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Apple iPod 3rd Gen (15/20/40) 15, 20, 40 GB Specs

Identifiers: iPod 3rd Gen - M9460LL/A* - A1040 - 1961

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Apple iPod 3GThe Apple iPod (Third Generation - Third Revision) features a 15 GB, 20 GB, or 40 GB 4200 RPM ATA-66 hard drive capable of supporting "up to" 3700, 5000, or 10,000 songs, respectively, encoded in "128-Kbps AAC format". and a "2-inch (diagonal) [monochrome] LCD display with blue-white LED backlight" housed in a case with an "iBook white" front and a stainless steel back.

The third generation iPod makes several hardware improvements compared to the earlier models, including a thinner, lighter, and slightly more rounded enclosure, a "dock" for quick-and-easy connection to a computer and audio out for connection to a stereo or powered speakers. The now backlit solid-state buttons were moved from around the touch wheel to above the wheel, which some users liked and others disliked, but no one disliked the additional five minutes of skip protection (up to 25 minutes).

Software improvements include greater customization options, a voice recorder feature, games, and an alarm clock. Battery life is an estimated eight hours.

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Upgrade This iPod with site sponsor Other World Computing. Batteries & more.

  • Tech Specs
  • Global Original Prices
  • Popular Q&As

Click on a category for related details. The most commonly needed info is "open" by default, but all info is important.

January 6, 2004 July 19, 2004
Details: The "Introduction Date" refers to the date a model was introduced via press release. The "Discontinued Date" refers to the date a model either was replaced by a subsequent system or production otherwise ended.

Also see: All iPhone models introduced in 2004.
90 MHz (x2) PP5002
Details: The iPod 3G uses a PortalPlayer PP5002 "system on a chip" with dual embedded 90 MHz ARM 7TDMI processors.
32 MB 15, 20, 40 GB
Details: 32 MB of SDRAM provides skip protection.
3700, 5000, 10,000 None
Details: Apple reports that the 15 GB iPod 3G configuration can hold approximately 3700 songs in "128-Kbps AAC format", the 20 GB configuration can hold 5000 songs, and the 40 GB configuration 10,000 songs.
Sync Only Sync & Charge
Details: The iPod 3G models are capable of charging and syncing by Firewire via the dock connector. These models can only sync using USB.
Firewire & USB Dock, Headphone*
Details: Apple reports that this model provides "Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 through dock connector", but notes that USB 2.0 is only for Windows PCs (sold separately).

*Ports include the "dock connector, remote connector, and stereo minijack."
Handheld iPod 3rd Gen
Details: N/A
White "Touch Wheel"
Details: Available in a two-tone housing with an "iBook white" front and a chromed stainless steel back.
2" Monochrome 160x128
Details: The iPod 3G models have a "2-inch (diagonal) LCD with blue-white LED backlight". 0.24-mm dot pitch.
Lithium Ion 8 Hours
Details: Apple reports that the iPod 3G provides "up to" 8 hours of music playback.

In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells replacement batteries this iPod.

In Australia, site sponsor Macfixit sells replacement batteries -- as well as glass covers, displays, and other parts and repair tools -- for this iPod.
Details: No support for photos or video.
3 Hours M9460LL/A*
Details: Apple reports that the iPod (3G) models charge completely in "3 hours" and also will "fast charge" in 1 hour to 80% capacity.

*The M9460LL/A order number is for the 15 GB configuration. The 20 GB configuration is M9244LL/A and the 40 GB configuration is M9245LL/A.
iPod 3rd Gen A1040 (EMC 1961)
Details: Please note that these identifiers refer to more than one model.

Also see: All iPods with the A1040 Model Number and the 1961 EMC Number.
4.1 x 2.4 x 0.62* 5.6 oz.*
Details: In inches - height by width by depth (15 GB and 20 GB configurations). The 40 GB configuration is slightly thicker (0.73 inches) and heavier (6.2 oz).
MacOS X 10.1.5 Windows 2000/XP
Details: Apple reports that this iPod is compatible with a "Macintosh computer with Firewire port, MacOS X 10.1.5 or later (MacOS X 10.3 or later recommended)."

It is compatible with a "PC with Firewire or USB 2.0 port, or Firewire or USB 2.0 card, Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 or Windows XP Home or Professional".
Apple reports that this revision of the iPod 3G supports "AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible, AIFF (Mac only), and WAV."
The 15 GB configuration (M9460LL/A) shipped with "earbud headphones, AC adapter, Firewire cable, [and a] 4-pin-to-6-pin FireWire adapter". The 20 and 40 GB models also shipped with a dock, remote, and carrying case.

In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells accessories like cases, stands, keyboards, speakers and more for this iPod.

In Australia, site sponsor Macfixit sells cases, stands, chargers, docks and even parts for this iPod.
US$299, $399, $499 US$30-US$50
Details: The 15 GB configuration originally sold for US$299, the 20 GB configuration for US$399, and the 40 GB configuration for US$499.

Please note that on average the estimated current retail pricing of used systems is updated twice a year (please refer to the date on the bottom of the page for the date last updated).

Photo Credit: Apple Computer.

Global original prices for the iPod 3rd Gen (15/20/40) in 34 different countries and territories follow; organized alphabetically by region. Please note that prices with an asterisk (*) are bound by carrier contractual obligations.

For global original prices for all iPod, iPhone, and iPad models in one particular country on a single page, please refer to's Global Original Prices section.

If you have additional original prices for this iPod, please share. Thank you.

Original Prices - North & South America

C$459, C$579, C$729 N/A
N/A US$299, $399, $499

Original Prices - Europe

N/A £249, £299, £399

Original Prices - Asia

¥36,800, ¥47,800, ¥59,800 N/A

Original Prices - Australia & New Zealand


Ten of the most popular Q&As about the iPod line follow.

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