updated 01:55 pm EDT, Fri October 7, 2011
iPod nano 7G look shows new flash memory
A new teardown of the seventh-generation iPod nano has uncovered more changes than the otherwise modest update would suggest. iFixit discovered that Apple has switched from its favorite flash memory suppliers, Samsung and Toshiba, to SanDisk. While SanDisk has often partnered with Toshiba in the past, the step will see the company for the first time end up making flash memory for the iPod it had said it could defeat years ago.
The design is also using a new Samsung-made but Apple-labeled ARM processor with 64MB of RAM. Why the switch was made wasn't apparent. The OS is considered only a modest update to what Apple released last year and isn't more demanding. Cost and futureproofing may play a role.
Other changes are minor and mostly center on the inclusion of the full Nike+ hardware inside. The new iPod scores a flat five out of ten for repairability as, while most of the inside is easily accessed once open, the display is tough to safely remove. Its battery pack is also soldered to the circuit board and could lead to having to replace both parts at once.
The new iPods are significantly less expensive than their counterparts with a lower $129 price and just a $20 premium for the 16GB version. Early interpretations of the strategy have suggested it's trying to distance the iPod nano in price from iOS devices to make it a better secondary device.