iPod shuffle 3rd Generation Special Edition Teardown

Written By: Walter Galan

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Difficulty Moderate
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Introduction

We took apart the iPod shuffle Special Edition on September 11, 2009. This iPod features an incredibly shiny stainless steel enclosure. According to Apple's marketing-speak, "It's as brilliant as your taste in music."

  • Step 1
    • If you like shiny things, Apple has an iPod for you. It's like getting a free mirror! And it's only $20 extra.
    • Sadly, the shuffle doesn't come with matching shiny headphones.
    • Contrary to Apple's typical claims of "smaller packaging to save the environment," this iPod's packaging is 65% larger than the original 3rd Gen shuffle.
  • Step 2
    • We've already taken apart one of these little guys, but we wanted to see what makes the special edition so special.
    • At least until we use it, the mirror-finish reflects beautifully. With the help of the new shuffle, our camera can do a self-portrait.
  • Step 3
    • This picture makes things look easy. The picture is a lie. This picture comes after about an hour of frustration trying to open this iPod.
    • We finally used a putty knife and an excessive amount of force to pry the iPod open.
    • The new shuffle weighs in at 17.2 grams, nearly 61% more than the 10.7 gram aluminum shuffle.
    • That means you can buy special edition shuffles for only $2,613 per pound, while the regular shuffle will set you back $3,352 per pound.
  • Step 4
    • Here are the normal (left) and special edition shuffles. Not a surprise, but not much new to see here.
    • This shouldn't come as a surprise, but the new shuffle is a lot heavier. It is steel after all.
    • The new shuffle weighs in at 17.2 grams, nearly 61% more than the 10.7 gram aluminum shuffle.
    • That means you can buy special edition shuffles for only $2,613 per pound, while the regular shuffle will set you back $3,352 per pound.
  • Step 5
    • The most daunting task of this procedure....removing the one single screw.
    • The black 3rd generation had a black screw, while our silver special edition had a silver screw. It looks like Apple gives you matching screws.
  • Step 6
    • Prying the logic board and battery out with the flat end of a spudger.
    • Things don't appear different here. The battery is still a tiny 0.27 watt-hours.
  • Step 7
    • The internal parts and the stainless steel case seperated.
    • After removing the internals, the stainless steel casing weighs 12 grams. That doesn't seem like much, except that the iPod itself only weighs 5 grams. Over 70% of this iPod's weight comes from its shell!
Conclusion

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