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”