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4th-gen iPod shuffle torn down, found tough to fix

updated 05:00 pm EDT, Tue September 7, 2010

iPod shuffle 4G teardown reveals tight design

DIY repair shop iFixit today posted a teardown of the new iPod shuffle that reveals an extremely tight if limited construction. The device took about half an hour to pry open as the clip was both press-fit into the body and glued at the same time; while sturdy, it guaranteed that anyone would have to "break it" to open it. To save on space, Apple has also soldered the battery directly to the circuit board and uses very small connectors that could easily snap if the explorer isn't careful.

The design nonetheless revealed the sheer achievement of the design. It uses just an 0.19Whr (watt/hour) battery but can still manage 15 hours of battery life, or a full 50 percent more than the old version. Only one large chip, an ARM processor, dominates the circuit board; it comes Apple-badged and suggests the company might also be customizing its lesser ARM chips, not just the A4.

A finished teardown brought the conclusion that the new shuffle is virtually designed to be unrepairable but also difficult to break. At its $49 price, however, it's more likely to be cheaper for both Apple and the listener to replace the iPod outright rather than attempt a fix.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Cheap items like this are throw away pieces. If it breaks, throw it away and get a new one. This isn't unusual.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Waste, waste

    More of the same for Apple. Make things smaller. When it fails, just throw it away. Who cares about waste and costs of disposal?

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If it breaks...

    Just chuck it into the ocean. Nobody'll notice but the fishes.

    I'm sure it's small enough to flush down the toilet without causing any problems, so that seems like a nice and easy disposal method.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As noted (sort of ;)

    Please dispose of electronic waste responsibly.
    These devices contain a battery, and should be handled virtually the same way as disposal of a battery.
    Check with your city and state for programs. :)

  1. facebook_Thomas

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010



    Iphonerulez that's funny although someone might take you seriously :-)

    Testudo, exactly how many other MP3 players are built to be user serviceable or even tech support serviceable? There are thousands of small mp3 players and USB drives and so on that are considered disposable. Even digital watches and toasters and portable tv's and calculators, the list goes on and on and all you can complain about is Apples products? Just be quite already or go do something about it but your constant complaining is very annoying.

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