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3rd gen iPod touch teardown: 802.11n potential and room for a camera?

Just this morning, we linked to the results of iFixit's iPod nano teardown. Hours later, we have the opportunity to dive into their 32GB iPod touch teardown. There are definitely a few interesting tidbits about what Apple did and did not do with the iPod touch this time around... and possibly some hints of what could happen in the future.

Here are the highlights:
  • The ARM processor in the iPod touch is a newer revision than the iPhone 3GS's CPU. We still don't know its exact clock speed but it's a definite upgrade from the 2nd Generation iPod touch.
  • It has a 1080 mAh battery; what does that mean? Well, it'll get pretty good battery life. Apple's website lists it at 30 hours of music playback.
  • The NAND flash memory is manufactured by Samsung and has been split into two chips to achieve the 32GB capacity.
  • The wireless chip is from Broadcom. According to their documentation this chip supports 802.11 n as well as 802.11 a/b/g. This is a new move from Apple. Until now, all of the mobile devices have only had g-capable wireless chips. It's possible that this would be enabled in the future, but I wouldn't put money on that.
  • Mark this one as rumor fodder: iFixit claims that there is room for a camera at the top of the device. The empty space measures 6mm x 6mm x 3mm. That could easily fit the same style camera as the 5th gen iPod Nano, but they don't believe an iPhone-quality camera would fit because of the limited space.
If that's not enough iPod touch news for you, read on.
The digitizer, glass and the midplane assembly are different than previous models, so hanging onto your 2nd gen will do you no good if you break the glass on your 3rd gen iPod touch.

Apple took advantage of all the free space on the logic board. The 3rd generation 32GB iPod touch looks like a complicated mess compared to the 2nd generation 8GB.

The Broadcom chip also has an integrated FM receiver and transmitter. So, it's possible that we could still see radio come to the 3rd gen iPod touch and not just the 5th gen iPod nano.

Apple seems to be following a disappointing trend, at least from the case-cracker's perspective... every current generation iPod is extremely hard to get open. Having worked on these myself, I have to agree with iFixit. Gone are the days when customers could easily fix an iPod themselves. However, you can get into an iPhone 3GS with the removal of two screws and a suction cup. Odd?

I personally find it somewhat disheartening that Apple would include so many goodies in an already amazing device, but fail to fully enable their potential. I'll admit that I don't know if there would be repercussions after enabling these extras, but they definitely seem like great additions that were left out at the last minute. I won't even begin to discuss the camera potential... ugh.

Just this morning, we linked to the results of iFixit's iPod nano teardown. Hours later, we have the opportunity to dive into their 32GB...