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iPod Generations



Introduction

Apple first introduced the iPod back in 2001, and since then this single versatile device has grown into an entire family of digital music and video players. The original iPod was the "first generation" model. Subsequent versions have been referred to as "second generation" (2G), "third generation" (3G), and so on.


The iPod is a line of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first line was released on October 23, 2001, about 8½ months after iTunes (Macintosh version) was released. Its most recent redesigns were announced on September 12, 2012. There are four current versions of the iPod: the ultra-compact iPod Shuffle, the compact iPod Nano, the touchscreen iPod Touch, and the hard drive-based iPod Classic.

Like other digital music players, iPods can serve as external data storage devices. Storage capacity varies by model, ranging from 2 GB for the iPod Shuffle to 160 GB for the iPod Classic. The devices are controlled by the Samsung ARM and the Apple A5 CPUs.

Apple's iTunes software (and other software) can be used to transfer music, photos, videos, games, contact information, e-mail settings, Web bookmarks, and calendars, to the devices supporting these features from computers using certain versions of Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The Apple iPod line has been upgraded many times, and each significant revision is called a "generation". Only the most recent generation and refurbished units of previous generations of the iPod line are available from Apple for each model (classic, nano, shuffle, touch). Each new generation usually has more features and refinements while typically being physically smaller and lighter than its predecessor, while usually (but not always) retaining the older model's price tag. Notable changes include the touch-sensitive click wheel replacing the mechanical scroll wheel, use of color displays, and flash memory replacing hard disks.


Though the iPod was released in 2001, its price and Mac-only compatibility caused sales to be relatively slow until 2004. The iPod line came from Apple's "digital hub" category, when the company began creating software for the growing market of personal digital devices. Digital cameras, camcorders and organizers had well-established mainstream markets, but the company found existing digital music players "big and clunky or small and useless" with user interfaces that were "unbelievably awful," so Apple decided to develop its own. As ordered by CEO Steve Jobs, Apple's hardware engineering chief Jon Rubinstein assembled a team of engineers to design the iPod line, including hardware engineers Tony Fadell and Michael Dhuey, and design engineer Sir Jonathan Ive. Rubinstein had already discovered the Toshiba disk drive when meeting with an Apple supplier in Japan, and purchased the rights to it for Apple, and had also already worked out how the screen, battery, and other key elements would work. The product ("the Walkman of the twenty-first century") was developed in less than one year and unveiled on October 23, 2001. Jobs announced it as a Mac-compatible product with a 5 GB hard drive that put "1,000 songs in your pocket.

Apple did not develop the iPod software entirely in-house, instead using PortalPlayer's reference platform based on two ARM cores. The platform had rudimentary software running on a commercial microkernel embedded operating system. PortalPlayer had previously been working on an IBM-branded MP3 player with Bluetooth headphones. Apple contracted another company, Pixo, to help design and implement the user interface under the direct supervision of Steve Jobs. As development progressed, Apple continued to refine the software's look and feel. Starting with the iPod Mini, the Chicago font was replaced with Espy Sans. Later iPods switched fonts again to Podium Sans a font similar to Apple's corporate font, Myriad. iPods with color displays then adopted some Mac OS X themes like Aqua progress bars, and brushed metal meant to evoke a combination lock. In 2007, Apple modified the iPod interface again with the introduction of the sixth-generation iPod Classic and third-generation iPod Nano by changing the font to Helvetica and, in most cases, splitting the screen in half by displaying the menus on the left and album artwork, photos, or videos on the right (whichever was appropriate for the selected item).

In 2006 Apple presented a special edition for iPod 5G of Irish rock band U2. Like its predecessor, this iPod has engraved the signatures of the four members of the band on its back, but this one was the first time the company changed the colour of the metal (not silver but black). This iPod was only available with 30GB of storage capacity. This special edition adds an exclusive video with 30 minutes of interviews and performance by U2.

In September 2007, during a lawsuit with patent holding company Burst.com, Apple drew attention to a patent for a similar device that was developed in 1979. Kane Kramer applied for a UK patent for his design of a "plastic music box" in 1981, which he called the IXI. He was unable to secure funding to renew the US$ 120,000 worldwide patent, so it lapsed and Kramer never profited from his idea.

The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase "Open the pod bay door, Hal!", which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship. Chieco saw an analogy to the relationship between the spaceship and the smaller independent pods in the relationship between a personal computer and the music player. Apple researched the trademark and found that it was already in use. Joseph N. Grasso of New Jersey had originally listed an "iPod" trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in July 2000 for Internet kiosks. The first iPod kiosks had been demonstrated to the public in New Jersey in March 1998, and commercial use began in January 2000, but had apparently been discontinued by 2001. The trademark was registered by the USPTO in November 2003, and Grasso assigned it to Apple Computer, Inc. in 2005.

