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The iPod Touch (trademarked and marketed as iPod touch) is a portable media player, personal digital assistant, and Wi-Fi mobile platform designed and marketed by Apple Inc.marker The product was launched on September 5, 2007, at an event called The Beat Goes On. The iPod Touch adds the multi-touch graphical user interface to the iPod line. It is the first iPod with wireless access to the iTunes Store, and also has access to Apple's App Store, enabling content to be purchased and downloaded directly on the device. Apple Inc.marker has sold 20 million iPod Touch units as of September 2009.

The iPod Touch is currently in its third generation (3G), which is available with 32 or 64 GB of flash memory. The 8 GB second generation (2G) model is also available. The second generation iPod Touch, featuring external volume controls, a built-in speaker, a contoured back, built-in Nike+, Bluetooth support, and the ability to connect a microphone, was unveiled on September 9, 2008, at the "Let's Rock" keynote presentation. The third generation iPod Touch with the new iPhone OS 3.1 was announced and subsequently released on September 9, 2009. The third generation includes faster hardware (the same microprocessors, graphics engine, and RAM as the iPhone 3GS), a slightly lower battery life, voice control, light sensor, and bundled earphones with a remote and microphone. The new generation and the concurrently available second generation 8 GB model are available at a new lower pricing structure.


The iPod Touch has a slim rectangular shape with rounded edges, with a glass touchscreen display covering most of the top surface and a physical home button off the touchscreen. The display functions similarly to the multi-touch trackpad as implemented in Apple's current line of laptop computers. The touch and gesture features of the iPod Touch are based on technology originally developed by FingerWorks.On February 5, 2008, a 32 GB version was added in addition to the 8 and 16 GB models. On September 9, 2009, a 64 GB version was added and the 16 GB model was removed from the line-up.


The home screen has a list of icons for the available applications. All iPod Touch models include such applications as Music, Videos, and Photos (collectively duplicating the standard functions of the iPod Classic), iTunes (providing access to the Wi-Fi Music Store), Safari, YouTube, Calendar, Contacts, Clock, Calculator, and Settings. Later models added Mail (accessing POP/IMAP/SMTP e-mail), Maps, Stocks, Notes, and Weather, which could also be added to the earlier models with the purchase of a software upgrade. The user can add direct links to Web sites, called "Web Clips", to the home screen. All iPod Touch models are equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g.

On July 11, 2008, the iPhone 2.0 Software Update was released for purchase for the iPod Touch. The update allowed first generation iPod Touch devices access to the App Store to download third-party applications, in addition to a host of minor bug fixes. On June 17, 2009, the iPhone 3.0 Software Update was released for purchase for the iPod Touch. The update allowed the devices to use new apps, and unlocked the Bluetooth functionality of the second-generation iPod Touch, enabling A2DP and P2P apps.

Comparisons to the iPhone and model comparisons

The iPod Touch and the iPhone, a smartphone by Apple, share the same hardware platform and run the same iPhone OS operating system. The iPod Touch lacks some of the iPhone's features such as access to cellular networks and a built-in camera (and microphone on older models); as a result, the iPod Touch is slimmer and lighter than the iPhone. Steve Jobs once referred to the iPod Touch as "training wheels for the iPhone".

The second generation iPod Touch has an external volume switch and a built-in speaker like the iPhone. The second generation also comes with the chrome frame seen on the iPhone 3G, making the two almost identical when viewed from the front. However, there are some notable differences, as there is no speaker above the screen, no silent/ringer switch, the back is metal, and the sleep/wake button is on the other side. The second generation also supports audio input when a headphone or earphone with microphone capabilities is plugged into the audio output (headphone) jack. The iPod Touch 2.0 Software Update supports WPA2 Enterprise with 802.1X authentication. The iPhone OS 3.0 update unlocked Bluetooth capability on the second generation iPod Touch, as the included Wi-Fi chip (Broadcom BCM4325) has Bluetooth support.

