Apple executive: Updated iPods still ‘4th generation’ | iLounge News

Apple executive: Updated iPods still ‘4th generation’

Clarifying ambiguities over the actual “generation” or version number of the updated iPods released this Tuesday, a senior executive with Apple Computer confirmed to iLounge this evening that the new color-screened devices are still considered by the company to be “4th generation” (4G) iPods.

While the executive did not provide further naming details, Apple has been calling the new models “iPod with color display” in various support documents and software release notes. The company has publicly referred to the last two major iPod revisions, the iPod With Dock Connector (with a touch wheel and four touch-sensitive buttons) and the Click Wheel iPod, as “third-generation” and “fourth-generation” models, respectively. With Tuesday’s iPods still considered part of the fourth-generation family, one can now safely assume that Apple is saving the “fifth-generation” moniker for an all-new iPod yet to be revealed, perhaps conveniently at the same time as version 5.0 of iTunes.

Thanks to Apple for providing this clarification to iLounge and our readers. We’ve modestly updated our new iPod and U2 iPod reviews, accordingly, to reflect the “color 4G” name.

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told you so. ok, that wasn’t nice. :-)

but i hope the lesson is learned… APPLE has branded their iPods “second gen, third gen etc.” and ALWAYS with a reasonable change in FORM and FUNCTION. none of that occured here today but iPodlounge was quick to want to spice it up and call it 5G… be careful next time, because other news sources started quoting you guys as saying it was the 5G and other sites are now confused… and ultimately the consumers who come to rely on you.

Posted by Dave on June 30, 2005 at 11:38 PM (CDT)


there’s no way that on the july 7th press release business they’re gonna release a new ipod. especially if it’s assumed that itunes 5 will come out at the same time. 2 software releases of the same program over 2 weeks is just stupid. i say everyone’s gonna have to wait til christmas time to see a 5g ipod.
but, i could be wrong. i guess we’ll see next thursday!

Posted by nick benko on June 30, 2005 at 11:41 PM (CDT)


But then why did we call the 2G iPods 2nd Generation if they only had an update of a new scroll wheel and firewire plug?  I still say 5G.

Posted by Brad on June 30, 2005 at 11:41 PM (CDT)


umm, they just changed the screens… omg, thats unbelievable… just wat i always wanted.. they ruined the u2 ipod.. if they wanted to make the u2 pod cool they should tint the screen red, that would make it tight! its not bad for everyone that wants a photo ipod, but i dont see a point in the photo, theres so many other things they could do, like fm tuner, built-in bluetooth, all that other stuff…. my overall opinion: POINTLESS

Posted by Ethan Cohen on June 30, 2005 at 11:48 PM (CDT)


Dave: It wasn’t in any way motivated by a desire to “spice it up.” We are always - always - concerned with the interests of consumers (our readers) first and foremost, and constantly thinking about the best possible ways to eliminate the confusion that always accompanies the launch of a new iPod.

For example, to call the current 20GB iPod model a “fourth-generation 20GB iPod” will lead consumers to assume that they can go to stores and buy cases labeled “fourth-generation 20GB iPod.” Unfortunately, that’s not true anymore. The color-screened 20GB iPod is thicker than its black-and-white screened predecessor, and will either not fit old cases perfectly or at all, depending on the case in question. You’ll need a case made for the 30GB iPod photo instead.

This could be a harsh lesson to learn with, say, a slightly bulging waterproof case, or a custom-made leather case from Argentina. Hence, the use of the name “fifth-generation” could make life easier for the million or two people who are about to buy color 20GB iPods, say nothing of the companies who make iPod accessories.

However - and even though your reference to “form and function” is belied by both the 1G/2G iPod and 1G/2G iPod mini - we gladly defer to Apple on this. We think that a color screen, photo display capabilities, improved battery life and improved applications constitute more than enough of a change to warrant another generation, but if Apple doesn’t, so be it. From now on (unless Apple changes its mind), we’ll differentiate with the phrase “color fourth-generation iPod” or “color 4G iPod” to try and eliminate confusion.

Now bring on the real 5G.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on June 30, 2005 at 11:57 PM (CDT)


Nick: They might not release iTunes 5 at the same time. Perhaps they’ll just release the 5th gen iPod. I mean all I see new with iTunes 4.9 is a Podcast library and select Motorola phone recognition. Yes, they’re getting ready for the iTunes phone. Some current Moto phones are already recognized by iTunes 4.9

Ethan: I see no use in having an FM tuner. That’s why you have an iPod, to listen to your own tunes whenever you want, instead of listening to random songs on the radio. And Apple has apparently been experimenting iPods with wireless capabilities for over 2 years. So perhaps bluetooth or wifi is on the way.

Posted by Shinobi-X on July 1, 2005 at 12:57 AM (CDT)


i knew it.

