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What are the differences between the original iPod touch and the original iPhone?
Please note that the original iPod touch and original iPhone both have been discontinued. The original iPhone was replaced by the iPhone 3G on June 8, 2008 and the original iPod touch was replaced by the iPod touch 2nd Gen on September 9, 2008.
In basic terms, the iPod touch effectively is an iPhone without the "phone," EDGE support, integrated camera, and Bluetooth capabilities.
Externally, the iPod touch uses a slightly thinner and shorter design but the outer "trim" surrounding the display is black instead of silver in a product differentiating effort to make it look cheaper. The iPod touch also has a chrome back rather than a primarily matte silver back like the original iPhone.
The original iPod touch has a headphone jack mounted on the bottom -- flush with the surface of the device, rather than recessed like the iPhone -- and it lacks the iPhone's speaker and microphone. It additionally lacks external volume buttons, a major inconvenience, as volume can not be adjusted discreetly while the device is tucked away in a pocket, but instead can only be changed with the onscreen display.
As these devices look quite different, visual identification should be simple. However, as it is easy to mistake the original iPod touch for subsequently introduced models, particularly if they are not side-by-side, it still is helpful to know the model number in small type on the back of each device.
Feature & Software Differences
Like the iPhone, the iPod touch features a "multi-touch" sensitive 3.5" display with 320x480 resolution, 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, and built-in support for Wi-Fi (802.11b/g). However, as is well documented in reviews from ArsTechnica, Playlist Mag, iLounge, and others, the screen is of lower quality, dimmer, and has more difficulty accurately displaying dark colors and details.
Bundled software on the iPod touch includes a version of the Safari web browser, YouTube, calendar, contacts, clock, and calculator applications, as well as the same audio, photo, and video functionality (it originally lacked the phone, e-mail, text, stocks, maps, weather, and notes applications from the iPhone, but beginning January 15, 2008, Apple began selling the Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather, and Notes applications for US$19.99, and on February 5, 2008, began including these applications with all models).
Battery life for the iPod touch is 22 hours for music playback and 5 hours for video playback compared to the iPhone which Apple reports provides 24 hours of music playback and 7 hours of video.
OS Support Differences
The original iPod touch and original iPhone both can run a maximum of iPhone 3.1.3 (subsequently renamed the iOS).
Neither device supports more recent versions of the iOS.
For your convenience, the primary differences between the iPod touch and iPhone are summarized below:
iPod touch (Original)
|Primary Functionality:||Music Playback
Wi-Fi & EDGE
|Storage Size:||8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB||4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB§|
|Song Capacity:||1750, 3500, 7000 Songs||875, 1750, 3500 Songs*|
|Battery Life (Music):||22 Hours||24 Hours|
|Battery Life (Video):||5 Hours||7 Hours|
|Battery Life (Voice):||N/A||8 Hours|
|Battery Life (Web):||4 Hours||6 Hours|
|Internal Video Out:||Yes||Yes|
|External Volume Buttons:||No||Yes|
|Exterior Finish:||Black Front, Chrome Back||Black Front, Matte Back|
|Max iOS Support:||3.1.3||3.1.3|
|Price (As Introduced):||US$299, US$399, US$499†||US$399, US$499, US$599§|
* Rough estimate -- Apple provides no "official" estimate of song capacity for the iPhone.
† On February 5, 2008, Apple introduced a 32 GB configuration of the iPod touch for US$499.
§ On September 5, 2007, a mere two months after it shipped, Apple discontinued the 4 GB iPhone model and dropped the price of the 8 GB model to US$399. On February 5, 2008, Apple introduced a 16 GB model for US$499.