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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my 4gig nano lasted about half a year when the clickwheel on it had a lose contact issue. sometimes it would change volume on its own or did not react to me touching it. i sent it in, got a new one. lets see how long this one lasts….. and oh yea, i treat all my stuff with extreme care.

Posted by v1q on July 27, 2006 at 10:45 AM (CDT)


What is more worrying here is the larger implication for the environment, and the amount of high-tech waste being generated from discarded iPods and similar devices.  4 years is nothing on a global timescale, and apple really needs to start using recycled materials and make iPods easier to dismantle and recycle.  A lot of manufacturers’ recycling programs in the UK consist of shipping old cell phones off to a toxic waste dump in china or india - hardly addressing the problem.  No idea if apple does the same, but having seen how complex an iPod is inside, I can’t imagine them salvaging more than 50% of the content for re-use.

Posted by Paul on July 27, 2006 at 11:07 AM (CDT)


3rd gen 15 gb ipod died after 8 months.  Apple replaced it no questions asked.

60gb iPod photo died after 8 months.  Apple replaced it with no questions asked.

I’ve been very lucky that they die under warranty.  Now I’m on my iPod 5g and thinking I need to go ahead and get the extended warranty because of my luck with iPods.

Posted by alexarch in Dallas, TX on July 27, 2006 at 12:06 PM (CDT)


I treat my 3G 10 gig iPod like a princess.  Besides the 3.5 hr battery life it often just turns off on me. It doesn’t seem to have much time left. I WISH my Sony Discman from 1992 or my JVC console CD player from 1991 would die.

Posted by superape on July 27, 2006 at 12:15 PM (CDT)


This is my third iPod nano repair since I bought it 10 months ago.

Posted by Wolfgang on July 27, 2006 at 12:50 PM (CDT)


My 1st iPod was a 3rd Gen 20 gigger.  Screen died within first 6 months.  The replacement lasted for another year and a half, after which the battery life started to dwindle.  A former coworker of mine used to have a 1st Gen iPod for half a year until the scrollwheel simply fell off one fine day.

To be perfectly honest, these failures are not limited to iPods.  A friend of mine is on his 2nd ZV:M replacement (hard drive issues) that’s finally working fine.  Another one just RMA’d his 3rd Archos player.  My own ZV:M has not given me any troubles yet (knock on wood) after 8 months of daily usage.

Posted by Chahk on July 27, 2006 at 1:31 PM (CDT)


Im glad i’km not the only one with problems. I got a 4g 40 gb in 2004, it died in 8 months. HP nt me a new one, IT died in 8 months. They screwed up with the warranty deal and sent me another one for free. But that one didnt work at all. it had the same problems as the second one, the dreaded sad face. so now im on my 4th one, and by past experiences, im expecting it to die…lets say…december. Too bad i got the one ipod with the worst failure rate according to that survey. bah, what can ya do?

Posted by mel on July 27, 2006 at 3:15 PM (CDT)


Got my first iPod for Xmas 2005 and it was a 4G 20GB; completely crashed in about 2 months. Took it to the Apple Store, the Genius tried to play around with it, got nowhere with it, and handed me a brand new one. Sold that one on Craiglists right away and bought myself a 4G 40GB, as they went on clearance when the iPod Photo debuted, and haven’t had a single problem with it in the 1.5 years since.

Although this talk about the 4G 40GB being a lemon has me concerned!

Posted by drewsome218 on July 27, 2006 at 5:00 PM (CDT)


my 4g Color that i bought last july is still runnin just fine :)

Posted by Mike on July 27, 2006 at 5:14 PM (CDT)


my 4G iPod bit the dust one month out of warranty and apple pretty much told me to buy a new one
worst investment i’ve ever made

Posted by PurpleMonkey on July 28, 2006 at 12:25 AM (CDT)


My 2G iPod just died 3 years and 3 months after I bought it.  It only died because I tried to connect the firewire cable the wrong way round in my PC, and it got fried.

Posted by Steve on July 28, 2006 at 7:54 AM (CDT)


Christ. It’s ‘for’ not ‘four’.

Posted by gagravaar on July 28, 2006 at 8:01 AM (CDT)


my FIRST GEN iPod still works, albeit the battery life sucks

Posted by tunebuckle on July 28, 2006 at 2:37 PM (CDT)


I bought a photo in May 2005, hard drive died in January 2006, got it replaced with a video ipod.  That ipod died in May, hard drive again.  So I am on my third in one year.  I did buy the extended warranty from Best Buy and so no questions, but still annoying.  I do not overuse or abuse my ipod.  I am extremely careful and always have been.

Posted by Donna on July 28, 2006 at 5:58 PM (CDT)


My 3G ipod works as well as it did the day I bought it.

I beat it up, too… it’s been great for 2.5 years.

A collegue of mine had a problem with his 4G ipod… had the 2 year applecare… he brought it to an applestore… they took it, gave him brand new one and said “have a nice day”.

He was thrilled!


Posted by BigRat on July 28, 2006 at 6:59 PM (CDT)


my 4G 20gb pod which was treated like royalty and used daily started having problems 1 year after.  Battery replaced…  5 months later dead there’s 70 bucks (for the battery) I won’t see again.

Husbands same pod same usage. Dead. 1.3 yrs.  He broke down and bought a 5G 60gb. 

While I have been 2 days without my pod I can’t decide what to do.  Love ‘em but the idea of banging the crap out of them to get them running again seem so technical. 

so is this a racket?  make the software kill the hardware to get new sales? and people bad mouth Gates.

So “for years” should really state “for at least a year”.  disclaimer.. for daily users. 

my friend has had her pod gettig close to 2 years no issues but is more of a “Sunday Driver” type listener.  Sorry ‘bout the length.. just very disappointed that my baby is dead

Posted by Clicks on July 28, 2006 at 9:19 PM (CDT)


I have an Ipod shuffle (512 MB).  You cannot kill that thing, it’s a freakin’ zombie!

And it’s very easy hack so I don’t have to submit to Itunes.

Posted by Numerocity on July 29, 2006 at 3:21 AM (CDT)


I belive it… i bought a 4G Color iPod weeks after it came out.  At first it was awsome but the battery held like a 4 hour change when it was supposed to hold 12, so i got a replacement.  Same thing with the next iPod.  So im finally on my 3rd iPod and the harddrive is all screwed up.  The iPod started to play random songs and opened my pictures and stuff at random times.  So i sent it in.  Got my 4th iPod… i was so dissappointed with Apple that i sold my iPod to some dealer for 100 bucks cuz I was pretty set that something was terribly wrong with that specific model.  Bout a month later the 5G came about.  So i still dont have an iPod, but im sure ill go back to it because they are unbeatable (even tho they last 4 years)  there still great…. i guess?

Posted by redapple2112 on August 14, 2006 at 7:38 PM (CDT)


don’t get jealous, haha. Man I’d had my 8 gig first gen iPod touch for less than a week when a 16 gig second gen came out for the same price, plus a built in speaker and better battery life. So I went to… “trade out” for a 16 gig. Come to find out that is a very popular model. Soooooo, I broke down and got the 32 gigabyte version and couldn’t have been happier with either.

Posted by nathanid95 on September 28, 2008 at 8:02 AM (CDT)


Well, mine’s going on 6 years, if you can believe it.  I used to be embarrassed about it, but now kind of feel it’s a classic.  Won’t replace it until it finally goes bunk.

(hurry up and go bunk already!!!!)

Posted by daniel on February 1, 2009 at 1:31 AM (CST)

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