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What are all the differences between the original/1st Generation iPod touch (A1213) and the iPod touch 2nd Generation (A1288)?
Please note that all iPod models mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued. However, this Q&A has been updated with current iOS support details and can be quite useful for anyone buying or selling an iPod touch 1st Gen (Original) or iPod touch 2nd Gen on the used market.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Original iPod touch - Left, 2nd Gen - Right)
However, with a closer look, one quickly will 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 between these two specific models easy (but not nearly as easy for the iPod touch 2nd Gen and subsequent models).
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 -- 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.
As the original iPod touch and the iPod touch 2nd Gen look quite similar, it is particularly helpful to know the Model Number of each device. The Model Number is listed in tiny type on the back of each device toward the bottom and is "close enough" for most identification purposes, such as iOS and app support.
Specifically, the original iPod touch is model number A1213 and the iPod touch 2nd Gen -- as well as the 8 GB iPod touch from 2009 that was released alongside the iPod touch 3rd Gen -- is model number A1288. Although there are some differences, it typically is acceptable to consider the A1288 iPod touch models the same.
Everyi.com's Ultimate iLookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app for iOS 5 or higher and Android -- also can identify these devices by EMC Number, Order Number (launch the Settings app and then select General > About and finally scroll down to what is referred to as "Model" in the iOS), and the last three characters of their Serial Numbers 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.
iOS 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 (most notably multitasking).
Neither device supports more recent versions of the iOS at all.
For your convenience, the primary differences between the iPod touch 2nd Gen and the original iPod touch are summarized below:
|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.
To dynamically compare any iPod touch model to all other iPod, iPhone, and iPad models -- new and old alike -- please see Everyi.com's Ultimate iComparison feature.