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iPod Users Get Official Battery Replacement

pudge posted more than 10 years ago | from the just-buy-a-new-iPod dept.

Media (Apple) 93

turkmenistani writes "It's about time. After much complaining from iPod owners, Apple has finally started an official Official iPod Battery replacement (requires a free Apple ID). Although battery replacements have been available for older iPods for some time now, Apple has finally taken heed to their user requests and are now offering the service. From the Support page: 'If your iPod fails to hold a charge and it's more than a year old, you may need a new battery. Click Continue to order iPod battery service for $99 USD. This program is not available in Europe at this time.' Although the service is $99, they state in the article 'iPod equipment that is sent in for battery service or service requiring other repairs will be replaced with functionally equivalent new, used, or refurbished iPod equipment. You will not receive the same iPod that was sent in for service.' So make sure you back up that music before shipping it off!"

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GO Microsoft! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532520)

Damn Mac Homo's..
Damn Linux Hippies...
Viva la Windows!

This makes a lot of sense (3, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532538)

1) A user sends in his iPod with a battery that's not working.

2) Apple sends him a refurbished iPod of the same type.

3) Apple then refurbishes the user's original iPod, getting it ready to redistribute elsewhere.

Not only is this quick, but it makes a lot of sense! Of course, the refurbished iPods have to be in mint condition, but otherwise what's not to like (except the fact that it needs to be sent away and shipped back, instead of just purchasing a replacement battery at Apple)?

This is bullshit (1, Troll)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532556)

So I want to replace the battery of the $500 iPod I bought a few years ago and had engraved and have taken excellent care of. I get back someone elses also ran for the low low price of only $99.

This sucks. Apple makes me happy one day then pisses me off the next. Reminds me of a lot of bad relationships.

Re:This is bullshit (4, Informative)

mikedaisey (413058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532731)


Engraved ones are handled differently--the one you get back will have the same engraving.

I've had my iPod replaced before, and the replacement looked identical to a new iPod, to my eyes. I think your concerns are pretty unfounded.

Re:This is bullshit (1, Insightful)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532770)

I can't afford an ipod yet, but if I could, and it needed a new battery, I'd be mad as hell if I couldn't just get the battery in mine replaced. I don't want somebody else's ipod, I would want the one that I took very special care of. For all these people know, they could get one back that has been dropped a lot, etc. Those things have moving parts in them, so dropping them over time will definitely do some long term damage.

Re:This is bullshit (2, Insightful)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532955)

I would want the one that I took very special care of.

The ones who take very good care of their things are wary. The ones who don't are eager. Do I sense a problem with the program here?

They do test them, you know... (2, Insightful)

mbessey (304651) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533102)

It's not like they just grab one out of a box that a customer returns, and run a polishing mitt over it, and ship it out to you.

Any Apple reconditioned product gets thoroughly tested before it gets sent out. That's why they offer a warranty on reconditioned items. If they're not worried about it breaking prematurely, why should you be?

-Mark

Re:They do test them, you know... (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533302)

I realize they test them - they would have to. But that doesn't mean that an ipod works fine the day they tested it, but say I would drop it once and that adds to the 30x it had been dropped already, and it the drive could die. I think this is a horrible idea.

Apple's approach will benefit many, but not all. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7533601)

There are different forms of mechanical failure. Some instant and catastrophic, with no symptoms to forsee it coming. Hard drive crash after much use or abuse, for example. Please tell me the tests that can predict if my hard disk is near its failure point. Maybe it passes today, but will it fail in 1 month or 13 months?

If they're not worried about it breaking prematurely, why should you be?

Very simple... For Apple, it is a numbers game. If only 200 out of the 90,000 iPod users are unhappy, Apple has achieved excellent satisfaction numbers. Top-notch, by any standards. They set their goals, and understand that it's impossible to please everyone. Unfortuntely, if you're one of those 200, your experience sucks rocks. You don't benefit from the great experience that most people get. All that matters is that your tenderly cared-for and cherished iPod got replaced with a piece of shit that passed the test today but failed a month later. You're on the losing side of the numbers.

That's why you should be worried if you're in the small percentage of people who are meticulous about their gear. Most people aren't, and they benefit, on average, from your care and their own lack of it.

no issue (3, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534609)

The one you get back will have the rear/chrome engraved cover swapped onto it...takes only a few minutes, but requires manual processing and thus take a few more days overall. This does take you out of the running for a chance at getting a newer/better model, however.

Re:This is bullshit (1)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535265)

My friend sent his in to get fixed under warranty and got a brand new one back. Apple might not say it's brand new but if you've had an iPod a while, the back gets scratched/scuffed up. The repaired one is pristine. I've heard similar experiences on ipodlounge.com.

