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What are the differences between the iPod touch 2nd Gen and the original iPod touch?
Please note that all iPod models mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued. The iPod touch 2nd Gen was replaced by the iPod touch 3rd Gen on September 9, 2009.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Original iPod touch - Left, 2nd Gen - Right)
However, with a closer look, one will quickly notice that the iPod touch 2nd Gen has a silver front trim rather than gray. The iPod touch 2nd Gen also is rounded a bit more with a design reminiscent of the iPhone 3G. The back of both models is chromed steel, but the plastic "window" for the wi-fi antenna is oval shaped on the iPod touch 2nd Gen compared to covering the entire upper left corner on the original model, which makes visual identification easy.
One also will notice that the iPod touch 2nd Gen has external volume buttons on the left hand side of the device, a greatly welcomed addition. An integrated speaker and support for an external microphone via the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic (and some third-party products as well) also has been added.
Although it is not readily apparent from physical inspection, the iPod touch 2nd Gen is 0.02 of an inch thicker than the original iPod touch, but the more rounded design makes it appear to be thinner. The iPod touch 2nd Gen is slightly lighter (0.15 ounces) than the original model as well.
Like the original model, the iPod touch 2nd Gen features a "multi-touch" sensitive 3.5" display with 320x480 resolution -- albeit a higher-quality one than that provided by the original -- an accelerometer that allows the device to "know" whether it is being held in portrait or landscape mode and switch automatically, an ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness, built-in support for Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), and 8, 16, or 32 GB of flash memory.
The iPod touch 2nd Gen also adds "shake to shuffle" support -- where shaking the device gently will select another song at random -- a new "Genius" feature that dynamically creates playlists based on "songs that go great together", and integrated support for Nike + iPod.
Additionally, battery life for the iPod touch 2nd Gen has been improved, as the 2nd Gen model provides 36 hours of music playback and 6 hours of video, compared to 22 hours of music playback and 5 hours of video playback for the original model.
OS Support Differences
The original iPod touch can run iPhone 3.1.3 (subsequently renamed the iOS). The 2nd Gen iPod touch can run iOS 4.2, although it is not fully compatible and not all features are supported.
Neither device supports more recent versions of the iOS.
For your convenience, the primary differences between the iPod touch 2nd Gen and the original iPod touch are summarized below:
iPod touch (Original)
iPod touch 2nd Gen
|Storage Size:||8, 16, 32 GB||8, 16, 32 GB|
|Song Capacity:||1750, 3500, 7000 Songs||1750, 3500, 7000 Songs|
|Battery Life (Music):||22 Hours||36 Hours|
|Battery Life (Video):||5 Hours||6 Hours|
|Battery Life (Web):||4 Hours||4 Hours|
|External Volume Buttons:||No||Yes|
|Shake to Shuffle:||No||Yes|
|Nike + iPod Support:||No||Yes|
|Max iOS Support:||3.1.3||4.2 (Partial)|
|Exterior Finish (Front):||Black/Gray||Black/Silver|
|Exterior Finish (Back):||Chrome||Chrome|
|Dimensions (Inches):||4.3 x 2.4 x 0.31||4.3 x 2.4 x 0.33|
|Weight (Ounces):||4.2 oz. (120 g)||4.05 oz. (115 g)|
|Price (As Introduced):||US$299, US$399, US$499†||US$229, US$299, US$399§|
* The iPod touch 2nd Gen supports an external microphone via the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic (and some third-party products as well).
† On February 5, 2008, Apple introduced a 32 GB configuration of the original iPod touch for US$499. The 8 GB and 16 GB configurations were introduced on September 5, 2007 for US$299 and US$399, respectively.
§ The 8 GB iPod touch 2nd Gen was introduced for US$229, the 16 GB for US$299, and the 32 GB for US$399.