updated 01:55 pm EDT, Wed September 20, 2006
New Nano analysis
iSuppli has taken apart Apple's new 4GB iPod nano, revealing an estimated materials cost of $72.24. The teardown revealed that Samsung Electronics now provides the main microprocessor (SOC), replacing the previous processor from PortalPlayer. Apple has done away with the "flash disk controller" chip manufactured by Silicon Storage Technologies, building the functionality of that chip into Samsung's SOC. Other 4GB iPod nano components include an audio chip from Wolfson Microelectronics, chips from Cypress Semiconductor to drive the clickwheel, and a power-management chip from Philips Electronics, according to BusinessWeek. Despite those changes, only the outer enclosure proved more expensive than the previous generation, costing Apple about $2 over the older $1 enclosure.
iSuppli analysts also noted that Apple's logo and name now appear on many parts inside the new Nano.
"It's not clear if there's an intent on Apple's part to hide the identity of its suppliers, or if it's because those are custom products made for Apple," said iSuppli analyst Chris Crotty. "The suppliers want very badly to brag about how they're supplying parts to Apple for the iPod, but Apple doesn't let them do that."