Apple: iPods designed to last four years [updated] | iLounge News


Apple: iPods designed to last four years [updated]

In a Chicago Tribune article on faulty iPods, an Apple spokeswoman said that failure rates for the device are low, and that an iPod is designed to last four years. Apple’s Natalie Kerris said iPods have a failure rate of less than 5%, which she said is “fairly low” compared with other electronics. “The vast majority of our customers are extremely happy with their iPods,” she said. Rob Enderle, analyst at the Enderle Group, estimates that 15% of iPods will fail within one year of purchase. He said that’s comparable to other gadgets, such as cell phones. The Tribune article also cites a 2005 survey by MacInTouch, which includes reports from more than 4,000 respondents. The survey found that of the 9,000 iPods owned by the respondents, more than 1,400 of the Apple devices had failed. The survey reported a total failure rate of 13.7%, about half battery related and half hard drive related.

Update: Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris has confirmed to iLounge that she was misquoted in the above-linked Chicago Tribune article. She said she told the reporter that the iPod was designed to last “for years”—not “four years.”

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I have a 4th gen 20g.  it started freezing at 13month mark.  by month 15, the frowny i-pod.  Apple pretty much gave me the finger and said to buy a new one.  After some research I fonund out that you can open the case, and disconnect and reconnect the hard drive and it works!  I’ve been using it for 4 months now, no problems.

1st gen. mini.  On the 3rd one.

2g nano——lovin it!

Posted by firedancer on July 26, 2006 at 3:51 PM (CDT)


The only iPod I’ve ever had fail within the warranty period was a refurbished iPod mini.  When I took it in to the Apple Store they replaced it with no questions asked, so I certainly can’t complain.

Posted by RC on July 26, 2006 at 3:58 PM (CDT)


I’ve bought (and given away) a 3G iPod, 5G iPod, iPod shuffle, 2xiPod minis and iPod nano over the years. None have ever given me any problems, and all are still functioning (albeit the oldest iPod has a very short battery life). The mini’s in particular have been through heavy usage and rough and tumble in the gymn, and never given me any problems at all.

Posted by Orangestick on July 26, 2006 at 4:12 PM (CDT)


Well, I still have a 2G iPod I received in Dec. of ‘02…still gets >9 hrs of battery life and rarely has any freezes or anything.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t blow up or something in five months…

Posted by Whyren in Midwest on July 26, 2006 at 4:35 PM (CDT)


i second ahMEmon… like i said, my 1G 5GB iPod is still the only one i have and use.  but i also think it’s the best design by far.  curved edge on back and sharp on front, thin “coat” of transparent plastic makes the white stuff look like it’s floating from the edge a bit, and need i forget the best button set-up ever no question.  the new video iPod is a close second (but only b/c it sorta looks like the first)...


Posted by matthew brogan on July 26, 2006 at 4:50 PM (CDT)


From my first generation iPod to my fifth, all of my iPods are still rocking.  The only reason I have upgraded several times is for new features.  That is where Apple knows how to make money.  Apple doesn’t have to make products that fail to get people to buy new iPods.  Apple could make an iPod that is indestructible and people would still buy a new one a year later.  All Apple has to do is bring out new iPods with newer features and most people are hooked.  I’m all for it!  More cool Apple stuff all the time.

Posted by Mike Watt on July 26, 2006 at 5:30 PM (CDT)


Heck if the main two problems are HDs and batteries then it’s not *entirely* Apple’s fault. Sounds like the rest of the iPod is pretty damned reliable!

Heaven forbid a piece of electronics should fail. If a bunch of PSPs die then nobody hears about it - it’s taken for granted and most people are reasonable. But if one iPod dies then lock up your daughters folks ‘cos one way or another the world’s going to hear about it. And loudly.

Posted by Pikemann_Urge on July 26, 2006 at 7:34 PM (CDT)


I always take good care of anything I own that is electronic, fragile and expensive. So I probably wont have much of a problem with my ipod failing in the next year or so.

Care is the key. And backup discs of music is ALWAYS MANDATORY.

Posted by Jonathan on July 26, 2006 at 7:56 PM (CDT)


Pikemann_Urge: it comes with the territory, especially when that territory is counted in the tens of millions.

Personally, the worst iPod for me was the 40GB 3G; took three to get a unit that had reasonable battery life, but the last one was a Apple plain box replacement special with one REAL weak backlight that the Apple Store refused to replace any further. Since I didn’t use the backlight most of the time anyways, I ate it. Even then, it took less than a year to toast that battery to the point that I couldn’t take the 3G anywhere without having the battery drain to next to nothing before I got home. 350 to 500 charges on one battery…Really? I didn’t come close to seeing that.

