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Thursday, September 09, 2010, 06:55 am PT (09:55 am ET)

6th-gen iPod nano dismantled to reveal battery 2x larger than shuffle

Apple's new sixth-generation, multi-touch iPod nano has a battery with more than twice the capacity of the similarly-sized iPod shuffle, while its tiny 1.54-inch display has a pixel density nearly twice that of the iPad.

iFixit concluded its series of teardowns of Apple's latest iPod lineup with the new iPod nano. Thanks to the addition of a multi-touch screen and the ditching of the click wheel, the device is less than half the size of its predecessor.

The new device has a case design very similar to the latest iPod shuffle, including a lack of screws on the exterior. Despite their similar size and shape, the new iPod nano has a battery capacity of 105 mAh, versus the 51 mAh on the screen-less iPod shuffle.

The battery in the new iPod nano only has two wires, while every previous generation device has had three wires, including one that ties into a "thermistor." The site said that the battery inside the new iPod nano is likely small enough that overheating is not a concern.

The solutions provider also noted that the LCD multi-touch display on the device has a resolution of 240 by 240 pixels, which adds up to 220 pixels per inch. That's a total well beyond the 132 PPI density on Apple's iPad, which sports a much larger 9.7-inch screen, but it's also much lower than the 326 PPI density found on the Retina Display of the latest iPhone and iPod touch.

Nano 1


Other information gathered in iFixit's teardown:

  • "The front glass on the 6th generation Nano sticks up about .3 mm from the flat face of the outer case. Why, you ask? Presumably the headphone jack. Apple wanted to keep the device as thin as possible, and the curvature of the edges would have forced the case to be thicker for a completely flush glass panel. A thicker case was ditched in favor of the glass sticking out slightly."

Nano 2

  • like the latest iPod shuffle, the new nano has a tiny logic board and battery sharing about an even amount of space inside.

  • The display assembly on the iPod nano is just 2.27mm thick, thinner than the 2.93mm display on the new iPod touch, and 3.05mm display on the iPhone 4.

  • All of the external buttons and inputs — headphone jack, volume and sleep/wake — are on the same ribbon cable around the inner perimeter of the device.

Nano 3

  • Like the previous generation hardware, the headphones act as the FM radio antenna, and any headphones will work as an antenna.

  • Inside, the new iPod nano has eleven screws. "Quite a hefty amount for such a small device," they said.

  • Overall repairability of the sixth-generation iPod nano was given a score of 5 out of 10, as removing the display without a heat gun is difficult and the battery is soldered to the logic board.

Nano 4