Apple have launched a new service through which iPod users can buy new
rechargeable batteries for their players. Until now if the battery stopped
working, after the standard one year warranty, users were obliged to buy a
completely new iPod. That caused some resentment among consumers given that the batteries – akin to those used in laptops – are notoriously unreliable
and can rapidly slip from their expected 8 hour lifespan to a fraction of that – normally when about 18 months old, ie out of their standard warranty period. With the new service iPod users can buy replacement batteries for $99 – alternatively they can extend their warranty for $59.
Apple will be hoping the new offer satisfies unhappy customers like Casey Neistat. According to an MTV news report, when his iPod battery died just out of warranty and he was told by Apple he would have to buy a new iPod he set up a website called ipodsdirtysecret.com which which included a film of him graffiting the line “iPod’s unreplaceable battery lasts only 18 months” all over lower Manhattan. Neistat explains: “My brother and I made the movie in response to Apple not offering any alternative when your iPod battery dies other than buying a new iPod. Their policy seemed to me to be an audacious, exploitative thing.” However he said he thought the new battery service was fair.
Whether the new policy will satisfy San Francisco law firm Girard Gibbs & De
Bartolomeo LLP remains to be seen. They are suing Apple because they claim
their advertising implied the iPod’s battery lasts the lifetime of the player – which it clearly doesn’t. A judge is yet to rule on that lawsuit -needless to say Apple didn’t wish to comment.