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Thursday, November 02, 2006, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Exposing the guts of Apple's second-gen iPod shuffle

Apple Computer's new iPod shuffle digital music player is held together primarily by four screws and some mild adhesive, as show in a disassembly performed by the folks over at iFixIt.

The top and bottom of the player are capped by two thin, white plastic strips, which are secured by mild adhesive that can be relieved with some heat from a hair dryer and use of a spudger tool.

Underneath the top cap lies a shuffle / loop switch and a power switch that connects to the main logic board. It too can be removed with help from a spudger tool.

Once the switch mechanism has been removed, both ends of the player will have a retaining bracket exposed, each attached by two Phillips #00 screws.

After removing both sets of screws and prying off the retaining brackets with a spudger, the main logic board can be pushed out and separated from the player's aluminum enclosure.

According to the iFixIt disassembly guide, the top of the board includes five button sensors, an Apple logo-stamped ARM chip (No. 337S3300 844A N05WDK01 0642 ARM), and a data ribbon cable leading to the headphone / dock jack on the other side.

Second-gen iPod shuffle disassembly

The top cap of Apple's second-gen iPod shuffle | Photo: iFixIt


Second-gen iPod shuffle disassembly

Two switch components inside Apple's second-gen iPod shuffle | Photo: iFixIt


Second-gen iPod shuffle disassembly

Separating the logic board from casing | Photo: iFixIt


On the bottom of the board, Apple has done an impressive job of packing functionality into the headphone jack. "The dock plug has three conductive strips, plus the ground post," said iFixIt. "It's safe to assume that the plug is multi-modal and switches between USB, analog audio, and possibly power modes."

iFixIt presumes that it should be easy for a third-party developer to make a small USB adapter that restores the memory-stick functionality to the new shuffle, as the player currently requires a dock (included) for connectivity.

Second-gen iPod shuffle disassembly

The top of the main logic board | Photo: iFixIt


Second-gen iPod shuffle disassembly

The bottom of the main logic board | Photo: iFixIt


Second-gen iPod shuffle disassembly

Disassembly of second-gen shuffle complete | Photo: iFixIt


The shuffle's Li-ion polymer battery is soldered onto the logic board, while the headphone / dock / power jack and memory chip are nestled beneath the headphone jack component.

Without disrupting the main logic board, the player disassembles into 12 individual components, including the four screws and the enclosure, which appears to be a solid piece of molded aluminum.