Re:This is bullshit (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533469)

If the iPod were a graduation present from an old man who turned 98, won the lottery, and died the next day, it could have sentimental value that another (used) one of the shelf doesn't have.

Also, what about any music you have on the hard drive? Hard drived do have a MTBF. If you get one that's been used 24-7, it may have a shorter life span (although if you use it sparingly, you might not ever find out).

oh well. I don't even own one (yet).

Re: This is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7533730)

Tell me about. I hate how it implies your getting three years of protection but in reality you're only getting two. Got to read those rules carefully. And if your iPod is over a year old even if by a couple of weeks its not optional to you. Hopefully my iPod won't break down but if it does I'm hoping that its not going to cost me an arm & leg.

*/crosses fingers

Re:This makes a lot of sense (2, Informative)

Alpha_Geek (154209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532585)

Well, since opening the iPod requires actually prying the case open, I can understand why they wouldn't offer an option to just buy the battery.

Also getting a refurbed iPod back is not a bad thing. Apple's refurbed products have the same testing & quality requirements before being shipped out as their new equipment does (same warranty too). I recently bought a refurbed 12" PowerBook and a refurbed 20GB iPod (old style), and I've been extremely happy with both. I honestly wouldn't have known that either weren't brand new if they didn't have the red "Reconditioned Product" stickers on the boxes. I saved over $500 as compared to buying the two items new.

Re:This makes a lot of sense (1)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534840)

Apple's refurbed products have the same testing & quality requirements before being shipped out as their new equipment does

That is essentially tech-illiterate market-speak and not worthy of a slashdot discussion.

The testing requirements are radically different for a piece of equipment that is fresh off a production line and for a piece of equipment that has been out in the field and treated in an unknown fashion by a random user.

A brand new item can be electrically tested, cosmetically inspected, and shipped.

A returned item may have been dropped 58 times. There may be cracked solder fillets on the pins on surface mounted componets on the circuit board. The device may have been exposed to high humidity and dendritic growth may be building up between fine pitch pins. There may be latent static damage which caused random failures that only manifest themselves every 20 hours.

It's ludicrous to say the same testing regime used for a new product is sufficient for a recondtioned product.

That's marketing bullet-point speak.

Re:This makes a lot of sense (1)

Alpha_Geek (154209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537824)

I wasn't trying to say that refurbs are always going to be just as good as brand new gear. What I was trying to do was dispel the notion that their refurbed gear is just used equipment which is tested to work, then shipped out. They break down the product into its parts, replace the external parts and test each internal part individually, then reassemble.

But thanks for the assumptions and veiled insults.

Re:This makes a lot of sense (1)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7547942)

First off, why is it that anyone who posts with a differing opinion claims that the topic is "not worthy of discussion"?

Second, in your rant about marketing claims you failed to include in your quote the part about the warranty - a quick check on Apple's site reveals refurbs are covered by a one-year limited warranty (although I didn't look up the specifics). So it's not as though they're picking up replacement iPods out of a box, wiping off the tire marks from where they were run over a few times, and shipping them off.

Sure, they're out to make a buck like anyone else and "consumer beware," but I'd think iPod owners with dead batteries would be happy to have another option than having to buy a new one or trying to crack the thing open and replace the battery themselves. For those owners with never-dropped clean-room-fresh iPods in fear of a replacement, there's always ranting on the web.

What's not to like?!? (2, Insightful)

Androgynous Coward (13443) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533366)

How about spending 1/4 of the price of the device to obtain a battery. My Vaio laptop battery replacement was $96.00 through Amazon and I did not have to pay to ship it back and forth. Also, I kept the old battery so even though the charge was only 1/2 as good as it use to be it is still usable.

How much does the battery degrade after a year of heavy usage? I was thinking of getting an iPod but I do not want to have to spend $100+ every 16 mos to keep it usable.

Re:What's not to like?!? (4, Insightful)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534872)

The cost of producing a product with a user-replacable battery is significantly higher than making the battery a sealed-unit part of the device.

I know, I've participated in battery compartment design for small handheld medical devices. It can end up being a huge part of the cost of developing a product. If you haven't done weeks and weeks of drop-testing battery contacts after customer-return problems, you wouldn't understand...

Re:What's not to like?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7543702)

Many other MP3 players do it fine. If I have to pay a bit more up front for a device that allows me to change the battery in, or I have to spend $100 every 1.5 years, what's the difference?

Re:What's not to like?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7553162)

Also keep in mind that the battery alone is $49.00 from place like ipodbattery.com. So you figure $50 for shipping overnight back and forth, and then figure in the labor the price really isn't bad.

