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5th Generation iPod Touch Teardown: Tough to Repair

By - Source: iFixit | B 17 comments

Majority of core components all connected to just one ribbon cable.

Repair experts iFixit has carried out their inevitable teardown of the new iPod Touch, with the firm finding that the device is fairly tough to repair.

They gave the 5th generation iPod Touch a rating of 3 on a repairability scale of 10 (10 being the easiest). While it's not impossible to open up the device's case, the site noted that it's certainly going to take some effort to do so.

The battery is surrounded by notches which leads to a straightforward removal. Elsewhere, though, the microphone, volume buttons, LED flash, as well as the power button are all connected with just a single ribbon cable. In order to repair one of the components, it would result in users having to replace the whole ribbon cable assembly. The Lightning connector, headphone jack and microphone ribbon cable, meanwhile, are soldered to the logic board.

"This is just another example of how Apple is simplifying and grouping the components in its products," iFixit said. "Unfortunately, in doing so, it's inadvertently putting an end to repairability."

The site added that upon comparing the iPod Touch to the iPhone 5's display, it's apparently notable that the former "is a much simpler, cheaper design, despite Apple claiming the two have very similar functionality."

iFixit commended Apple for implementing a stronger home button for the iPhone 5, but they were "somewhat disappointed" with the weaker design of the iPod Touch's home button.

Apple recently started to ship the fifth generation iPod Touch to consumers, as well as making it available on store shelves.


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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    mousseng , October 12, 2012 8:48 PM
    A new Apple product is difficult to self-repair? Color me surprised, I never saw that coming!
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    DSpider , October 12, 2012 8:34 PM
    "somewhat disappointed" with the weaker design of the iPhone Touch's home button.

    Iphone Touch?
  • 3 Hide
    rebel1280 , October 12, 2012 8:43 PM
    DSpider"somewhat disappointed" with the weaker design of the iPhone Touch's home button.Iphone Touch?

    i read that too and was like ??? hehe
  • 15 Hide
    mousseng , October 12, 2012 8:48 PM
    A new Apple product is difficult to self-repair? Color me surprised, I never saw that coming!
  • 4 Hide
    bllue , October 12, 2012 8:53 PM
    Now Apple is looking to take the profits of the Apple devices repair industry by forcing the consumer to head to their local Apple store and pay over half the device's value in repairs
  • 3 Hide
    AndrewMD , October 12, 2012 9:12 PM
    There is another wrong with what Apple is doing. For the most part, it is making it easier for the units to be assembled which is more costly than repairing the units. The ability to have assembly workers place only a few parts into a box at one time simplifies everything.
  • 8 Hide
    sliem , October 12, 2012 9:33 PM
    You are repairing it wrong.
  • 1 Hide
    zybch , October 12, 2012 11:12 PM
    bllueNow Apple is looking to take the profits of the Apple devices repair industry by forcing the consumer to head to their local Apple store and pay over half the device's value in repairs


    Over $6 Billion has been spend repairing broken faulty apple devices in the time since the iPhone. It was reported here some time ago.
  • 4 Hide
    idono , October 12, 2012 11:55 PM
    And once again Apple takes the prize. They are effectivly forcing people to either pay outragous ammounts of money to repair their phone or to buy a new one. Either way it's a lose lose situation for the consumer. How are they even allowed to keep doing these kinds of buisness practices.
  • 2 Hide
    usbgtx550 , October 13, 2012 3:51 AM
    Goes to fix, tears ribbon cable, whole device becomes useless
  • 0 Hide
    assasin32 , October 13, 2012 11:21 AM
    Lots of Apple bashing just to be Apple bashing going on (Android user for the record). Apple simplified their product which means less point of failures which not only means it's easier to assemble which is good for them, but it also means if they did it right it should result in it being more reliable. Yes it means you can't replace every small component out there but that is a side effect of grouping things together and simplifying it.
  • 0 Hide
    garrick , October 13, 2012 2:01 PM
    I really hate the fact that I can't go to Apple and order a new LCD for the iphone, instead you have to rely on 3rd party parts which are either very shoddy or somewhat close to the original product depending on how much you pay for it but either way it's an inferior product.
    It wouldn't be that bad to have Apple repair it if they didn't charge outrageous sums to where you would be better off purchasing a new product which is probably their intention.
    A friend of mine dropped a SD card into the iMac super drive slot and the quoted price of repairs was 2000 dollars! total ripoff!
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , October 14, 2012 12:04 AM
    garrickI really hate the fact that I can't go to Apple and order a new LCD for the iphone, instead you have to rely on 3rd party parts which are either very shoddy or somewhat close to the original product depending on how much you pay for it but either way it's an inferior product. It wouldn't be that bad to have Apple repair it if they didn't charge outrageous sums to where you would be better off purchasing a new product which is probably their intention. A friend of mine dropped a SD card into the iMac super drive slot and the quoted price of repairs was 2000 dollars! total ripoff!

    In my local shopping mall there's a ZAGG stand that does iDevice repair...cracked screens, etc. You can even change the colour of your iPhone or iPad from white or black to blue, red, green, or yellow. They'll replace an iPhone battery for $15. Yeah, we live near the capital of the free world but ZAGG must be in lots of locations too.
  • 0 Hide
    ChromeTusk , October 14, 2012 4:14 AM
    This also means there might be less refurbs to buy for those of us who can't/don't want to pay full price :??: 
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , October 14, 2012 6:09 AM
    well knock me over with a feather!
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , October 15, 2012 3:04 PM
    "Over $6 Billion has been spend repairing broken faulty apple devices in the time since the iPhone. It was reported here some time ago."

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/apple-computer-company-statistics/

    I can't say how accurate the info on that link is [nor the $6B figure on repairs], but lets go with it.

    192M iPhones-- lets say an average of $600 each = $115.2B
    350M iPods-- lets say an average of $150 each = $52.5B
    84M iPads-- lets say an average of $550 each = $46.2B

    I'm assuming that the Mac repairs are not included and Apple TV $$$ are negligible [and are cheap enough to just replace rather than repair, IMO]

    Total that up and I get $213.9B in sales, with $6B in repairs only being an additional 2.8%.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 16, 2012 7:50 PM
    Apple products was, is, and always will be a bitch to repair. They rather you frequent their hyperprofitiable Apple stores for repairs then go to an small business to.
  • 1 Hide
    halcyon , October 16, 2012 8:33 PM
    m1n3kraftApple products was, is, and always will be a bitch to repair. They rather you frequent their hyperprofitable Apple stores for repairs then go to an small business to.

    I disagree. I think Apple just doesn't build its products around the idea of them needing to be repaired. Usually...usually, they don't need to be...theyr'e discarded (or whatever) usually long before they need repair. Probably the same as my SGS3... The day it needs to be "repaired" I'll probably be done with it.