iPod Nano 3rd Generation Teardown

Written By: Luke Soules

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Difficulty Very easy
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We disassembled this iPod on September 7, 2007.

  • Step 1
    • There it is, in the same style box as the last Nano, but quite a bit shorter and wider.
  • Step 2
    • Here's what you'll find in the box:
    • A manual (even smaller than the iPod).
    • The usual, much-maligned headphones.
    • A USB to iPod cable.
    • A dock insert.
    • A brand new iPod.
  • Step 3
    • The growing iPod Nano family.
    • Although the new Nano is shorter and wider than its older siblings, it has approximately the same area (36 square centimeters).
  • Step 4
    • Apple appears to be going in circles. Anodized aluminum, shiny, anodized, shiny...
    • But of course, it's what's inside that counts.
  • Step 5
    • And here's our first look inside this newest Nano.
    • The case has eight locking tabs:
    • Three on the left, evenly spaced.
    • Three on top.
    • Two on the right, near the bottom, to make room for the display circuitry at the upper right.
  • Step 6
    • We've removed six Phillips screws fixing the logic board to the casing.
    • We can now lift the logic board up, but it's still tethered by the visible click wheel cable and the hidden display cable.
  • Step 7
    • We've disconnected the click wheel cable and flipped the board over to disconnect the display cable.
  • Step 8
    • Now we use a spudger to pry up the display, which is held along the case's edge by an adhesive strip.
    • The first generation Nano's display was attached in exactly the same way. If you're not careful when prying it up, you may crack it.
  • Step 9
    • We're noticing a strong trend as we take apart this iPod: adhesive.
    • The click wheel is held in place by nothing but a very strong adhesive, which is going to make replacing it difficult. You'll have to get it to stay in place as well as Apple has (i.e. very well).
  • Step 10
    • Here the battery is out of its metal housing, which is attached to the logic board by, that's right, adhesive.
    • The battery is attached to the logic board by three through-hole solder points, as in the second generation Nano (sorry, no easy replacements).
  • Step 11
    • And here's everything together again, but apart.
  • Step 12
    • A close-up of the logic board's top, which sports an eight gigabyte Samsung flash memory chip and headphone jack.
    • The headphone jack is soldered to the logic board, as in the first generation Nano, but not in the second.
  • Step 13
    • A close-up of the logic board's bottom.
  • Step 14
    • And it still works! Now, having satisfied our curiosity, we can put some music on it.

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