Apple Offers $50 Credit For iPod Batteries (1st-3rd Gen.)

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SergeArsenie

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Apple Offers $50 Credit for IPod Batteries




By RACHEL KONRAD, AP Technology Writer 1 hour, 23 minutes ago

SAN FRANCISCO - Consumers who had battery problems with older versions of the popular iPod digital music player will get $50 vouchers and extended service warranties under a tentative settlement in a class-action lawsuit.
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Lawyers representing consumers in the state court case against Apple Computer Inc. said Thursday that the settlement could affect as many as 2 million people nationwide who purchased first-, second- and third-generation iPods through May 2004.

Cupertino-based Apple confirmed the settlement but deferred immediate comment.

In the fall of 2003, eight consumers filed a suit, alleging that the iPod failed to live up to claims that the rechargeable battery would last the product's lifetime and play music continuously for up to 10 hours.

Thousands of consumers complained that the battery — which cost $99 to replace — lasted 18 months or less and they could only play music for four hours or less before recharging it. Environmentalists were also upset, saying the short-lived battery encouraged consumers to dispose of their old devices, which were ending up in landfills and possibly leaking toxins.

The iPod debuted in 2001, with early versions costing up to $400. Considered a must-have accessory on college campuses and a top pick for holiday shoppers ever since, the device has been a windfall for Apple.

Revenue in the most recent quarter was a record $3.24 billion, up nearly 70 percent from $1.91 billion in the year-ago quarter. Nearly one-third of quarterly sales resulted from the iPod.

According to the terms of the settlement, people who fill out a claim form are entitled to receive $50 redeemable toward the purchase of any Apple products or services except iTunes downloads or iTunes gift certificates. They can redeem the voucher within 18 months of final settlement approval at any bricks-and-mortar Apple Store or online.

Consumers who had battery troubles can also get their battery or iPod replaced through the lawsuit. Apple currently replaces or repairs defective products that are returned within one year but the class-action settlement extends the warranty to two years, plaintiffs' lawyers said.

Consumers who file a claim must have a receipt. Apple didn't want to extend vouchers or extra warranty protection to people who bought their Apples on eBay auctions or other sites with used or liquidated merchandise, plaintiffs' attorneys said.

A judge in California's Superior Court for San Mateo County initially approved the settlement last month and consumers began receiving notifications by e-mail and letters this week. A judge will hold another hearing Aug. 25 to give final approval.

"We think all the terms of the settlement are going to stick," said Eric H. Gibbs, a partner at San Francisco-based law firm Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP, which represented several plaintiffs.

"We think it's a very good settlement, basically providing relief to the majority of the class that had failures," Gibbs said. "The negotiations with Apple were hard fought and at arms length and took quite a long time, but at the end of the day, the process worked like it was supposed to."

It's unclear how many consumers will file claims. Plaintiffs' attorneys did no advertising other than word of mouth when they filed the suit, but details spread to Internet sites and blogs.

Within a year, lawyers had received e-mails and calls from more than 12,000 people who said their iPod batteries failed to meet expectations.

Consumers will be notified of the tentative settlement in three ways: by e-mail, by letters, and through advertisements in USA Today and Parade Magazine in the next month, said Elizabeth C. Pritzker, an attorney at Burlingame-based law firm Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy LLP, which represented two plaintiffs. Apple has agreed to pay up to $2.8 million to the two law firms that represented consumers.

Pritzker noted that Apple has changed its advertising and downscaled claims about its batteries. The company has published technical specifications of its batteries, including their limitations.

"It was hard to argue that consumers who bought products after May 2004 didn't know about the battery issue," she said Thursday. "By that point, there was also a lot of publicity around the battery issue. We really wanted to protect the people who were caught unawares."

Environmentalists applauded the deal but emphasized it doesn't require Apple to change the design of the iPod, which includes lead and other hazardous materials.

Apple is the target of a yearlong campaign by environmental groups, which are asking executives to reduce or eliminate recycling fees for consumers and build in-store recycling centers. They say Apple has done little to discourage the perception of the iPod as disposable.

"Apple has to admit they messed up and made a battery that doesn't last very long and doesn't have the ability to be easily replaced," said Gopal Dayaneni, director of sustainable technology program at Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. "Failure to do so is evidence of their environmental irresponsibility — it's a company that doesn't take into account environmental design as much as cosmetics."

From http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050602/ap_on_hi_te/apple_ipod_batteries

Too bad I don't have one of those so I could cash in, but my friend does. Anyways, do they take the battery or what? What do you guys think about this?
 

