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Boy changes third-generation iPod Touch battery (photos)

Swapping out your iPod Touch battery will cost you about $79. But this kid did it for $8.59. Warning: it's tricky.

carnoy-headshot-2019-2
carnoy-headshot-2019-2

David Carnoy

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Brett_Touch_Battery_1.jpeg
1 of 9 Ken Landau

Tools for the job

Brett is 11 years old. His father picked up a battery on eBay for $8.59 (includes "separator" tools).

Yes, that's a soldering iron. And no, it isn't included with the replacement battery.

Brett_Touch_Battery_2.jpeg
2 of 9 Ken Landau

Removing touch screen from case (note guitar pick)

Just to get the iPod Touch open took a good 15 minutes. Lots of clips help keep the iPod tightly sealed.

Even the two separator tools that were included with the new replacement battery could not do the job, so Brett had to use a guitar pick (which did not survive) to get the touch screen off.

Brett_Touch_Battery_3.jpeg
3 of 9 Ken Landau

Touch screen off

A thin ribbon cable in the upper-left corner makes for a very delicate procedure.
Brett_Touch_Battery_4.jpeg
4 of 9 Ken Landau

First of eight tiny screws to remove metal plate holding LCD

Eight very tiny Phillips screws have to be removed so that the LCD screen and its frame can be lifted up. The battery is stuck to the back of the metal frame.
Brett_Touch_Battery_5.jpeg
5 of 9 Ken Landau

Prying off old battery from back of metal plate

Turning the frame around reveals the battery, which is stuck on very securely with serious double-stick tape. After a careful, slow peel off, the toughest part can begin.
Brett_Touch_Battery_6.jpeg
6 of 9 Ken Landau

Using soldering iron to remove old battery ribbon cable

Rather then use a simple push-on clip or ribbon cable with pinching connector, Apple has chosen to solder the ribbon cable from the battery to the motherboard. And not with two simple, well-separated connectors, but three very close connections. (Note: If any two touch, your iPod Touch can short circuit and be toast).
Brett_Touch_Battery_7.jpeg
7 of 9 Ken Landau

New battery soldered into place

With a little help from his dad, Brett carefully melted the solder on the existing battery's three connections one at a time and pried away the ribbon cable from the motherboard.

After applying a very tiny bit of solder to each of the new battery's connectors and lining them up carefully, each lead was soldered to its respective area on the motherboard.

Brett_Touch_Battery_8.jpeg
8 of 9 Ken Landau

Power check with new battery

Once the solder was cool, a quick press of the power button confirmed all was working as the Apple logo appeared. From this point the rebuild went rather quickly: battery to back of metal frame, frame's eight screws in place, touch-screen ribbon cable to motherboard connection. You then press the touch screen back into place, and you're good to go.
Brett_Touch_Battery_9.jpeg
9 of 9 Ken Landau

Success

Working third-generation iPod Touch with brand-new battery! Cost: $8.59.

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