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.”