Posted by Freddie on July 1, 2005 at 1:47 AM (CDT)


Well, I was calling them gen 5s too, but I guess I was wrong.  Well, its wasn’t a major revision in itself.  This does open the door for something interesting Apple might be working on.  I doubt they’ll go dropping the Gen5 bomb on July 7th, but people are speculating new iPods later this year, so we’ll just have to wait and see.  I’m waiting to see what’s next before I upgrade.  This update was nice, but enough enough to just ify upgrading.

Posted by Melis on July 1, 2005 at 1:49 AM (CDT)


Shinobi-X: Sure, they might not release the 5G iPod with iTunes 5…But wouldn’t that be missing a great marketing oppurtunity?

Posted by Cameron Talley on July 1, 2005 at 1:51 AM (CDT)


Well that suggests 5th Gen before the end of the year (prob Oct again) and with presumably enough new features to not have to worry about colour screens and incrementally bigger battery capacity to have an impact. Sounds interesting.

Posted by Spyinthesky on July 1, 2005 at 5:00 AM (CDT)


Still 4th Gen eh? ;o)

Posted by Bob Levens on July 1, 2005 at 5:29 AM (CDT)


Ok, so having a color screen is nice, but why fork out for a color screen that is going to spend a majority of its time in your pocket? A color screen alone is not a massivly compelling reason to upgrade really.

Posted by qmac on July 1, 2005 at 8:06 AM (CDT)


I agree with qmac. It may be nifty that you can see album covers on your iPod now, but… eh. Probably in the future if I decide to get a new iPod I’ll just root around eBay for a black-and-white 4G, which is likely to be cheaper.

(On the other hand, photo storage is vaguely useful if, say, you’re an artist and you want to be able to whip out your portfolio at any given time….)

Next people will be clamoring for video capabilities (well, more than they already are). Then Apple will have to make this bigger video iPod with a bigger screen, which, erm, kind of defeats the purpose of having your entire music collection fit in your pocket. :o

Posted by Cvalda on July 1, 2005 at 9:15 AM (CDT)


I just ordered my new iPod non-5g because i couldnt wait it out for the “real” 5g (if it comes out next week ill be pissed), and to rub it in my friends face.  He just bought a B+W 4g from an on base military store, (So that means theres no tax) despite my recommendation to wait a little while, for exactly $299.  Now the “color display” 4gs are out and with a student discount i purchased mine for $287.83 (Thats with tax). 

So while its just as cheap, and it still plays music, it also has one other major plus.  To reply to qmac: most users dont NEED a color screen, the reason to fork out for one, is so you can pull your iPod out and say “Look what my iPod can do!!!”  it just adds to the coolness factor.  Why not fork out the same amount of money (in my case less :)) for a superior machine?  I like the new non-5g iPods, and i cant wait to go up to my “impulsive buyer” friend and say…“Look what my iPod can do!!!!!”

Posted by yoda4257 on July 1, 2005 at 9:42 AM (CDT)


Then Apple will have to make this bigger video iPod with a bigger screen

The clickwheel is the sticking point. If Apple wants to make a larger-screen iPod without making the device itself larger, then there are two very simple choices. It could copy Archos, which moved from the iPod-shaped MMJB video player in 2002 (small screen, very annoying) to the current larger AV format (controls along the side). Or it could move the entire control interface to the reverse of the device, leaving one entire side for the clickwheel and controls, and perhaps a secondary small screen (but more cost). Or it could use the Synaptics jogger controls that Creative uses and mount the controls along the rim edge - but that would mean dropping the clickwheel iconography completely.

Posted by Demosthenes on July 1, 2005 at 10:58 AM (CDT)


Demosthenes: Either way, it would completely change the familiar iPod design.

Posted by Locke on July 1, 2005 at 11:29 AM (CDT)


Not to drag up an old topic, but I just hope the 5G iPod has a white clickwheel, not a gray one.

Posted by Cameron Talley on July 1, 2005 at 12:01 PM (CDT)


“But then why did we call the 2G iPods 2nd Generation if they only had an update of a new scroll wheel and firewire plug?  I still say 5G.”

I think the main reason was because the 1G was Mac-only, while the 2G added Windows support.

Posted by Ed on July 1, 2005 at 12:22 PM (CDT)


this makes no sense

this is different to any other product that has gone simply under the name ‘iPod’ before, so it isn’t the same as any previous version, so is a different generation

how can you have two different 4g iPod’s

Posted by Baby-G on July 1, 2005 at 1:40 PM (CDT)


If the color screen makes this a 5th Generation. Then the 5th Generation came out in October 2004 (iPod Photo 40/60 GB) and the 4th Generation only lasted 3 months. Why is everyone freaking out now about what it’s called?

The 5th Generation will look different that the 4th when the screen is off. Get over it.

Posted by croooow on July 1, 2005 at 3:32 PM (CDT)

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