Re:This makes a lot of sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7559072)

Not only is this quick, but it makes a lot of sense!

To WHOM, you wimp?

$50 gets you a new battery online. Apple want twice that.

You're such a butt-licker. Steve Jobs has the cleanest sphincter in the Universe.

engraved iPods could be a problem (4, Funny)

TTop (160446) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532565)

So what happens if you have one the engraved iPods? I can just hear my wife when I get the "new" one back -- "Who's Vanessa???"

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (2, Insightful)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532650)

Engraved iPods will be treated differently. You didn't really think Stebe overlooked this, did you?

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532969)

Yes, I do.

After all, they are charging 99.00 USD for a battery. And that is what they are doing, their is no other way to get a new battery, so they are ripping people off.

All this for a little box that plays music.

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (1)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533176)

You can buy a generic battery and install it yourself (YES, you can). They are available on the internet. You void your warranty. Basically they're charging you for shipping both ways, labor and parts. At a hundred bucks, I think it's pretty reasonable.

If you think it's just a box that plays music, its much more: It's a firewire hard drive, it's a calendar, it's a contact viewer, it's even got games. On top of that its the best walkman ever.

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (1)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534754)

On top of that its the best walkman ever.

Only for certain 'best walkman' paramaters.

Some would say that the 'best walkman' would be one that is so inexpensive that you can lose one every six months without it mattering that also has adequately high quality playback. For some purposes this could be a $6 garage sale cassette-based 'walkman', for others it might mean something more. It definitely wouldn't mean something that costs over $300.

It's similar to the 'cheap camera' thing. There are tons of places worth photographing but not worth the risk of hauling around an $800 camera. I.e. a whitewater rafting trip.

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (1)

jjhlk (678725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7539790)

I'm getting an portable cd player that plays MP3s and CD-R/CD-RWs for $59CAD in a week or two. That gives me as many hours of music as my battery allows, and more on a single RW disc that I can reuse. Much better than the $440CAD 10GIG iPod, IMO.

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7593357)

For music, it makes a lot of sense, economically speaking.

For $440CAD, you don't just get something that plays music though.

Mind you, if all you care about is music, don't waste your money on a product that fills needs you don't have. I spent $140CAD over a year ago for an MP3 CD player and I love it. I still want an iPod, but I don't think I'll get one until I simply *have* to have a portable firewire drive.

PS. CDRW's are never useful in el-cheapo MP3 CD players. They usually don't read them that reliably. Just stick with cheap CDRs.

PPS. You'll be surprised how quickly you tire of the same 7 hours of music. It's nice being able to only carry a single CD to give you a weeks worth of casual listening (2h/day * 5 days = 10 hours, not too much overlap), but you'll still find yourself wanting more variety at the end of the day. Hooray that CDR's are cheap :D

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (2, Informative)

pi radians (170660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535788)

"After all, they are charging 99.00 USD for a battery. And that is what they are doing, their is no other way to get a new battery"

For $50 and you can install it yourself [ipodbattery.com] .

Re:engraved iPods could be a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7585143)

one good backhand to the chops will fix what ails her.

What about personalization? (0)

Anonymous Commando (6326) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532594)

Didn't RTFA, 'cause I don't have an Apple ID - maybe someone who did RTFA can say if Apple answers this question:

Does Apple just refurb the "guts" of the iPod, or the whole thing? I've noticed that Apple offers engraving / personalization in their store - I would hope that they would only change the internal hardware, and leave the shell alone in the case of a personalized iPod.

iPod is on my list, but I don't think Santa's gonna be that generous this year... :-(

Re:What about personalization? (1)

Anonymous Commando (6326) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532639)

heh... guess I'm not the only one asking this [slashdot.org] question [slashdot.org] ...

Re:What about personalization? (2, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536314)

Agreement:
APPLE COMPUTER, INC.
REPAIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS

IMPORTANT: BY CLICKING ON THE "I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD, AND AGREE TO THE REPAIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS" STATEMENT BELOW YOU AGREE THAT THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS GOVERN THE REPAIR OF YOUR PRODUCT BY APPLE COMPUTER, INC. ("APPLE")
Apple will repair your product as described and for the charges offered to you (unless such charges are revised with your prior oral or written consent). When the product repair is covered by warranty, Apple will perform repairs under the warranty. You must provide proof of the product's eligibility for warranty repairs. Apple may subcontract with other service providers for the repair of your product.

Unless your product is repaired under warranty without charge to you, you will pay Apple the amount shown. Your payment is due when the product is returned to you. Apple's estimate of costs includes all parts, labor, and certain transportation required for the repair of the product excluding any applicable sales tax.