Posted by flatline response on July 26, 2006 at 8:20 PM (CDT)


There are tens of millions out there.

If we’re talking about 15% failure, then we’ll have 10 million soon, if we haven’t reached that number already.

If that was the case, it would be very expensive, assuming a lot of those failures have to be repaired or replaced under warranty.

Posted by wco81 in West Coast on July 26, 2006 at 8:58 PM (CDT)


As someone said a long time ago: the iPod is perfect, except that it should run off of 9Volt(s) or AAs. It would make it slightly bulkier, but so what. You could always use rechargeables or not.

Posted by Charles O. on July 26, 2006 at 9:39 PM (CDT)


My 4G 20GB iPod is on it’s 3rd year and it’s great. I’m getting around 8hrs batt life, and I’m happy with that. It’s been stolen once, but I don’t think that counts as breaking :p. My 30GB 5G is fine so far…but it’s still a baby, so I can’t say anything yet…

Posted by edeab220 in South NJ on July 26, 2006 at 10:31 PM (CDT)


In the past two years I’ve gone through two Rio Carbons, two Zen Micros, and two iPod minis (thank God for Best Buy’s PRP). I also bought a Rio Karma in August ‘04. Within a year the scroll wheel had broken and battery life was half of the advertised spec.

Posted by karmafan on July 27, 2006 at 12:21 AM (CDT)


Four Years? Read the article, the guy doesn’t directly quote when Apple says that. It could have easily been “The iPod lasts for years” and the writer (looking for a scoop) heard “The iPod lasts four years”

Grow up people, don’t buy the spin. Nothing is meant to last forever, nor is anything prebuilt to self destruct at a designated time.

Posted by Someguy on July 27, 2006 at 2:31 AM (CDT)



I’m on my 3rd Ipod in just under 18Months, G5 lasted 3 months and just been replaced under warranty. My PA’s ipod has just gone, bass player in our band has just had his Nano freeze, close friends battery has died after 12months so yeah only 5% failure rate…!! Maybe all the 5% of folks I know personally ;-)

Posted by DXBJohn on July 27, 2006 at 3:54 AM (CDT)


i believe there’s a typo here. it’s supposed to be “iPods designed to last FOR years.”

a sentence for the 4 years thing should be:
“iPods designed to last for FOUR years.”

do you mean apple put timebombs in every ipod to destroy every one exactly after “four years”

Posted by mozart on July 27, 2006 at 4:53 AM (CDT)


if the ipods were designed to “fail” after “four years” then the failing percentage wouldn’t be 5% but be 100%!

think people, think

Posted by mozart on July 27, 2006 at 4:57 AM (CDT)


The way people treat devices such as the iPod (or a Sony Walkman, cell phone… etc.) is directly proportional to how long it remains the “apple” of your eye-if it doesn’t have an internal defect. I have seen people drop kick their iPod and then complain that it no longer works. Well, duh… Students at my high school treat their iPods with an almost cavalier disregard for its well-being. The “bang the TV when its on the fritz” is still alive with the Neanderthals running around today. (No slight intended on the Neanderthals).  My 2 gen. 10G iPod (Nov. 2002) is on its third battery, two I put in myself, and is working just fine. My daughter’s 4G green mini is still going strong (but will soon need a new battery. She drains the sucker (as a teenager with a still undeveloped prefrontal cortex is wont to do) with no regard to that little lock switch on top. So we’re quite contented.

Posted by Steve Weinstock on July 27, 2006 at 8:59 AM (CDT)


That’s total bull. I’ve gone through 3 ipods since Christmas 2004, and the first one lasted barely a month. The failure rate is much higher, and all of my friends have had ipods that lasted under 2 years, and usually less than a year. One of my friends had to replace two ipods in one month! Even the guy at Best Buy who recommended I get one said he had 2 in 8 months.

Posted by hendrixfan42 on July 27, 2006 at 9:40 AM (CDT)


iPod are build to last. I used my iPod 1G roughly 3000 hours before the battery died which represents 2 hours per day, every day, during 4 years. Now the battery don’t last more than 10 minutes, but it still work perfectly fine when using the wall charger.

My iPod 5G is top shape :)

Posted by p5yk0 on July 27, 2006 at 9:59 AM (CDT)

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