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Apple: iPods built to last 4 years

updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed July 26, 2006

iPod failure rates

The internet community has continued to question durability of Apple's iPod line, leaving some consumers to question whether the popular portable media players are built well enough to withstand the normal everyday wear and tear. Apple has acknowledged some issues in the recent past, offering battery replacements to some and free Nano replacements to those customers who purchased the tiny players with easily-cracked or scratched LCDs. Other problems remain, however, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune, and its virtually impossible to determine how widespread the problems actually are, as Apple is the only reliable source for data; however, Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris says that iPods have a failure rate of less than 5 percent, which is "fairly low" compared to other consumer electronics. "The vast majority of our customers are extremely happy with their iPods," Kerris said, noting that iPods are designed to last four years.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst for Enderle Group in San Jose estimates that 15 percent of iPods will fail within one year. The analyst noted that a 15 percent failure rate is roughly comparable to other small electronic devices.

One online survey suggests that Apple's iPod failure rate is around 14 percent--half of which were battery related and half of which were related to the hard drive found in Apple's larger-size iPods. Some industry watchers, however, believe that sheer numbers--which are quite large as Apple has sold over 40 million units total--are responsible for most reported iPod troubles.

"Any time you have that many of anything," some will fail to function properly, according to Bob O'Donnell, vice president at IDC.

by MacNN Staff




  1. bigpoppa206

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Rob Enderle...

    is an idiot who is on the MS take and thinks Windows is the best thing since sliced bread. Why should we listen to him?

  1. chulitomio

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...everyone scream lawsuit they should last forever for how much I paid I can't believe this apple is scamming us.

    go ahead. you know you want to.

  1. topless

    Joined: Dec 1969


    2nd gen (2002)

    Mine is rocking long...only replaced the battery once.

    Hmm, but it's just now 4 years old! Will it mysteriously die in the next few weeks?

  1. kikkoman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Last "four" years or "for" years?

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Probably battery...

    I would assume that means the battery. I would hope the electronics are designed to last longer than that. I have a 20 year old cassette walkman that still works just fine, and it has more moving parts. Other than the battery, I would expect iPods to last several years too.

  1. jasong

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Original iPod

    I sold my original iPod to a friend, and it still runs great. Battery life isn't what it used to be, but I have a brain and expected that.

  1. howdesign

    Joined: Dec 1969


    new battery

    Just picked up a new battery a couple weeks back from OWC for my 3G and it installed very easily with the video instructions they supply. I use it every day for at least two to four hours. Although I'll probably get a new one when they are introduced, this puppy should keep going and going and...

  1. Albert

    Joined: Dec 1969


    jumping on the band wagon

    yup its true.

    what ever it is.

    I've had my iPod now for a year and a half and it still works.

    I'll get a new one when this ones' full, in a few months, way before it reaches 4 years...

  1. Nostromo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    gotta be a misquote

    > Last "four" years or "for" years?

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, once the correction gets posted, it'll be too late -- the Mac-haters will have carved this into stone as a hard fact.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Kikkoman is correct

    kikkoman has it right. The "four" clearly should be a "for." Apple would never assign a number of years for how long the iPod was designed to last. That would be a law suit nightmare. Any iPod that failed in a shorter time would be deemed a defective product.

    The so called reporters that did not catch this should be ashamed of themselves.

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