Apple may charge you a diagnostic fee, and related shipping costs, plus any applicable sales tax, if Apple inspects your product, provides an estimate for you, and you do not authorize Apple to undertake the repairs for the estimated charges.

If Apple determines, while inspecting your product, that repairs are needed due to failures of parts that are neither supplied by Apple nor Apple-branded, Apple will return the product to you without repairing it, and may charge you a diagnostic feeand shipping costs, plus any applicable sales tax.

If the requested repairs require labor not specified in your estimate, Apple will ask for your approval of a revised estimate. If you do not agree that Apple may revise the charges, Apple may return your product and charge you a diagnostic fee, and shipping costs, plus any applicable sales tax.

Apple reserves the right to refuse repair service on products that are damaged due to accident, abuse, misuse, and misapplication, and in such event, Apple will return the product to you without repairing it, and may hold you responsible for a diagnostic fee and shipping costs, plus any applicable sales tax.

If Apple repairs your product under your product's warranty, if the terms of the warranty permit, Apple may use new or reconditioned parts. If Apple repairs your product outside of warranty, Apple may use new or reconditioned parts. Apple will retain the replaced part that is exchanged under repair service as its property, and the replacement part will become your property. Replaced items are generally repairable and are exchanged or repaired by Apple for value. If applicable law requires Apple to return a replaced item to you, you agree to pay Apple the additional cost of the replacement item.

If Apple repairs your product under warranty, the repairs will be covered solely by the terms of the warranty and applicable provisions of law. If your product is repaired outside of warranty, Apple warrants (1) that the repairs will be performed in a workmanlike manner and (2) that all parts will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for ninety (90) days from the date of the repair service. The warranty on parts is an express limited warranty. If a defect exists in a replacement part during the part's warranty period, at its option, Apple will (i) repair the part, using new or refurbished replacement parts, or (ii) replace the part with a new or refurbished equivalent part, or (iii) refund the fair market value of the part.

THIS WARRANTY AND REMEDY ARE EXCLUSIVE AND IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, REMEDIES, AND CONDITIONS, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE REPAIR PARTS. APPLE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO SUCH PARTS, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IF APPLE CANNOT LAWFULLY DISCLAIM IMPLIED WARRANTIES UNDER THIS LIMITED WARRANTY, ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE LIMITED IN DURATION TO THE DURATION OF THE EXPRESS LIMITED WARRANTY.

Some states and provinces do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages or exclusions or limitations on the duration of implied warranties or conditions, so these limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. The express limited warranty on repair parts gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights that vary by state or province.

APPLE'S ENTIRE LIABILITY FOR YOUR DAMAGES FROM ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER WITH RESPECT TO THE REPAIR OF YOUR PRODUCT, WHETHER DUE TO APPLE'S NEGLIGENCE OR TO ANY OTHER REASON, IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNTS THAT YOU PAY FOR REPAIR SERVICES. APPLE HAS NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER FOR INDIRECT, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SUCH AS LOST PROFITS OR REVENUE. APPLE ALSO HAS NO LIABILITY FOR LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO DATA OR SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS. YOUR ONLY REMEDY UNDER THIS REPAIR AGREEMENT IS TO SEEK RECOVERY OF DAMAGES AGAINST APPLE IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED WHAT YOU HAVE PAID FOR REPAIR SERVICES.

If you have not claimed your product and paid all charges due within sixty (60) days after being notified by Apple that your product has been repaired, Apple will notify you that it considers your product to be abandoned. Apple will send notice to the mailing address you furnished when you authorized the repairs. Apple reserves its statutory and any other lawful liens for unpaid charges. Apple may dispose of your product in accordance with applicable provisions of law, and, specifically, may sell your product at a private or public sale to pay for the repairs performed.

Apple disclaims any liability for damage or loss to your product caused while in transit if your product is being serviced outside of warranty. Apple will assist you in making a claim by filing tracers and claims with the carrier responsible for the loss or damage.

These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of the State of California (without giving effect to its conflict of law provisions). If any provision of these terms and conditions is held to be illegal or unenforceable, that provision will be deemed to have never been part of the terms and conditions, and the remaining terms and conditions will continue to be enforceable.

These terms and conditions govern Apple's repair obligation. No other oral or written terms or conditions apply, including ones in any purchase order that you provide to Apple. Apple does not authorize any variance or modification of these terms and conditions.

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS
FOR CONSUMERS WHO ARE COVERED BY CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS OR REGULATIONS IN THEIR COUNTRY OF PURCHASE OR, IF DIFFERENT, THEIR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE, THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ARE IN ADDITION TO ALL RIGHTS AND REMEDIES CONVEYED BY SUCH CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS AND REGULATIONS.

