Q & A

Question:
Is there a second generation 5GB model, or are all 5GB iPods first generation?

Answer:
To be perfectly honest all 5GB iPods are first generation iPods. BUT many collectors consider all 5GB iPods produced after week 11 2002 not to be true first generation iPods. Why? When Apple announced a 10GB iPod in March 20, 2002, both models were regarded as a next generation of iPod by the collecting community. Not by Apple though. So when Apple introduces the touch wheel iPod in July as second generation iPod, the March iPods are named generation 1.5 although the only thing to differ from the first generation is the box and the bigger harddrive in the 10GB model. So if you want to own a true first generation iPod, from a time when the only iPod in the world was a 5GB Mac only ultra-portable MP3 music player, you should try to get one before week 11 2002.
————————————————————————————–

Question:
Were there ever a solid state touch wheel 5GB model?

Answer:
No, the 5GB model was always exactly the same through generation 1, generation 1.5 and generation 2. The 10 GB model was released with both scroll wheel and touch wheel, and the 20GB model was shipped with only touch wheel.
————————————————————————————–

Question:
Is it important for the serial number to match on both the iPod and the box?

Answer:
Yes, to most collectors this is very important. A person who just want to have an original box with an original iPod would probably not mind at all, but most collectors want the box to match the iPod and all accessories.
————————————————————————————–

Question:
Is it possible to see when an iPod was produced by the factory?

Answer:
iPod serial numbers should be 11 characters. First two characters are always the plant where the iPod was made. Third character is production year. Following two characters is manufacturing week. The other 6 characters tells us the production number of that week. Serial number U22043K8LG6 tells us it’s a first generation 5GB iPod, produced as unit number 4122 in week 4 2002 by Inventec in Taiwan. I always look at the first 5 characters U22043K8LG6. U2 – Taiwan, 2 – 2002, 04 – week 4.
————————————————————————————–

Question:
I have a first generation iPod with a serial number that says it was produced in 2004. Could that be right?

Answer:
Yes and no. Your iPod is probably a refurbished iPod or an iPod produced by Apple to meet replacement or service needs. If the first two characters in the serial number is GQ, then it is a refurbished iPod. “Refurbs” is not interesting as a collectors item.
————————————————————————————–

Question:
Why is refurbished iPods so bad? My first generation looks just like new. It must be worth plenty?

Answer:
No, refurbs is not something a collector want in a collection. A refurbished iPod is an iPod that has been returned to Apple for some reason. It’s checked and repaired and sold again as a “used” but functional product. Let me put it like this. Is an old model 1923 T-Ford still a T-Ford if made of parts fabricated 2012? It is exactly the same with a refurbished iPod. It’s an old iPod, but everything could be new inside and out. I have seen 5GB first generation iPods with serials that says it was fabricated early 2006 which is possible but by many will never be regarded as a true 1st generation iPod. And if you are a collector, my recommendation is to stay away from iPods with “GQ” as production plant in their serial number.
————————————————————————————–

Question:
Did Apple invent the iconic scroll wheel on the first iPod?

Answer:
No, I don’t think so. Well, who did then?

Some people say it was a company called Synaptics that actually designed the click wheel based on Apples design requirements. I do not know anything about that, but I know for a fact that the danish design company Bang & Olufsen released a DECT phone called BeoCom 6000 in 1998 with exactly the same physical scroll wheel. The wheel works in the same way, accelerates through long lists when rotating fast, incredibly exact when rotating slow and even makes an electronic clicking sound when rotating to make the user register the speed of the “movement”. And this was four years before the iPod was introduced and way before Apple even thought of designing a MP3 music player.

b&o

iPod First Generation

ipod_cables

The original

5 GB Scroll wheel: M8513LL/A

If you look at the box, the outside sleeve has the word iPod in Apples Garamond serif typeface. On the top you see the inner box with the apple logo in white. On the bottom there is a sticker with part number and serial number. The colors of the sleeve are white, black and gray and the clamshell box that holds the iPod and accessories is silver. There is NO text about the hard drive size, NO orange color, NO text about Mac or Windows and most definitely NO pictures of artists.

