New iPod Touch packs Wi-Fi 'n,' FM hardware

An iFixit teardown reveals that Apple's new touch-screen iPod packs 802.11n wireless connectivity and FM radio transmission hardware. But "a lot of ifs" remain.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. PDT: adding discussion about lack of video camera in Touch.

iPod Broadcom chip in Apple's iPod Touch supports 802.11n wireless--not supported in the iPhone 3GS
Broadcom chip in Apple's iPod Touch supports 802.11n wireless--not supported in the iPhone 3GS iFixit

Inside Apple's updated iPod Touch lurks "n" Wi-Fi hardware, the potential for FM transmission, and room for a camera, according to iFixit.

Gadget teardown specialist iFixit on Friday said that during its dissection of the new device, it found a few "unexpected discoveries."

One of the most notable findings was a Broadcom BCM4329 chip that supports 802.11n. "This is a big deal, as even the iPhone 3GS doesn't support 802.11n," said Kyle Wiens of iFixit. The Apple smartphone, which has a very similar look on the outside to the iPod Touch, has a Broadcom BCM4325 wireless chip, only supporting 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi connectivity, according to Wiens.

"We don't know yet if 802.11n will be supported in the iPod Touch software, but at least the hardware's there," he said.

The Broadcom chip also supports FM transmission and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (enhanced data rate), endowing the touch-screen iPod with the potential to stream music to the car stereo. "But that's a lot of ifs," Wiens said.

iFixit also said the internal layout of the iPod appears to leave room for a camera in the top of the device. "There is a 6x6x3-millimeter space between the Broadcom chip and the wireless antenna."

Added Wiens: "There isn't enough depth for an iPhone-style autofocus still camera, but just enough room for the camera that Apple used in the fifth-generation iPod Nano. We did not find any headers on the board for a camera cable."

The fact that the new iPod Nano integrates a video camera and the Touch does not has become a mini scandal, as some observers claim that Steve Jobs may not have revealed the whole story behind a camera-less Touch. Jobs claimed price made a camera prohibitive on the game-oriented Touch, while blogs maintain it was more of a hardware problem.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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