Comparison of iPod Touch Generations

by Benjamin Aries Google

    The iPod Touch is a popular multimedia player produced by Apple. Like other models of iPod, the iPod Touch can hold thousands of songs from the owner's music collection. As the name implies, the Touch includes a touch screen interface, which can be used for running applications or watching videos. The first iPod touch was released in 2007. As of 2012, five generations of the iPod Touch have been produced, each with different upgrades.

    Storage Size

    The original iPod Touch features three storage size options: 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. Second generation iPod Touch units have these same three size options. The third generation devices are produced in 32GB and 64GB capacities. Fourth generation iPod Touch models have a wide variety of size variations. Units with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB are all available. For the fifth generation of these devices, only 32GB and 64GB drives are available. All the iPod Touch versions use a flash drive, instead of a conventional hard drive. This allows data to be accessed quickly and reduces the chance of the drive becoming damaged during everyday use. An iPod Touch with 16GB of storage can hold approximately 5,000 music files, while a 32GB version can hold nearly 10,000 songs.

    Operating System

    Apple's iOS 1 is the operating system used on the first generation of the iPod Touch. This software includes the iTunes music store, which allows owners to purchase and download music using a Wi-Fi connection. The second and third generations of the iPod Touch shipped with iOS 2. With this upgraded operating system, users can run applications directly on the device and download new apps from iTunes. There are several incremental upgrades to the operating system that can be loaded onto the initial three generations of the iPod Touch device. The fourth-generation iPod Touch is the first iPod Touch to include iOS 4. With this operating system, owners can multitask. Apple iOS 5 is the standard system for early fifth-generation iPod Touch devices, while newer iPods are loaded with iOS 6. The upgrade to the Apple's Siri voice recognition system is noteworthy in these newest operating systems.


    A 3.5-inch color touch screen is standard on all the iPod Touch models with the exception of the iPod Touch 5. The fifth generation features a larger 4-inch screen. In addition to the larger size, this screen is upgraded to Apple's high-resolution Retina display. First- through third-generation iPod Touch devices have a screen resolution of 480-by-320 pixels. This is upgraded to 960-by-640 pixels on the fourth generation and 1136-by-640 pixels for the iPod Touch 5. Beginning with the fourth generation, the newest iPod Touch devices contain two digital cameras. One is facing the user, while the other faces away. This feature allows the fourth and fifth generation units to be used for videoconferencing or for standard digital photography.

    Technical Details

    Several technical details differ among the various iPod Touch versions. The initial generation does not include a Bluetooth connection. This feature is standard on all other generations. The processor of the iPod Touch has improved steadily over the years. The first, second and third generations of the device have processor speeds of 400, 533 and 600 megahertz respectively. The fourth and fifth iPod Touch versions have a speed of 1 gigahertz. The battery life of the iPod Touch has steadily increased as well. The first three generations are able to play music for no more than 30 hours. Both the fourth and fifth generation iPod Touch units can play for 40 hours.

    About the Author

    Benjamin Aries has been involved in digital media for much of his life and began writing professionally in 2009. He has lived in several different states and countries, and currently writes while exploring different parts of the world. Aries specializes in technical subjects. He attended Florida State University.

    Photo Credits

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