Apple ipods built to last only 4 years?

I was given an an Apple ipod video as a gift for my last b-day (Thanks, L). With a large memory for all the video files I might store on it in addition to the music (I was recently offered to inherit a large number of business books in MP3 format — yay!!!), it was an expensive gift. As with other digital equipment that I own, I expected it to last a long time – until someone decided to replace it with a newer gizmo for me to play with. Well, Apple spokesperson recently announced (and it seems she did so by mistake and to much chagrin of Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO) that the ipod systems are built to last for 4 years. She thought she was helping Apple with that answer, but Steve doesn’t seem to think so. He is known for keeping a real tight lid on inside affairs…and if you step outside the line, the whip comes down faster than you can imagine.

Regardless, I am interested in what you think? Does your perception change about the product (and its price point in the market) given that this is the spokesperson giving this life-time and these guys are paid to paint a positive picture? Is 3-4 yrs enough to justify a $300-$400 expense when you could buy a non-Apple MP3 player with same memory for 20% of the cost? I remember vividly the controversy regarding Ipod nanos, where the screens were getting scratched within a few months of use! Apple is sure making a killing in this market – no wonder Microsoft says it is coming up with an ipod-killer.

 

Source: Apple Insider Thursday, July 27, 2006

Apple: iPods built to last 4 years

By Katie Marsal

Apple Computer says its iPod digital music players are built to last four years and have a failure rate that is lower than other consumer electronics devices.

 

Although there have been several accounts in which the iconic music players have been called faulty devices, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris recently told the Chicago Tribune that iPods have a failure rate of less than 5 percent, which she said is “fairly low” compared with other consumer electronics.

“The vast majority of our customers are extremely happy with their iPods,”Kerris said, adding that Apple builds the players to last four years.

However, a survey conducted by Macintouch last year found that out of nearly 9,000 iPods owned by more than 4,000 respondents, more than 1,400 of the players had failed. The survey concluded that the failure rate was 13.7 percent, stemming from an equal mix of hard drive and battery related issues.

Apple’s fairly recent decision to embrace solid-state NAND flash memory at the core of its most popular iPod models, rather than hard disk drives, is likely to improve failure rates. Flash memory lacks the moveable parts contained inside hard disks, making the storage medium significantly more durable.

According to the Macintouch survey, flash-based iPod shuffles and iPod nanos indeed sport a much lower failure rate than their hard disk drive-based counterparts.

Apple’s iPod turns five years old this October.

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2 Responses to Apple ipods built to last only 4 years?

  1. I have an iPod, but I am not an “Apple-lover” by any means. That being said, however, I feel that four years is a pretty reasonable life-span for the devices. I mean, do we know how long music players from other companies are built to last? I’d say it’s probably in the same ballpark as the iPods. Personally, I’d want to upgrade at least every four years or so anyway.

  2. Rachael says:

    Confirmed. 4 Years ago bought it. Just crashed with all my reunion pictures on it. Real nice. I thought Apple was quality, but 4 years and we’re done. Are you kidding me?

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