Boonen

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Would this have any influence on the new 5th Gen. (hopefully) soon to be released? This should mean the new ones get either a better battery and/or a replacable one.
 

snowgirl87

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anyone have a link to the form? cas i've had quite a few prblems with my battery...
 

idioteque16

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I'm wondering the same thing... I bought my ipod when I was living in the US but moved to the UK now... so now I'm screwed?
 

finger123

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Testing the battery

When testing the battery can you have the background light on or is that cheating. The instructions listed on the settlement website do not mention the backlight.....
 

armless

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i got a claim form in the mail today, if you guys want me to scan it in for you to look at, then juist tell me. Its a big packet of legal garbage, if you have any questions about it just ask.
 

urbanlegend

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Does anyone know if the suit extends to Canada or if Apple is honouring claims from Canada?

John
 

snowgirl87

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i got it today in the mail....that form is pretty damn confusing...maybe its just because i didnt read it until 1 am....but still haha
 

B.E.L.B.H.D.

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Boonen said:
Would this have any influence on the new 5th Gen. (hopefully) soon to be released? This should mean the new ones get either a better battery and/or a replacable one.
I would think this would simply cause Apple to incude some new disclaimer about the battery.
 

danbanger

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So should I do the request for a new battery or request 50 dollars store credit?

My 3G gets less than 8 hours and I don't plan on buying anything at the store anytime in the future. How would the process of them replacing my battery or do they just give me a totally new one?
 

Crazy Pete

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Yeah I just got this in the mail today, too. First I'd heard of it. I was wondering what other folks are thinking of doing. I wonder if it'd be worth it to get the $50 credit and then use that towards a new iPod when they come out?

Also I noticed that it says under I request:

"replacement of the iPod's battery or (at Apple's discretion) a replacement iPod..."

I wonder what their discretionary criteria are for outright replacement...
 

hothotheat

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I was wondering the same thing, but I'm leaning towards the battery replacement/ discretionary replacement option. I've done multiple searches online and not found any good information. In fact I've already filled out the paper work for the battery replacement part, but wanted to wait a day before sending the papers out.

The $50 dollar credit is tempting (especially with the 5G rumors), but I imagine that the credit would expire in a year (maybe two). With the ipod being the only apple product that I own, I don't want to be locked into something like that.

Battery issues aside, I'm more than satisfied with my 3G ipod, so I would not mind holding onto it for a few more years if it gets a fresh battery.
 

danbanger

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Okay I got my 3g iPod 3/05 from best buy with the Product Replacement Plan for 2 years (not PSP). I just tested my battery today and it lasted about 4-5 hours.

I think I may try to get a battery replacement now and save my PRP for later on, what do you guys think? And in less than 2 months I will be going on a trip where I don't want to be without my iPod if that helps. I don't really know how the process of them replacing the battery/unit will go so thats why I'm wondernig.


BTW: the store credit will last for 18 months (says on the paper)
 
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kokketiel

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danbanger said:
Okay I got my 3g iPod 3/05 from best buy with the Product Replacement Plan for 2 years (not PSP). I just tested my battery today and it lasted about 4-5 hours.

I think I may try to get a battery replacement now and save my PRP for later on, what do you guys think? And in less than 2 months I will be going on a trip where I don't want to be without my iPod if that helps. I don't really know how the process of them replacing the battery/unit will go so thats why I'm wondernig.


BTW: the store credit will last for 18 months (says on the paper)
If you get 4-5 hours on a 3G ipod, then you DO NOT QUALIFY for the battery replacement. For 3G, it is less than 4h doing the test as described in the documentation (repeat playing one album with earbud headphones), and 5h for 1G & 2G. You have to sign that you followed the test in good faith. Claiming otherwise would constitute fraud.
 

kokketiel

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snowgirl87 said:
i got it today in the mail....that form is pretty damn confusing...maybe its just because i didnt read it until 1 am....but still haha
Why don't you ask your parents to read & explain it to you?
 

iJman

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Yes! I bought mine in Jan. 2004, so I have until Jan. 2006 to send in my claim.

I'm sure that by then, my battery will be down to 4 hours. It's at about 5 right now.

Wow. Ever since I got my iPod I've been trying to ration how and when I use it... but now I can use my iPod to my heart's content, because when the battery kicks the bucket, a new one will be waiting for me!

Yes!!!
 

danbanger

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When I say 4-5 hours it is because I am not able to check my iPod every 5 minutes while doing the test so it is an estimate. It is however, on the lower end of 4-5 hours (4 hours and 20minutes?), needless to say that is unacceptable.
 
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