The inside compartment is made of white styrofoam. When you open the box up, the iPod rests in a recessed slot to the right under the silver cover flap with the text iPod in white. To the left you find an apple logo in white on the silver envelope with the CD and paperwork that covers the accessories. The iPod is wrapped in transparent cellophane plastic with the words “Don’t steal music” in english, french, german and japanese. In the slot under the iPod you find the headphones and one set of lightgray foam pieces in a sealed silver envelope. I have no source to make me absolutely sure this was the original place for the headphones in the box. To the left there are three slots for accessories. In the top left slot there was a silver paper flap to cover up the empty slot. My guess is that this slot was used for different pluggs to the power adapter when sold in other parts of the world, but I haven’t been able to confirm this. The lower left slot is for the power adapter which was also wrapped in transparent cellophane. In the right slot you found the FireWire cable. It was neatly wrapped in a figure eight and hold together with a white plastic coated metal wire. It was also wrapped in thin plastic with a perforation to make it easy to tear open. Both ends of the cable was also covered in thin transparent plastic sleeves.

My guess is that less than 200 000 iPods were made and sold worldwide of the first generation. From November 10 to December 31 roughly 125 000 units were shipped. And I know of less than 10 pieces in the world that are unopened and still shrink wrapped from the factory in Taiwan. A piece like that can easily fetch a couple of thousands dollars on ebay. A used iPod in good condition with the original box (matching serial numbers) and the original accessories could also be interesting to many collectors. Do not expect to become millionaires like some sellers though. Thats just ridiculous.

iPod Specifications

Capacity

  • 5GB 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: 0.78 inch (19.9 mm)
  • Weight: 6.5 ounces (185 g)

Input and output

  • FireWire (IEEE 1394a) port
  • 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
Audio
  • 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

Headphones

  • 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

Display

  • 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

iPod Fourth Generation Story

Same iPod, two different boxes

Fourth Generation iPod

One can say that the third iPod model acted as a catalyst to transform the iPod from being a MP3 music player into becoming an icon. This new version, the fourth generation, was designed to attract new customers rather than old ones wanting to upgrade. July 19, 2004 Apple released the fourth generation iPod. This iPod was a mix of the third generation iPod and the first generation Mini. The form factor was same as the previous model, but the controls were taken from the mini. The prices on each model were dropped $100, but this time Apple didn’t include any cases or the remote. The 40GB model was shipped with a dock. The case and the remote could be bought separately for $39 each. The iPod came in two different sizes, 20GB for $299 and 40GB for $399. They begun shipping July 20. In the end of 2004 Apple had shipped six million iPods.

The sleeve had the now famous silhouettes from ad company TBWA/ Chiat/ Day on two sides and the color scheme was very bright colors. The size of the box was the same as third generation iPod. The new version iPod offered better battery life and small changes to the user interface.

HPbox02August 27, 2004 Hewlett-Packard announces the iPod+HP version. This was a repacked fourth generation iPod, sold by HP with HP support and only for windows customers. HP also announces a special printer with special printable tattoos to cover the iPod.

October 26, 2004 Apple debuts iPod Photo capable of displaying photos and album art on its new color screen. It was sold in 40GB ($499) and 60GB ($599) capacities and was physically identical with the previous version. It was also shipped with an A/V cable and an iPod photo dock. In November 16 the name was changed from capitalized Photo to lowercase photo.

At the same time a Special Edition U2 iPod was announced. It was designed with a black front and a red click wheel to match the coming U2 studio album “How to dismantle an Atomic Bomb” released November 24. The band members autographs were etched to the iPods polished steel back side. Bono and the Edge attended the unveiling and performed the first track “Vertigo” from the new album. The iPod had a 20GB hard drive and was sold for $349. The first U2 iPods were shipped from Apple November 16.

lm_altview_photoadapterFebruary 23, 2005 the 40GB photo model was discontinued and replaced with a 30GB photo ($349). This iPod was shipped in the new small box and had only documents and CD, earbuds, ac adapter and usb 2.0 cable in the box. The original iPod was also shipped in this small box, only the 60GB iPod photo had the old bigger box and all accessories inside. Late March Apple released a small device called iPod Camera Connector, which made it possible to connect cameras directly to the iPod. The small device costed $29.

