Toshiba-branded NAND flash module in the previous-generation iPod nano (left) and the SanDisk module in the new model (right). Click for larger.
Apple on Monday reaffirmed its dedication to the iPod family and its latest iPod nano saw a slight refresh stemming mostly from the power of software. The enhancements include an improved user interface with larger icons, sixteen new watch faces and the improved Nike+ fitness functionality (accelerometer?). Furthermore, the new interface available to the older nanos, too, via a firmware update. Apple’s diminutive music player is available in seven colors, priced at $129/$149 for the 8GB/16GB version.
Gadget experts at iFixit tore it apart and found out the device carries the same model number A1366 as its predecessor, while the part number shifted from MC688LL/A to MC689LL/A, yet another indication of the minor hardware tweaks. The device still features the same 240-by-240 pixel display which remains inseparably bonded to the front glass. Also looking at the logic board, the seventh-generation iPod nano sports three Apple-branded chips, like its predecessor.
However, Toshiba’s NAND flash module from the previous-generation model has been replaced with flash memory from SanDisk, which appears to be the only major change to the device’s internals. The battery is still soldered to the logic board and getting the display off of the device requires the use of a heat gun, just like before, iFixit noted.
Additionally, iFixit’s director of technical communication Miroslav Djuric confirmed to 9to5Mac via email that the new model carries an updated Apple processor, the Apple 339S0104 chip versus the Apple 33850859 silicon found in the previous model. From TechInisights, it appears that this is a repackaged Samsung processor+DRAM:
Apple 339S0104 stacked PoP – Samsung APL3278A01 ARM Apps Processor and 512 Mbits Mobile DDR SDRAM from Samsung K4X51323PI
This stacked package-on-package device, once decapped, revealed another design win for Samsung (manufacturers of the A4 ARM processor).
This package revealed a Samsung APL3278A01 ARM application processor and 512 Mb (64 Mbytes) of Mobile DDR SDRAM (part number K4X51323PI).
By the way, UBM TechInsights guesstimated that Apple is spending $203 in parts for each 32GB iPhone 4S.