NOTICES TO CALIFORNIA CONSUMERS
An estimate for repairs, as required (section 9844 of the California Business and Professions Code), shall be given to the customer by the service dealer in writing. The service dealer may not charge for work done or parts supplied in excess of the estimate without the prior consent of the customer. Where provided in writing the service dealer may charge a reasonable fee for services provided in determining the nature of the malfunction in preparation of a written estimate for repair. For information, contact the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Department of Consumer Affairs, Sacramento, CA 95814.

A buyer of this product in California has the right to have this product serviced and repaired during the warranty period. The warranty period will be extended for the number of whole days that the product has been out of the buyer's hands for warranty repairs. If a defect exists during the warranty period, the warranty will not expire until the defect has been fixed. The warranty period also will be extended if the warranty repairs have not been performed due to delays caused by circumstances beyond the control of the buyer, or if the warranty repairs did not remedy the defect and the buyer notifies the manufacturer or seller of the failure of the repairs within 60 days after they were completed. If, after a reasonable number of attempts, the defect has not been fixed, the buyer may return this product for a replacement or a refund subject, in either case, to deduction of a reasonable charge for usage. The time extension does not affect the protection or remedies the buyer has under other laws.

I can't find any info on the iPod battery service except for this (as I don't own an iPod - my newest Apple product is an Apple //c - I only have an ID because I was looking at iBooks and I wanted to save my config):
- Battery Service: $99.00 USD: labor, parts, and a 90-day guarantee on materials and workmanship, plus $6.95 shipping. $105.95 USD total.

Interesting... I'm thinking I'll buy one of these [neurosaudio.com] instead...

This is why I love apple. (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532686)

back when I had a G3 lombard, they replaced my power brick free of charge. Now, the iPod batteries. I love you apple.

Re:This is why I love apple. (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532796)

Free of charge? Did you miss the part about it costing you $99?

Re:This is why I love apple. (2, Funny)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532968)

Free of charge? Did you miss the part about it costing you $99?

This reminds me of the old joke: how much do dead batteries cost? Nothing, they're free of charge. Hey, it _is_ on topic!

Re:This is why I love apple. (1)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534886)

If they're big lead-acid batteries, and you have a semi-load of them to dispose of, dead batteries can cost a HELL of a lot.

Re:This is why I love apple. (1)

nat5an (558057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535864)

Perhaps you all missed the part that the service is free if the iPod is still under warranty. The $99 fee is only for iPods that are no longer under warranty, at least based on the sentence from the page which says "If your iPod is no longer under warranty, there will be a fee for service."

Re:This is why I love apple. (1)

SiMac (409541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532804)

It costs $99

Re:This is why I love apple. (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#7541300)

back when I had a G3 lombard, they replaced my power brick free of charge.

That's because it has a habit of Catching Fire.

They didn't replace your power brick, they RECALLED it.

Re:This is why I love apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550540)

I think he is kidding to all the people above me.... I guess the humor was just to subtle for you all.

Re:This is why I love apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7559119)

I love you apple.

Hey everyone! Over here! I found a blow-job machine!

$99? (4, Interesting)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532702)

You have to be kidding! I know the iPods are still in the early/expensive phase, but a hundred bucks for a battery is highway robbery, especially as they don't seem to last more than a year.

Are there any third-party developers making cheaper versions? Sounds like there is a market there.

Re:$99? (1)

apocamok (196093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532838)

Seems the battery alone can be had for 49, which isn't a whole lot less than 100$:
http://www.mdsbatteries.co.uk/shop/productp rofile. asp?ProductGroupID=1249

The Danionics batteries are quite expensive but supposedly lighter than comparable models.

Danionics isn't exactly doing well:

http://www.danionics.com/sw982.asp

and has recieved a lot of bad press in danish media as analysts has predicted that they will go out of business soon.

Maybe Apple will switch to a cheaper model battery if Danionics is unable to deliver?

Re:$99? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532923)

Seems the battery alone can be had for 49, which isn't a whole lot less than 100$
If you're talking about Hong Kong dollars, then yes.

Re:$99? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532963)

>Seems the battery alone can be had for 49, which isn't a whole lot less than 100$

And since when is 50% cheaper "not a whole lot less"?

Re:$99? (2, Insightful)

FredFnord (635797) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533226)

> And since when is 50% cheaper "not a whole lot less"?

Since shipping and tax makes it $70, and then you add in the hassle of having to install it yourself?

(The Apple offer includes shipping, I'm not sure if 'repairs' are taxable.)

-fred

Re:$99? (4, Informative)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533281)

Do the math on it:

Minimum of a year's worth of batteries. Let's be generous and say two AAs.

