iFixit tears down the new 7th generation iPod nano

We got a look inside the new fifth-generation iPod touch last week thanks to our friends over at iFixit. Today, they are taking apart the seventh-generation iPod nano that Apple recently unveiled alongside the new iPod touch and iPhone 5 lineups. While it did not perform quite as poorly as the iPod touch in terms of repairability, it was still unable to outperform the 7 out of 10 repairability score given to iPhone 5. We see the usual suspects inside including flash memory from Toshiba and a TI touchscreen controller. However, a quick look at the Nano’s internals shows a few anonymous, Apple-branded chips as well:

* Toshiba THGBX2G7D2JLA01 128 Gb (16 GB) NAND flash
* Texas Instruments 343S0538 touchscreen controller
* Broadcom BCM2078KUBG Bluetooth + FM radio
* NXP Semiconductors 1609A1
* 75203 23017
* 75292 98820
* 339S0193
* Apple 338S1099
* Apple 338S1146

Thanks to many components being soldered to the logic board (battery, lightning connector, headphone jack, etc.), and a battery attached to the assembly, iFixit is giving the new Nano a 5 out of 10 for repairability. Here are some of the highlights:

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iFixit tears down the fifth-generation iPod touch

As usual, our friends at iFixit have once again taken apart Apple’s latest device. This time we get a look inside the new fifth-generation iPod touch that started shipping to customers this week, revealing all of its internal components including: 512MB of RAM from Hynix, Apple’s A5 processor, and NAND flash from Toshiba.

* 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 the iPhone 5 was able to grab an impressive repairability score in its teardown, iFixit unfortunately found the new iPod touch much harder to get inside. Due to lack of external screws and two “hard-to-manage ribbon cables” on the logic board, the device gets a low 3 out of 10 repairability score. That’s in comparison to the 7 out of 10 awarded to the iPhone 5. iFixit said, “repair is not impossible, but it’s certainly going to be difficult and expensive if one component breaks.” The teardown also found the iPod touch Home button has a “weaker, rubber-membrane design” when compared to the iPhone 5.

Here are some of the highlights:

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iPhone 5 scores ‘low concern’ in chemical analysis of 36 smartphones

Together, with HealthyStuff.org, our friends at iFixit have just completed a chemical analysis of 36 smartphones, including the iPhone 5 and previous generations of the device. Each device was ranked from 0 to 5 (with 0 being best) based on a number of common hazardous materials including lead, bromine, and mercury. In the image above, we see a breakdown on which components of the iPhone 5 have the highest concentration of those chemicals. The findings show Apple is making good in its commitment to greatly reduce harmful chemicals in its products, with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 ranking significantly better than previous generations. For instance, the iPhone 2G lands itself at the bottom of the list with a “high concern”—not far from Nokia’s N95.

The iPhone 4S was able to outrank the iPhone 5; indicating Apple was not able to significantly reduce hazardous chemicals in the new device. However, all iPhone models were behind the Motorola Citrus—a device Motorola specifically markets as an eco-friendly option. While iPhone 4S came in second behind Citrus, the inexpensive LG Remarq and Samsung Captivate were able to beat out the iPhone 5. When it comes to Apples’ biggest competitors, such as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III and higher-end devices from HTC, the iPhone 4/4S/5 all outrank the competition.

As noted by iFixit, each year only about 8 percent of the 130 million discarded cellphones make it to proper recycling facilities. With Apple likely to build a 100 million new iPhones in the year to come, Apple’s commitment to make the “most environmentally responsible products in our industry” is certainly an important one.

iFixit explained the method used to rank the phones:

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iFixit posts repair guide for Retina MacBook Pro, estimates battery replacement at $500

You might remember a couple months ago when our friends at iFixit tore down the new Retina MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, the device received its lowest repairability score with the company calling it “the least repairable laptop”. While the new MacBooks provide possibly Apple’s least accessible and upgradeable design out of the box, iFixit updated its website today with its official 2012 MacBook Pro Retina repair guide to make it as easy as possible. Fifteen separate installation guides for the AirPort Board, battery, fans, logic board, speakers, SSD, trackpad, etc., are included in the repair guide with one maintenance guide for reapplying thermal paste to the CPU and GPU.

Many components within the laptop can be removed without much fuss, provided folks use the correct tools. Pentalobe screws hold the lower case in place and Torx screws secure everything else. Spudgers and plastic opening tools are absolutely necessary, as many of the components are designed with such tight tolerances that using fingertips is simply not an option.

Fair warning: working on the laptop is no easy task. Some repairs are simply infeasible. For example, there is no way to replace the trackpad without removing the battery. And while it’s possible to remove the battery, chances are high that it will be punctured in the process. Puncturing Lithium-polymer batteries releases noxious fumes and can cause fires. Additionally, removing the LCD glass from the aluminum frame will almost certainly break the glass. So components residing under the LCD — such as the FaceTime camera — will have to be replaced with the entire assembly… Finding replacements for the machine’s proprietary components is currently difficult. We’re working to source parts, but it may take some time.

iFixit also estimated that third-party battery replacements —if done correctly— could cost over $500:

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Retina MacBook Pro shows up in EPEAT Registry

Apple’s products are back on the EPEAT’s registry with a Gold standard, but the Retina MacBook pro notably was at question.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company announced earlier this week that it planned to forgo the environmental rating system. The decision allegedly came after the EPEAT took up an issue with the new MacBook Pro’s Retina display and repairability factor, which iFixit detailed in a widely reported analysis last month.

After Apple dropped the EPEAT standard, the city of San Francisco said it planned to stop purchases of some Apple products, and then Politico revealed federal officials were also thinking twice before procuring Apple’s computers.