The earliest recorded use in commerce of an "iPod" trademark was in 1991 by Chrysalis Corp. of Sturgis, Michigan, styled "iPOD".

iPod Generation




iPodGenerationDesignationKey FeaturesMemory CapacityWhen available on the market
FirstiPodiPhone (1st generation); iPod Touch (1st generation)5GB
10GB
October 2001 - March, 2003
Second2G iPodTouch-sensitive Navigation wheel, Expanded memory10GB
20GB
June, 2002 - March, 2003
ThirdDocking iPod30-pin dock connector, Navigation buttons Expanded memory10GB
15GB
20GB
30GB
40GB
June, 2002 - March, 2003
Third3G iPodClick wheel navigation)20GB
40GB
April, 2003 -
June, 2004
FourthiPod photoImage display,
Expanded memory
30GB
40GB
60GB
October, 2004 -
June, 2005
FourthiPod photoColor screen,
Displays photos
20GB
60GB
June, 2005 -
September, 2005
Fifth5G iPodPlays videos,
Larger screen,
Expanded memory,
Available in black or white
30GB
60GB
80GB
October, 2005 -
September, 2007
SixthiPod classicExpanded memory,
aluminum casing,
Available in black or silver
80GB
120GB
160GB
September 2007 -
present

iPod miniGenerationDesignationKey FeaturesMemory
Capacity
When available on the market
FirstiPod miniAvailable in silver, gold,
green, blue, pink
4GBJanuary, 2004 -
February, 2005
Second2G iPodExpanded memory
Available in silver, gold, pink,
green, blue
4GB
8GB
February, 2005 -
August, 2006

iPod nanoGenerationDesignationKey FeaturesMemory
Capacity
When available on the market
FirstiPod nanoAvailable in black or white1GB
2GB
4GB
September 2005 -
September 2006
Second2G iPod nanoAluminum finish,
Available in blue, pink,
silver, green, black
2GB
4GB
8GB
September 2006 -
September 2007
Third3G iPod nanoPlays videos,
4GB available in silver,
8GB available in silver,
black, light blue,
light green
4GB
8GB
September 2007 -
September 2008
Fourth4G iPod nanoCurved screen,
FM tuner,
Available in silver, black,
purple, blue, green,
yellow, orange, pink
8GB
16GB
September 2008 -
September 2009
Fifth5G iPod nanoExpanded screensize,
FM radio, with Live Pause
Camera,
Available in silver, black,
purple, blue, green,
orange, pink
8GB
16GB
September 2009 -
September 2010
Sixth6G iPod nanoSmaller form,
No video playback,
No speakers,
No camera,
Voice command
8GB
16GB
September 2010 -
September 2012
Seventh7G iPod nanoLarger screen,
Video playback,
Bluetooth,
FM Radio,
redesigned EarPod heaphones,
redesigned Lightning connector
16GBSeptember 2012 -
present



iPod shuffleGenerationDesignationKey FeaturesMemory
Capacity
When available on the market
FirstiPod shuffleFlash memory512MB
1GB
January 2005 -
September 2006
Second2G iPod shuffleSmaller form,
Expanded memory,
Aluminum casing,
Available in silver, green,
pink, orange, blue
1GB
2GB
January 2006 -
March, 2009
Third3G iPod shuffleTaller form,
No navigation wheel,
Available in sliver, black,
blue, green, pink
2GB
4GB
March 2009 -
September 2010
Fourth4G iPod shuffleSmaller form,
Navigation wheel,
VoiceOver command,
Available in black, silver,
purple, red, yellow,
green, blue
2GBSeptember 2010 -
present

iPod touchGenerationDesignationKey FeaturesMemory
Capacity
When available on the market
FirstiPod touchMulti-touch screen,
Wi-Fi capability
8GB
16GB
32GB
September 2007 -
September 2008
Second2G iPod touchChrome back,
Built-in speaker
8GB
16GB
32GB
64GB
September 2008 -
September 2009
Third3G iPod touchVoice Control,
in-line remote earbuds
32GB
64GB
September 2009 -
September 2010
Fourth4G iPod touchFront and back cameras,
FaceTime,
Retina display screen,
Available in black or white
8GB
16GB
32GB
64GB
September 2010 -
September 2012
Fifth5G iPod touchSiri voice command,
3 speakers
(front, right, and bottom),
Aluminum and glass casing,
redesigned EarPod headphones,
redesigned Lightning connector
Available in black, white, blue,
pink, yellow
16GB
32GB
64GB
September 2012 -
present

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