Ten hours of play a day, for three hundred sixty-five days. If one set of batteries, let's say, lasts for two of those charges, and you listen for five hours a day on average, you're looking at buying about ninety pair of AAs a year. At two bucks a pop--minimum, for good 2-packs of AA batteries, that's more than you pay for the replacement battery which will give you a year of play, in theory, at the minimum. And it doesn't waste battery carcasses, which is good for the environment. /And/ you don't have to deal with buying batteries (always an annoyance that can be done without), and weak-ass battery compartments that fly open at the slightest hint of shock.

Now, if I've underestimated how long the batteries would drive an iPod, let's double their life up there. That cuts your yearly AA pair consumption in half, to about 45. That's /still/ only a couple of bucks shy of a replacement battery from Apple.

How is this highway robbery?

Postscript: Long day. Math may be wrong. Please do not flame. Thanks, Management.

Re:$99? (4, Insightful)

n.wegner (613340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533344)

Uhuh. If you compare with NiMH, however, you lose.

Re:$99? (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534073)

You bring up an interesting point. I just saw another page stating that in regular use (one charge every 2 days or so) the battery should theoretically last about 2-3 years... Now I know that Apple sells a "battery pack" add on that allows you to add 2 AA cells to lengthen the time between charges.... this would ptobably have the nice side effect of extending the time between failures of the main battery... barring that the same usage patterns are employed...

Re:$99? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536154)

NiMH batteries don't respond as well to partial charges and incompete charge cycles.

The typical usage of an iPod would suggest that its battery would often begin charging when not cmpletely flat, and disconnected before it's full, especially if you connect it to the firewire bus frequently for song updates and so on rather than connecting it to the power brick and leaving it to charge up fully on its own.

Sure you could leave it charging on the firewire bus, but what if you want to shut your computer off or (like a friend of mine) assume that the iPod will charge when the Mac is asleep.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7542608)

indeed, a NIMH battery will die quickly with the charge/use cycle of an MP3 player. how's this better?

mod parent up!

you have two nimh sets.. (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7593721)

i do this with my digital camera. i use the camera till the batteries die, then i pop in the second set. while using the second set i put the first on the charger. nimh would work fine. sure you're not using them in the same way, but it's not that big of a deal.

Re:$99? (1)

xenocytekron (586678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533898)

Then you have to factor in the amount of money you spend on the electricity bill recharging the iPod every day though...

Re:$99? (1)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 10 years ago | (#7547648)

I always plug my battery charger in at places where I don't have to pay for power. :P

Re:$99? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534124)

I'm not comparing it to AA's. I'm comparing it to batteries for other handheld devices. Granted, the iPod will suck a lot more juice than a normally used cellphone, but still, it's a steep price.

Bull$hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7553541)

I had a early sony CD player in 1989 with a nicad rechargable battery. the player was used walking to class by my roommate and me, twice a day for a total of 5-6 hours a day... the battery lasted over 6 years before it had to be replaced... for $29.

18 months for a battery is unacceptable.

Re:Bull$hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7567390)

Yeah, I bet that 1989 discman had /great/ skip protection, drove an LCD the size of the iPod's, and could store a thousand songs. Very equivalent technology, there, bro.

Re:$99? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7559162)

Do the math on it:

No, do the math the RIGHT way, asshole.

1. Batteries to Apple notebooks cost less.

2. OEMs online charge less.

3. Apple are notorious for price-gouging.

4. You can count your IQ on your toes. Your Brownie Points are at least double-digit.

Re:$99? (1)

Zo0ok (209803) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535383)

Sure it is expensive!

I bought the original 5 GB iPod, that is almost two years ago now. I would not say my battery time is shorter now than it was when it was new (and last year, I have been using my iPod daily). Firmware upgrades have improved battery time.

The iPod has always had fairly shitty standby battery time - leave it for a week and you can most likely not use it. But when it is fully charged I can still use it as much as I like a day or two without problems. I always recharge it over night. When it cant hold for an entire day I will consider replacing the battery.

It is not like my Palm m105 - I change batteries every three months :)

Well. Uh... cool? (4, Informative)

Fulkkari (603331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532719)

After much complaining from iPod owners

Well. That's nice if your battery is dead, but just how many iPods are there with dead batteries anyway? I have had my own iPod for over a year now, and the battery is just fine even though I listen to the iPod daily. One charge lasts to me about 10 hours.

iPodlounge has btw some tips [ipodlounge.com] how to recharge and use the iPod to maximaze battery lifetime.

Re:Well. Uh... cool? (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532861)

Old firmware caused some serious battery problems for some users. Not me though!

Re:Well. Uh... cool? (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533204)

Lithium-Ion batteries can have their life shortened to a year through a bad charging algorithm. In particular, keeping them mostly plugged in and charging, with a couple of hours of sleep in between, followed by topping off the battery again, is bad.

