MPs batter Apple over iPod batteries

MPs batter Apple over iPod batteries

Summary: The iPod's limited battery life has already caused Apple some grief. Now a collection of British politicians are putting the boot in, but Apple says their claims are inaccurate

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TOPICS: Hardware
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A group of UK MPs has hit out at Apple over its policy for supplying replacement rechargeable batteries for its hugely popular iPod digital music player.

In an Early Day Motion (EDM) published on Monday, the consumer electronics giant is accused of not making sufficient quantities of replacement batteries easily available to British iPod users at a fair price. Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle proposed the EDM -- which is a device used by parliamentarians to draw attention to an issue. It has already been signed by a further 10 MPs.

The EDM states: "That this House notes with concern the difficulty people are having in replacing batteries for iPods, the new pocket sized walkmans; notes that iPods were a favourite Christmas present, with a value of between £250 to £400, but that when people come to buy replacement batteries they find that they cost £100 and that they have little knowledge of where such batteries can be obtained from; and calls on the supplier, Apple, to ensure that replacement batteries are plentiful in supply and priced at a reasonable level."

Apple, though, has hit out at the EDM, insisting that its customers are being given adequate protection and pointing out that a new iPod battery will cost British consumers less than £100. "For £79 including VAT (plus postage and shipping), iPod owners can enroll in the iPod Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Programme anytime after the one year warranty has expired," said Apple in a statement.

While the iPod has been enthusiastically received by consumers, battery issues have taken some of the shine off Apple's success. Some early adopters of the device found that the battery no longer worked after 18 months of use, and protested when they found a replacement battery would cost almost as much as a whole new iPod.

Apple reacted to this criticism by launching a replacement service in the US costing around $100. The £79 Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Programme, launched last week, is the British version of this scheme.

The EDM will remain open at Parliament for several weeks, giving other MPs the chance to register their concern over the iPod battery issue. It is understood, though, that Apple is pushing for the text of the EDM to be changed, to reflect the fact that a replacement iPod battery from Apple will cost less than £100.

Further details of Apple's UK iPod battery replacement scheme can be found here, and an overview of its AppleCare programme can be seen here.

The Early Day Motion can be viewed here.

Topic: Hardware

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4 comments
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  • Interesting controversy....

    I've been tentatively considering an iPod for a while - it'll either be that, or mini disk. Thing is, I don't want it to buy digital music off the web, but to replace the back-up / take anywhere facility that my old cassette walkman and cassette decks offered, but with digital quality and reduced overall size. I've always been dismissive of MP3 players as being too limited, but now there's a 40 gig iPod....

    I'm totally sold on the design and convenience of the iPod for a portable version of all my CDs, though there remains the open question of what to do with my vinyl, which could well be the deciding factor between that and MD. The other thing is the *price* of an iPod.... I'm hoping that will drop radically over the next couple of years, as at present, I'm not sure that I would be able to justify the cost (even if i had the money). Price for me is a problem with Apple stuff - I'm totally sold on their quality and design (I'm sure this battery issue will be sorted out quickly, and there will be non-apple sources that can sort it out at a reasonable cost (
    anonymous
  • I only found out about this problem when Goggling for best prices on the 40Gb model. It has turned me 180 degrees - no way I'm buying one now. I'm looking for alternative models - maybe less stylish, but this iPod fiasco reminded me why I abandoned Apple years ago. The whole control-freak, closed-box Apple mentality (evident from the very first Macs) makes Microsoft look benign.
    anonymous
  • I ha r lve recently bought an ipod mini, and already the battery has gone. They say that they should last for upto 8 hours, and that unacceptable is 4, well mine only lasts 1 and a half. And getting through to the person on the help line was a joke!
    A very unhappy customer.
    anonymous
  • i would definitely be aware of the iPod battery issues. they do lose their charge after about 18 months but you can buy cheap replacement batteries at sites like http://www.laptopsforless.com/mp3playerbattery/apple-ipod-Battery and it is worth a little hassle to have an iPod. I have had to replace my battery already and its not that big of a deal and i love my iPod and would never switch to an alternative.
    anonymous