the 4th generation iPod Shuffle, the Nano's headphone jack and control button contacts are part of a single unit. The Shuffle's jack was attached directly to the logic board.
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There not much left in the enclosure.
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With its sealed case and soldered battery, the 6th generation iPod Nano wasn't really designed to be serviced--especially not by the average consumer.
I should be able to reassemble this Nano, but I doubt the seals will ever be as tight as they were from the factory. I wouldn't recommend cracking open your Nano unless you're prepared to break it.
Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

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