My G3 Firewire Powerbook ('Pismo' model) went through its original battery in about 13 months, thanks to running OS X 10.0 on it. Partly because of the charging algorithm, and partly because 10.0 didn't turn everything off during sleep (I could tell that 10.0 sleep used up my battery faster than 9.1 sleep.) A second Apple battery went bad in a similar amount of time.

Current practice on 10.2/10.3 is to only start charging again after they've lost about 5% or so from being topped off.

Re:Well. Uh... cool? (1)

akeep (62690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7542570)

actually ipod lounge says just the opposite for lithium-ion, and says they have no memory and that they should generally never be fully discharged...

According to about 5 minutes of googling this is correct, one of the benefits of lithium ion battery is that it has no memory...

check...
http://www.cellpower.com/battery_tips. cfm ... and ...
http://wireless.berkeley.edu/services/battery .shtm l

However... if you're machine has done a lot of charging and discharging, then the battery is just dead... afterall even rechargables don't last forever.

And if your iPod isn't in mint shape ? (3, Interesting)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532779)

Mine has a very, very nice scratch all along the right side. Does this mean if I replace the battery I'll get one without the scratch?

Re:And if your iPod isn't in mint shape ? (2, Funny)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534061)

That would be an interesting "customer service" feature...

Apple gets your ipod, swaps for a "new" or refurb, and then has a technician re-create the scratch marks on your new one, to perfection.

Talk about an amazing company!

Another way this program could be used (3, Interesting)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532790)

1. User buys new iPod.
2. Several years later, iPod dies.
3. User blames the problem on a dead battery (even though that might not be the case) and sends iPod back to Apple.
4. User gets new/refurbished iPod.

Re:Another way this program could be used (1)

sc00p18 (536811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533975)

Yes, hence the $99 pricetag.

Wait, wait (0, Troll)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532798)

This is hilarious. So you suckers bought a $500 piece of equipment, and you can't even change your own batteries!?!

Hell, a $10 walkman has that capability!

Re:Wait, wait (2, Informative)

syrinx (106469) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532833)

of course, a walkman plays shitty cassette tapes for maybe an hour and a half, and my ipod plays excellent quality MP3 or AAC files for a week straight.

yeah, almost the same thing, there.

*plonk*

Re:Wait, wait (0, Troll)

mduell (72367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533568)

8 hours in your weeks? Damn, that's like a 2 hour work week!

Re:Wait, wait (1)

Drantin (569921) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534310)

I think he was referring to the time on a cassette rather than the battery life...

Re:Wait, wait (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533591)

You can change your own batteries, but if you don't want to void your waranty, you're better off sending it back.

Article forgot to mention.. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532805)

AppleCare for iPod [apple.com] .

Apple just began selling extended coverage for iPod. @ $59 USD. As for the battery, it can be obtained cheaper from ipodbattery.com; unlike in the past, now they sell all generation replacement batteries.

Hope this helps.

AppleCare cost/benefit advantage (3, Informative)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532885)

Well, AppleCare for the iPod costs $59 and includes coverage for:
  • iPod
  • iPod battery
  • iPod earphones
  • iPod dock
  • iPod wired remote

What's more, they'll replace your iPod's battery if it is at least 50% depleted under AppleCare. But then again, the iPod Battery Replacement Program linked above costs $99.

Re:AppleCare cost/benefit advantage (2, Informative)

Specialist2k (560094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534887)

What's more, they'll replace your iPod's battery if it is at least 50% depleted under AppleCare.

Given that rechargeable batteries are considered defect from a technical point of view if they have lost ~ 25% of their capacity, that's a bad deal for the customer.

Someone has to say this... (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532890)

Apple seems to always put itself in the position of making it's customers very unhappy. If they send you back another ipod and say something fails on it (hdrive or anything else) they have opened themselves up to big problems. Who is to say that the ipod you sent in would have failed in the same manor. These ipods aren't coming back with a warranty on anything. I think that this is a bad way for apple to handle this. I can't understand why they don't have this kind of thing happen out of the genius bar. Opening the ipod is trivial, and replacing the battery is equally trivial.

Re:Someone has to say this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532987)

> Opening the ipod is trivial, and replacing the battery is equally trivial.

I'm not so sure about that or else they would let the users change the battery themselves, same as they can add memory in their eMac, etc.

I bet the next iPod revision will be modified for a more "user-friendly" battery swapping method. Then they could sell extra batteries, just as they're doing now with iBooks, etc (going on vacation for a week? Buy one or two extra batteries for your iPod!)

Easier battery replacing for users (no shipping, etc), extra playback time for users and extra money for Apple. Everybody wins!