The hullabaloo apparently caused the folks in Cupertino to second guess their plan of action, as Senior Vice President of Hardware Bob Mansfield suddenly issued a statement on Apple’s environmental page today regarding the contention. He said the company made a mistake and would concede by returning to EPEAT.

Now, a few hours later, the EPEAT’s registry has 40 Apple products listed, including the Retina MacBook Pro. However, its IEEE 1680-2009 Criteria Category Summary (screenshot below) is a bit perplexing, especially considering the reasons reported as to why Apple pulled its products in the first place.

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iFixit: MacBook Pro’s amazing Retina Display is made by LG Philips

[Image credit: iFixit]

We covered iFixit’s Retina Display teardown this morning, but the report left out one very important detail: Who makes the display? There had been some discussion by DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira on whether Sharp’s IGZO display technology was used:

An IGZO Retina Display? Traditional high PPI displays (with amorphous Silicon) are inefficient with both brightness and power. As a result, the new iPad 3 with a Retina Display needs a 70 percent larger battery than the non-Retina Display iPad 2, but the MacBook Pro with Retina Display has only a 23 percent larger battery with the same 7 hour running time as the non-Retina Display MacBook Pro. How can this be? You may recall that IGZO technology has been making headlines for months, first rumored to be the technology used in the Retina Display for the new iPad 3. IGZO is significantly more efficient than amorphous Silicon. It wasn’t ready in time for the new iPad 3, but Sharp announced that production of IGZO LCDs with up to 300 PPI started in March of 2012… Just in time for the MacBook Pro… These facts lead me to speculate that the MacBook Pro is using a Sharp IGZO Retina Display…

Apple, Sharp, and Foxconn are rumored to be working together on something bigger as well.

Nope… Read more

iFixit tears down the new MacBook Pro’s Retina display, an ‘engineering marvel’

They first took apart the new Retina MacBook Pro and called it the “least repairable laptop” ever, but today our friends at iFixit took apart the device’s most impressive new component: its Retina Display. Here is what they found:

The Retina display is an engineering marvel. Its LCD is essentially the entire display assembly. Rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a piece of glass in front, Apple used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass. They’ve managed to pack five times as many pixels as the last model in a display that’s actually a fraction of a millimeter thinner. And since there’s no front glass, glare is much less of an issue.

The major downside to the design noted in the report: the LCD is not replaceable. It is attached to the entire assembly, so this means you will likely have to replace the entire assembly if something goes wrong. It also noted that getting into the display is quite difficult, claiming, “Obliterating the front panel of the display was the only way to get it out.” Some highlights:

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Retina MacBook Pros selling on eBay for $1700 premium over retail due to scarcity

The new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is either out of stock, coming soon, on pre-order, or experiencing delayed shipping on almost every retail website, but it appears one seller is offering the latest Cupertino notebook on eBay—for roughly $1,700 more than Apple’s asking price.

Check it out: Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch MC975LL/A (June, 2012) with Retina Display

The above eBay deal comes with same day, free shipping and includes insurance (if this is even considered a deal). Another eBay listing offers the base model MacBook Pro for $3,199 USD, but another $95.80 USD is required for USPS priority shipping from Canada.

It is probably safe to say these puppies are in high demand, as evident by the exorbitant price markups.
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April 1st: iFixit, ThinkGeek, Google, and more

There are a lot of interesting announcements this Sunday morning.  Here is a rundown, but make sure to hit us with anything else you find in the comments below.

iFixit offers a special tool for opening the new iPad, which is reinforced with extra glue:

From the makers of Doxie comes Shreddie, the portable document shredder.

ThinkGeek —whose previous entry, the iCade, became a real product— introduced us to Hungry Hungry Hippos for iPad:

O2 has a phone  that will last for 1,000 hours of talk time:

Adblock is showing LOLcats today:

Google, which seems to give every department a mission for today, has a bunch of great stuff:

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iFixit tears down the new Apple TV- two antennas, single-core A5 chip, and Broadcom 4330 chip

Following the first teardown of the new Apple TV over the weekend at XBMC.org, we get some more details from yet another teardown. They already gave the new iPad the teardown treatment, and now our friends over at iFixit ripped apart the third-generation Apple TV giving it an 8 out of 10 reparability score. The report revealed the device now has two antennas instead of one, which iFixit noted: “Apple added the new antenna to address complaints about range and signal strength.” It also discovered a Broadcom 4330 chip (same as the new iPad) with support for dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n, as well as a new single-core A5 processor. iFixit noticed the new design does not rely on a thermal cooling pad, which could mean the new single-core CPU does not run as hot as earlier generations.

The chips inside:

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As we suspected, new iPad takes longer to charge. Also gets warm inside

While we are waiting for iFixit to tear apart the new iPad so we can get a look at the device’s new 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, we received confirmation that the battery does take hours longer to charge than the iPad 2 (iPad 2 pictured above). We know battery life remains the same with the 70 percent larger battery going mostly toward powering the new Retina display, A5x chip, and LTE-capabilities, but we wondered last week whether the new battery could take up to 70 percent longer to charge. MG Siegler confirmed in his review on TechCrunch that charging the new iPad takes “several hours” longer compared to earlier generations:
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iFixit launches Dual Hard Drive Kit and guides for Mid 2011 iMacs

While you might be familiar with iFixit from its in-depth teardown guides meant to provide the ultimate resource for DIYers, it also offers the necessary tools to get the job done. We told you a while back about its “iPhone oppression kit” allowing you to swap out Apple’s pentalobular screws with standard Phillips screws. Stemming from a discovery of two unused mounting points in its recent 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac teardowns, iFixit is now providing a kit that provides all the tools necessary to install a second hard drive in your mid 2011 iMac.

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