In June 28, 2005 Apple made the last update to their fourth generation iPods, both the regular model and the U2 Special Edition. Two regular models were released, 20GB at $299 and 60GB at $399. Both had color screens and could show both photos and album art. The U2 Special Edition was still 20GB but the price was reduced to $329.

steve-jobs-bono-ipod

iPod “First and a Half” Generation

140216- 19iPod First Generation Second Revision

5 GB Scroll wheel: M8513LL/A
10 GB Scroll wheel: M8709LL/A

The artist boxes had the new Myriad font without serifs. There were also the hard drive size printed on the outside sleeve.

The inside was exactly the same as the first generation. The word “iPod” was printed on the right paper flap with the old typeface. The paperwork inside the gray envelope was however printed with the new font. The CD with iTunes was also different from the first generation. The envelope below is not complete.

What is the deal with 1.5 generation iPod? Well, the purist collector like myself, think that this is not the original iPod. The first version of the 5 GB iPod is exactly the same as the first version 1.5 revision of the 5 GB iPod. All except from the serial. The cellophane around the iPod differs and the sleeve around the box. That’s it. Not much but still. If you want to own a “real” first generation iPod the serial number should show it was produced before week 11 2002.

I also want to make something clear. The boxes with the different artists is NOT “special edition” iPods. They are exactly the same as the regular ones, only with different sleeves. You can find them att auction sites offered as “Special edition iPods” which is not true. I have pictures of the Hendrix, Holiday, Marley and Morissette editions. These are not my pictures, but they can be found online. I have never ever seen the Davis version.

iPod Specifications

Capacity

  • 5GB 1.8 inch Toshiba hard disk drive
    -Holds up to 1,000 songs in 160-Kbps MP3 format
    -Stores data in FireWire disk mode
  • 10GB 1.8 inch Toshiba hard disk drive
    -Holds up to 2,000 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: 0.78 inch (19.9 mm)
  • Weight: 6.5 ounces (185 g)

Input and output

  • FireWire (IEEE 1394a) port
  • 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
Audio
  • 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

Headphones

  • 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

Display

  • 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

iPod Second Generation

140216- 29iPod Second Generation

5 GB Scroll wheel Mac: M8513LL/B
5 GB Scroll wheel Win: M8697LL/A
10 GB Touch wheel Mac: M8737LL/A
10 GB Touch wheel Win: M8740LL/A
20 GB Touch wheel Mac: M8738LL/A
20 GB Touch wheel Win: M8741LL/A

The sleeve around the box to the second generation iPod was very different from the first version. The font was changed to sans-serif Apple Myriad. The front side of the sleeve had a gray field and an orange field. In the orange field you could see the hard drive size and if the iPod was a windows or mac configuration. The inner clam shell box wasn’t silver any more, but light gray instead.

A torned sticker on the box masking the serial number always makes me a little suspicious. My guess is that the iPod doesn’t belong to the box. Someone had a nice box and someone else had a nice iPod. An iPod isn’t worth that much, and an iPod box isn’t worth much either, but together they are worth plenty. Or it could be a case of bad luck and a retailer putting an ugly sticker in the wrong spot. Any way I try to stay away from boxes like that.

The interior was made up by rigid transparent plastic. The wired remote was placed under the iPod to the right. I’m not sure if the earbuds were to the left or right in the box.

Accessories

Earbuds and Remote

Carry Case and Soft Pouch

iPod Specifications

Capacity

  • 5GB 1.8 inch Toshiba hard disk drive
    -Holds up to 1,000 songs in 160-Kbps MP3 format
    -Stores data in FireWire disk mode
  • 10GB 1.8 inch Toshiba hard disk drive
    -Holds up to 2,000 songs in 160-Kbps MP3 format
    -Stores data in FireWire disk mode
  • 20GB 1.8 inch Toshiba hard disk drive
    -Holds up to 4,000 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: 0.78 inch (19.9 mm), 10GB and 20GB 0.72 inch (18.3 mm)
  • Weight: 6.5 ounces (185 g), 20GB 7.2 ounces (204 g)

Input and output

  • FireWire (IEEE 1394a) port
  • 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
Audio
  • 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

Headphones

  • 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

Display

  • 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

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

Capacity

  • 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
Audio
  • 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

Headphones

  • 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

Display

  • 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