Re:Someone has to say this... (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533235)

I'm surprised that Apple actually thought Lithium-Ion batteries were reliable enough to not make them user-replaceable.

As for the "genius bar", that doesn't help much when the nearest Apple Store is a three- to five-hour drive away.

Re:Someone has to say this... (1)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535500)

I'm surprised that Apple actually thought Lithium-Ion batteries were reliable enough to not make them user-replaceable.

These are actually Lithium-polymer batteries, generally said to be more reliable than the old-school Lithium Ions (with liquid electrolyte). And actually Apple is not the only company with this attitude - recent cellphones also have batteries quite cumbersome to replace. I guess it's a matter of design compromises - at some stage you can't make the device smaller and lighter and STILL provide all the latches and screws for an average user to open the case.

Re:Someone has to say this... (1)

PhoenixK7 (244984) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533349)

OK, generally Apple gives you a limited 90 day (iirc.. it may be shorter) warranty on stuff that it replaces for you. So, if they're sending out refurbed units, there should be a 90 day warranty covering the whole thing. If it fails during that time period, you get another new/refurbed unit.

Re:Someone has to say this... (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533599)

All Apple repairs and refurbs (that I've had done) come with a 90 day (minimum) waranty on them.

Good point - and more to worry about (1)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534811)

A corollary to your point is that Appple is now negating the manner in which you care for your iPod.

Let's say you're super-careful and never allow even a smudge on your iPod. It stops charging. You send it in for battery replacement.

What comes back, while looking similar, has actually been dropped, thrown around, left outside, farted upon through the back trouser pocket of an SCO executive, tightened between Steve Ballmer's thighs while he practices Desk-Jockey Calisthenics, and vanished internally during the making of a Pam and Tommy video only to reemerge, curiously, many months later in a Paris Hilton video through some kind of hitherto unsubstantiated celebrity porn wormhole.

That's not your iPod! Except that - now it is.

RIAA rapid commandos on their way as of now (4, Funny)

danigiri (310827) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533039)

The RIAA rapid-action commandos are scrambling as of now.

Destination: Apple headquarters.

Primary Objective: ensure that any Apple employee does not listen either intentionally or unintentionally to any iPod sent in for battery replacement. That would be a clear infrigement of intellectual property. Royaltes must be paid for any complete songs or fragments overheard.

Secondary Objective: nail some of those PowerBooks...

I repeat, I repeat: all units head to Apple HQ immediately.

dani++

AppleCare available for iPods as well, $59. (4, Informative)

dbirchall (191839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533167)

AppleCare for iPod [apple.com] is only $59, and extends the phone/mail-in-repair warranty from 90 days/1 year to 2 years/2 years. It covers the battery, as well as the rest of the iPod and all the stuff that comes with it in the box. So if you've got an iPod less than a year old, you can pick that up now. Nicely cheaper than the battery replacement service. I'll probably be getting it for my wife's 10GB iPod - didn't even know the headphones that died were still under warranty.

So you end up with other people's crap.. ek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7533597)

Imagine getting an iPod from a typical Slashdotter. It would be covered in Pizza, the keys would be sticky from sugary beverages and it would smell like an old refrigerator.

Let's not even mention what could be all over it if the average Slashdotter has a strong interest in Porn.

And when you get it back, you'd find the freaking thing is running Linux of some sort.

What's the deal? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7533969)

I don't want to start a holy war... oh, forget it.

Oh... (2, Funny)

dydxjessedydt (590130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7545840)

What about those of us who develop a strong emotional attachment to our iPods. I cant bear the thought of my iPod... in another's greasy hands. The thought gives me shivers.

So, if you live in Europe... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7549501)

Click Continue to order iPod battery service for $99 USD. This program is not available in Europe at this time.

So, either:

1) iPods shipped in Europe have batteries that never wear down or need replacing; or

2) European customers just got shafted again.

Hint: the answer's an even number. Why is it that iPod owners who don't live in North America should have to wait to buy something that's probably smaller than a box of matches? And how long will they have to wait? Three months? Six months? A year?

Response to complaints? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 10 years ago | (#7549525)

It's about time. After much complaining from iPod owners, Apple has finally started an official Official iPod Battery replacement

Is this a response to complaints, or is it just possible that we are just now reaching the time when some of the third-generation iPods are getting old enough for Apple to actually need this program?

But that would mean tha all previous whining was just a speculative over-reaction to "you can't replace the battery" FUD, and we can't go thinking that now, can we?

Re:Response to complaints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7559190)

we can't go thinking that now, can we?

WE can think anything we want.

YOU cannot, because Steve Jobs has his dick in your mouth.
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