iPod Third Generation

130808- 1iPod Third Generation

10 GB Touch wheel: M8976LL/A
15 GB Touch wheel: M8946LL/A
20 GB Touch wheel: M9244LL/A
30 GB Touch wheel: M8948LL/A
40 GB Touch wheel: M9245LL/A

The box was a total remake from the three previous versions. It was slightly larger and the sleeve was white and black. The clamshell box was also white and black. Inside it was written on the right flap “Designed by Apple in California” in Myriad font in a subtile gray color. The white styrofoam inserts were back again. But it was three pieces now, not two. The envelope with documents and the CD was white.

iPod Specifications


  • 10, 15, 20, 40GB 1.8 inch Toshiba hard disk drive
    Holds up to 1,000 songs in 160-Kbps MP3 format
    -Stores data in FireWire disk mode

Size and weight

  • Height: 4.02 inches (102 mm)
  • Width: 2.43 inches (61.8 mm)
  • Depth: 0.6 inch (15.8 mm), 30GB and 40GB 0.73 inch (18.5 mm)
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces (158.7 g), 40GB 6.2 ounces (175.7 g)

Input and output

  • 30-pin dock connector (FireWire 400 and USB 2.0)
  • 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack

Power and battery

  • Built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery (1200 mAh)
  • Playtime: 10 hours when fully charged
  • Charges via FireWire connector to Mac system or power adapter
    —  Fast-charge time: up to 1 hour (charges to 80% of battery capacity)
    —  Full-charge time: up to 3 hours
  • Up to 20 minutes of skip protection
  • Maximum output power: 60 mW rms (30 mW per channel)
  • Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Audio formats supported: MP3 (up to 320 Kbps), MP3 Variable Bit Rate ( VBR), WAV, AIFF
  • Upgradable firmware enables support for future audio formats

Customizable settings

  • Shuffle
  • Repeat one or all
  • Backlight timer
  • Display contrast
  • Clicker
  • Sleep timer
  • Startup volume
  • Languages: English, French, German, Japanese


  • Earbud-style headphones with 18-mm drivers using Neodymium transducer magnets
  • Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 104-dB sound pressure level at 1 mW


  • 2-inch (diagonal) liquid crystal display with white LED backlight
  • 160-by-128-pixel resolution, 0.24-mm dot pitch
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

Environmental requirements

  • Operating temperature: 32° to 113° F (0° to 45° C)
  • Nonoperating temperature: –4° to 158° F (–20° to 70° C)
  • Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
  • Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)

Power adapter

  • 6-pin FireWire connector
  • AC input: 100V to 240V at 0.4 amp maximum
  • Frequency: 50 to 60 Hz
  • DC output: 12V at 1 amp maximum

Earbuds generation 1-3

Apple ships their iPods with ordinary in-ear headphones called “Earbuds”. They became the classical telltale sign that someone used an iPod. Even more so when Apple launched their iconic “dancing silhouettes” campaign in late 2003.

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The earbuds from the different generations are slightly different. The first generation iPod was shipped with earbuds with one set of foam pieces. The color was light gray, but I’ve seen first generation earbuds with black foam coverpieces. And I’ve seen second generation earbuds with two sets of light gray foam pieces. I have even seen white (!) foam pieces shipped from factory with third generation earbuds. The metal part in the earpiece wasn’t mesh, but rather a perforated metal disc.

The second generation iPod was shipped with the second generation earbuds which was packed in a silver envelope with two sets of foam covers. The standard color was black on those cover pieces. The perforated disc was replaced by a thin metal mesh. Also the material in the pieces where the cable connected to the hardware was changed from a soft to a more rigid plastic. One of the reasons was to stop it from discoloring due to sun light.

The third generation earbud was shipped with the third generation iPod. It was slightly smaller in diameter, but had a longer body than the previous models. It also had a smal plastic piece that could slide on the cables to the earpieces to lock the cables under the chin. It was also delivered with two black foam pieces.

Below you see a comparison between the three first generations of earbuds. The first generation is to the right, the second generation is in the middle and the third generation to the left. It clearly shows the discoloring on the first generation. It should be as gray as the other two.

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Different Foam Cover Pieces