Second generation iPod Touches are said to have a yellower cast/tint to the display, as compared to the iPhone or the original iPod Touch. The applications processor inside the second generation iPod Touch runs slightly faster than the processor inside the iPhone 3G, but slower than the iPhone 3GS. The first generation iPod Touch works with all "Made for iPod" peripherals, but certain changes that Apple made to the second generation iPod Touch prevent some existing peripherals from recharging the updated player. The Google Street View feature added on iPhone firmware version 2.2 is absent from the same version of firmware released on the iPod Touch but is found in the 3.0 update.

Apple has received criticism for its allegedly differential treatment of iPhone and iPod Touch owners. Such criticism is primarily targeted towards Apple charging iPod Touch owners for major software updates of the iPhone OS that iPhone owners can obtain at no charge as well as excluding certain features from the iPod Touch software that are included in the iPhone. Apple has been reported as saying that they can add features for free to the iPhone because the revenue from it is accounted for on a subscription basis under accounting rules, rather than as a one time payment.


Generation Image Capacity Connection Original release date Minimum OS to sync Rated battery life (hours)
first 8 GB
16 GB
USB via Dock connector (FireWire for charging only) 5 September 2007 Mac: 10.4
Win: XP
audio: 22
video: 5
32 GB 5 February 2008
First iPod with Wi-Fi and a Multi-Touch interface. Features Safari web browser and wireless access to the iTunes Store and YouTube. 32 GB model later added. iPhone OS 2.0 and App Store access requires an upgrade fee.
second 8 GB
16 GB
32 GB

USB via Dock connector 9 September 2008 Mac: 10.4
Win: XP
audio: 36
video: 6
New tapered chrome back with Nike+ functionality, volume buttons, and built-in speaker added. iPhone OS 2.0 and App Store access standard. Bluetooth support added but not made active until iPhone OS 3.0, which requires an upgrade fee. Support for external microphone added. 16 and 32 GB models discontinued in September 2009.
third 8 GB
32 GB
64 GB

USB via Dock connector 9 September 2009 Mac: 10.4
Win: XP
audio: 30
video: 6
Updated to include the upgraded internals from the iPhone 3GS; includes Voice Control support, VoiceOver (32 GB and 64 GB models), and bundled remote earphones with microphone. Sold concurrently with second generation 8 GB model.


As supplied new, the iPod Touch needs a connection to a computer for initial configuration. Officially, Apple requires iTunes to be installed on either a Mac OS X or Windows operating system based computer for configuring the iPod Touch. On either operating system, the iPod Touch must be connected through a USB port. The first time the iPod Touch is turned on, a "connect cable to iTunes" graphic will be displayed continuously until the iPod Touch is connected to a computer running iTunes.

To use the iPod Touch for buying products at the iTunes Music Store via Wi-Fi, an iTunes Music Store account must be created and the account details then entered into the iPod.

Apple states that the following is required for the iPod Touch:
  • A computer running either:
    • Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later
    • Microsoft Windows XP with SP2 or later, or Microsoft Windows Vista (32 or 64-bit versions)
  • iTunes 8.2 for iPhone OS 3.0.x or later, iTunes 8.0 for iPhone OS 2.1.x, iTunes 7.6 for iPhone OS 2.0.x or earlier
  • Available USB 2.0 port

Third-party applications

The App Store on an iPod Touch.
Jailbroken first generation iPod Touch in a red case, running firmware version 1.1.1.
The only official way to obtain third-party applications for the iPod Touch is Apple's App Store, which is a branch of iTunes Store. The App Store application, available in all versions of the iPhone OS from iPhone OS 2.0 onwards, allows users to browse and download applications from a single online repository (hosted by Apple) with the iTunes Store. To develop such software, a software development kit (SDK) was officially announced on March 6, 2008, at an Apple Town Hall meeting. The iPhone SDK allows developers to make applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch after paying a fee to join the development team. The developer can then set the price for the applications they develop and will receive 70% of money earned. The developer can also opt to release the application for free and will not pay any additional costs.

