[4th-gen iPod touch Teardown] Why Does Apple Hide Bluetooth Function? (1)

Oct 16, 2008
Hiroki Yomogita, Nikkei Electronics

Apple Inc announced new iPods in September 2008. Following the teardown of the new iPod nano, Nikkei Electronics had an engineer of a Japanese electronic component manufacturer explain the internal design of the iPod touch.

With the touch panel removed (Click pictures to enlarge)

With the LCD panel and the battery cell removed (Click picture to enlarge)

Q: What was your impression about the iPod touch?

A: I got the impression that there are only minor changes in the touch. The SoC for power supply control and the downsized substrates seemed to be the same efforts as seen in the new iPod nano. However, one particular part strongly attracted my attention. It's the method that realized the wireless network capability of the iPod touch.

基板(表) 基板(裏)
Substrates taken out (Click pictures to enlarge)

The new iPod touch incorporates wireless network capability that supports Nike + iPod in addition to wireless LAN (WLAN). With this capability, the iPod touch can record and display the distance the user has traveled and the amount of energy he or she has consumed while running, wirelessly connecting to the sensor embedded in Nike shoes.

To use this function, the previous models of the iPod touch require an external wireless adapter. But the new iPod touch does not need this adapter anymore because of the incorporated wireless network capability.

The Nike + iPod wireless adapters and sensors use a low power IC manufactured by Nordic Semiconductor of Norway. Therefore, I was expecting to find a Nordic Semiconductor's wireless chip embedded in the iPod touch.

Main substrate (back) Main substrate (front)
Details of the main substrate (Click pictures to enlarge)