IPod row: MPs rush to Apple's aid

Apple has certainly got friends in high places -- rather than criticise its iPod battery policy we should apparently be hailing the 'revolutionary impact' it has made, MPs now say

Two UK politicians have defended Apple in the ongoing row over its policy for supplying replacement batteries for its iPod music player.

Derek Wyatt MP and John Pugh MP have both submitted amendments to an Early Day Motion (EDM) published this week that criticised Apple and urged it to "ensure that replacement [iPod] batteries are plentiful in supply and priced at a reasonable level".

As reported on Thursday, Apple has already hit back at this EDM, and now Wyatt and Pugh have waded in on behalf of the firm.

Wyatt's proposed amendment states that "over two million iPods have been sold worldwide and that customer response to the product has been very positive."

It goes on to further note that "every iPod comes standard with one year of hardware service coverage and 90 days of phone support and that iPod owners can enroll in the iPod Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Program any time after the one-year warranty has expired."

Curiously, part of Wyatt's amendment is remarkably similar to the statement released by Apple earlier this week. When questioned about this resemblance, Apple said that its statement to "correct" the original EDM was widely available.

"Maybe they picked it up from that," an Apple spokesman suggested to ZDNet UK.

Pugh's amendment goes even further than Wyatt's in supporting Apple. He has proposed that the original EDM is all but deleted. Instead, he wants it to read:

"This house notes the revolutionary impact of the iPod and Apple's iTunes system in making legally downloadable music accessible to millions at an affordable cost; commends Apple for their imagination and technology; records that Apple products represent a real alternative to the over-dominance of the computer and software marker by a limited number of very large companies; and notes that both the difficulties with and cost of replacing batteries has been for some reason widely exaggerated in the press."

Such sentiments are doubtless more to Apple's taste than the current EDM, but so far they have found little favour with fellow MPs. Neither Wyatt's nor Pugh's amendments have attracted the support of any other parliamentarians at the time of writing.

The original EDM, though, has now been signed by 18 MPs.