Apple: iPod failure rate ‘extremely low’ | iLounge News


Apple: iPod failure rate ‘extremely low’

In a Wall Street Journal article about consumers becoming more familiar with dying iPods, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said the iPod failure rate is less than 5%, which he claims is “extremely low” compared with other electronics devices. “iPods are designed to last for years, but as with any complex consumer-electronics product such as digital cameras, they can be broken if dropped or mishandled by users,” he said. The “overwhelming majority” of iPod users are happy with their devices, said Dowling. Dead iPods are considered to be devices with bad batteries, cracked screens or malfunctioning hard disks.

The Journal’s Nick Wingfield reports: “Even if only a tiny percentage of iPods malfunction, the huge popularity of the devices means a significant number of users could be affected. Apple has sold nearly 70 million iPods in the five years since the product first went on sale. If just under 5% of that number failed, that could still amount to millions of affected devices. Apple declined to comment on the specific number of iPods that have failed… The iPod’s durability could become a more important issue as consumers become less dazzled by cutting-edge technology and more concerned about longevity, especially for a device that can cost hundreds of dollars”

[via Gizmodo]

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Whenever a news item on reliability comes along, why do people feel compelled to share their own personal iPod stores, good or bad?

I don’t care if 2 out of 3 of *your* iPods failed, or if you’ve had 7 without any problems whatsoever.

It’s called SAMPLE SIZE people. Your personal anecdote doesn’t prove a damn thing.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on December 9, 2006 at 6:21 PM (CST)


Whenever a news item on reliability comes along, why do people feel compelled to share their own personal iPod stores, good or bad?

Just a guess…because ilounge allows people to?

Frankly, I doubt Apple’s iPod defect/failure rate is any worse (or better, for that matter) than any other MP3 make that’s on the market. Hard drives die. Batteries go T.U. That’s the way it is. That said, none of my old Zens or iRivers ever burned through their batteries like my 3G and 4G did.

(Oh yeah…there was that class action suit on the 3G that Apple settled on and then took forever before the online store credit voucher finally showed up…)

Certainly, when you’re Numero Uno (and by a wide margin) it makes for more interesting press. And by being Top Bana…er, I mean, Apple…you’re far too easy a target to pick on and to leave be.

Posted by flatline response on December 9, 2006 at 7:03 PM (CST)


why do people feel compelled to share their own personal iPod stores, good or bad?

Just a guess…because ilounge allows people to?

Good point. My intent was to focus on the commenters that were doubting the statistics based on their own personal experience. I should have phrased my original comment more clearly.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on December 9, 2006 at 7:16 PM (CST)


listen, hard drives fail…its a fact of cant do anything about it…i know personally, if i still own the same iPod (i have a 5th gen) in 5 years…i’d be VERY surprised…I’m a marketing exec’s wet dream and will buy whatever they come out with…since apple releases a new one every year, i’ll prob have a new ipod every year and sell my old one.  The heck with longevity, just give me something that gets me to the next gen!

Posted by Tom on December 9, 2006 at 10:08 PM (CST)


5% is a lie. i’ve had my ipod replace 7 times! Apple don’t even know how to fix it! they just replace it without telling me its problem.

but if people really wanna know, the bes way to fix the iPod with the sad face icon is very simple. i found this out when i did a product analysis on my ipod. All you have to do is open it up, pull the ahrd drive out and plug it back in. simple as that. it starts running again for a bit after that

Posted by will ho on December 10, 2006 at 8:16 AM (CST)


Judging by the responses since my last post in this thread, I think I’m gonna stick with my ‘mistreated iPods’ theory.

Posted by multimoog on December 10, 2006 at 7:55 PM (CST)


To Commenter #7, thank you very much. I have a bricked 4g with the clicking sound you described. Just now dropped it on the ground and now it’s working for the first time in 6 months.

Posted by Whitney on December 11, 2006 at 11:18 AM (CST)


That 5% figure is meaningless without a context.  Is it 5% of iPods are faulty out of the box?  5% fail while under warranty?  5% of all iPods ever made have failed?  Figures like that are utterly meaningless. 

My 3G iPod was dying a slow death by 18 months old.  The battery capacity had dropped quite significantly and the hard drive was developing errors that caused the iPod to fail to synch unless several attempts were made (though there was no evidence of music that was already loaded suffering playback glitches).  My 4G colour is probably getting to around the same age but is in much better shape.

Posted by phennphawcks on December 11, 2006 at 2:09 PM (CST)


The timing of this is odd, my third gen iPod gave up the ghost about a week back.  It’s lasted me 3 and a bit years and I changed the battery about halfway through that, but finally it was the dock connector that gave out, and now it won’t charge anymore.

It sounds that, comparatively speaking, I got it good, but tbh I’m a bit pissed, if I knew it would last that long I would’ve bought a CD player instead.

Posted by _Ethan on December 11, 2006 at 6:20 PM (CST)


I have had a lot of problems witht the 40gb 4th gen. It was replaced 3 times until they wouldn’t replace it anymore. I sold it to a friend where it worked for 3 weeks, and i found out it would cost 400$ to fix! I started dropping it on the floor trying to fix it, it started acting a bit better, until I hit it on my hand sideways, like on the edge. It worked! Some other guy bought it, so i’m finally rid of it. I did buy a new 80gb when it came out hoping I would have better luck with it. So far no problems.

Posted by Mel8 on December 12, 2006 at 8:33 AM (CST)


20gb 4th gen monochrome here, just under 2 years old. Still works like it did on day 1, including battery life. Wish me luck….

Posted by Laer on December 12, 2006 at 12:38 PM (CST)


I have had my 3rd gen since January 2004, and it’s still running..though every once in awhile, it seems tha batterylife lasts less than 8 hours. It seems that overly long selections (such as the podcasts I have) drain more life from the battery during play.

I’m still holding out for next year’s releases.  Rumors about a larger screen on the ipod video have me holding my breath.  I’m just surprised how long my ipod’s held out, but the only major instance of dropping came when it fell on the El train’s interior, but my contourdesign case seems to be the best one to own (too bad the white on the case picks up every speck of dirt).

Posted by Mike on December 17, 2006 at 12:00 PM (CST)


My 40G video ipod died after just 7 months. Any thoughts?

Posted by greg kramer on July 23, 2007 at 9:04 PM (CDT)

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