Shortly after the iPod Touch was released, hackers were able to "jailbreak" the device through a TIFF exploit. The resulting application enabled the user to download a selection of unofficial third-party programs. Some of these give the user more control over the iPod Touch than is officially available, and also make it possible to install Linux operating systems on the device. All officially released versions of the iPhone OS through 3.0 can be jailbroken, but version 3.1 could not at the time it was released. Servicing an iPod Touch after jailbreaking or other modifications made by unofficial means is not covered by Apple's warranty.


The specifications as listed on Apple's website for the 8GB second generation iPod Touch and third generation iPod Touch are:
  • Screen material: glass (arsenic free)
  • Screen size: 3.5 in
  • Screen resolution: 480x320 px at 163 ppi, with 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Input method: Multi-touch screen interface, Sleep/Wake button, Accelerometer, Home button, Volume Rocker buttons (2nd/3rd Gen only)
  • Operating system: iPhone OS (current version 3.1.2, build 7D11)
  • Storage: 8, 32 and 64 GB flash memory
  • CPU: Initially ARM 400 MHz, but now 412 MHz for 1st generation, 533 MHz for 2nd Generation and ARM Cortex-A8 833 MHz underclocked to 600 MHz for 3rd Generation
  • GPU: PowerVR MBX Lite in 2nd Generation and PowerVR SGX GPU for 3rd Generation
  • RAM: 128 MB DRAM in 1st & 2nd Generation and 256 MB DRAM in 3rd Generation
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
  • Built-in rechargeable, non-removable lithium battery with up to 6 hours of video playback, and up to 36 (30 in 3rd Gen and Fall 2009 2nd Gen) hours of audio playback, times vary.
  • Built-in audio speaker (except in 1st generation)
  • 3.5 mm audio output jack
  • Size: 110×61.8×8 mm (4.3×2.4×0.33 in)
  • Weight:

See also


  1. Steve Jobs live — Apple's "The beats goes on" special event
  2. Steve Jobs rocks San Francisco with iTunes 9,, retrieved on 2009-09-09
  3. Apple Announces iPhone 2.0 Software Beta
  4. First Look: iPod touch | iPod | Macworld
  5. New iPod Touch faster than iPhone 3G - CNET News
  6. 2nd Generation iPod Touch Faster than iPhone | Touch Arcade
  7. iPod touch 2G Won't Support Some iPod Peripherals - MP3 Newswire
  8. iPod Touch Denied Street View, Other Google Maps Upgrades in Firmware 2.2 - iPhone - Gizmodo
  9. iPod touch users: if you bought after Jan 1 the new apps are free - maybe
  10. Early Adopter Tax Resurfaces with the iPod Touch January Software Upgrade - AppleMatters
  11. Accounting rules behind iPod touch update charge | iPod | Macworld
  12. Apple iPod touch First Impressions Review
  13. Apple - iPod Touch - Technical Specifications, Apple Inc.
  14. iPod touch unpacking tour and first look (photos), AppleInsider
  15. Apple - iPod touch - Technical Specifications, Apple Inc.
  16. Live from Apple's iPhone SDK press conference - Engadget
  17. Everything You Wanted to Know About iPhone 3.1 But Were Afraid to Ask
  18. iPod and iSight Warranty (PDF), Apple Inc., page 1. Retrieved on 2008-12-24.
  19. Apple - iPod touch - Features, Apple Inc.
  20. That IPod Touch Runs at 533 MHz - PC World
  21. Electronista | Intel ups stake in iPhone GPU maker
  22. iPod touch: What's New, Apple Inc.
  23. Apple and Starbucks Announce Music Partnership, Apple Inc.
  24. Apple - iTunes - Starbucks, Apple Inc.

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