CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

iPod Touch

All cracked up

Shattered

Plastic housing

The bottom plastic

More problems

Little pieces

Ends do not justify means

LCD screen

Tiny screws

Under the metal plate

Battery is soldered

Checking the underside

Another casualty

Over the past year or so TechRepublic has cracked open several versions of the Apple iPod and the iPhone. These are always delicate operations that often result in broken devices. Unfortunately, the Cracking Open of this 8GB iPod Touch second-generation (and least expensive) model falls into the broken category. Here is what happened.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Apple (Photo caption text by TechRepublic's Mark Kaelin)

Within two minutes after starting we had a catastrophic event. The glass faceplate is toast already.

The cracks in the glass radiate out from the epicenter. Getting the faceplate off is even more challenging. The cracks will get bigger as we go and the glass is likely to shatter into smaller pieces.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

My worst case scenario occurs. The glass faceplate shatters and several glass pieces remain behind, still glued to the plastic framing.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

The plastic housing remains after I remove the glass shards. This plastic piece was supposed to come out with the glass faceplate. Since there is no glass left, I should be able to remove it.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

The top plastic piece unclipped from the iPod without much trouble to reveal the underside of the Wi-Fi connection subsystem. The on/off power switch is also housed here.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Take a close look at the sides. Those plastic pieces should have come out with the faceplate. They are part of the plastic framework. This Cracking Open is the roughest so far.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

These various pieces should all be part of the glass faceplate framework. This is not what you want to see.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

This is what I was looking for during the initial Cracking Open phase of taking off the glass faceplate. However, this state was reached several steps too late to save our iPod faceplate.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Now, believe it or not--the iPod Touch second-gen was working at this point. I know because the darn thing came on while I was trying to get a good picture.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Very small screws hold the metal plate in place.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

The battery is glued to the underside of the metal plate. It peels off the metal plate easily and we can separate the LCD panel from the rest of the device.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

The battery does not disconnect from the rest of the device so cleanly. In fact, it is soldered to the circuit board.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

The main circuit board houses the Apple software ROM, the ARM processor, and the 8GB of memory. Unfortunately, most of the chips are under a very elaborate heat sink. This is completely new with the second-generation iPod Touch. Even the iPhone 3G did not have this configuration.

At this point I still had high hopes that we could buy a replacement faceplate and fix our iPod Touch.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

This is the Apple iPod Touch cracked open. Notice the LCD screen. It has a couple of discolored areas. I was apparently feeling very destructive the day I cracked this device open, because the LCD screen is useless now.

To summarize: Do not ever open your iPod Touch--ever! Apple has gone to great lengths to make this device nearly impossible to open without breaking something. My best advice: Take care of your iPod and if it does break, get a new one.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic
Updated:
Up Next
The big booths of CES 2018
13