iPod Touch

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.

Photo by: Apple (Photo caption text by TechRepublic's Mark Kaelin)

All cracked up

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Shattered

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

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Plastic housing

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

The bottom plastic

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

More problems

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Little pieces

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

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Ends do not justify means

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

LCD screen

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Tiny screws

Very small screws hold the metal plate in place.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Under the metal plate

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Battery is soldered

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

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Checking the underside

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Another casualty

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.

Photo by: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

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