What is the Lifespan of an iPod?

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Date: Tuesday, February 7th, 2006, 19:00
Category: iPod

A New York Times article (“Good Luck With That Broken iPod“) by Joe Nocera bemoans the fact that iPods (shock!) eventually die:

By refusing to deal with broken iPods, why is Apple so willing to tick off people who spend thousands of dollars on their products?
It happened right after Christmas – a Christmas, I hasten to add, in which I gave my wife the new video iPod, making it the latest of the half-dozen iPods my family has bought since Apple began selling them in October 2001. We also own five Apple computers, and have become pathetically loyal because of our reliance on the iPod. To the extent that Apple is using the iPod to drive sales of other Apple products, the Nocera family is proof that the strategy works; we’ve probably spent more than $10,000 on Apple hardware since the iPod first came out. Alas, at least three of the iPods were replacements for ones that broke.

(Editor’s Note: the NY Times now charges for articles in their archive, so it’ll cost you US$4 to read the article or US$8 per month to subscribe – a real shame.)
PowerPage reader hjcho writes with some analysis of the NYT piece:
I found this particularly amusing, since the average cell phone user gets a new one every 18 months (and how much does a new RAZR or Treo cost, not counting the service?), the “fragile” disk drives Enderle speaks so knowingly about are installed in about a zillion laptops, and by his logic, any electronics company that sells fewer media players than Apple will have even less incentive to provide customer service.
The funny thing is, I have a four year old 2G iPod that’s still going strong. I did have to replace the plug after three years, but it has lasted longer than any cell phone or PDA I’ve had so far. No doubt there have been problems, but for every ‘horror story,” there are probably at least ten satisfied customers, if not more. The numbers are hard to argue with, and there must be thousands of repeat buyers, including the guy who wrote the column!


A New York Times article (“Good Luck With That Broken iPod“) by Joe Nocera bemoans the fact that iPods (shock!) eventually die:

By refusing to deal with broken iPods, why is Apple so willing to tick off people who spend thousands of dollars on their products?
It happened right after Christmas – a Christmas, I hasten to add, in which I gave my wife the new video iPod, making it the latest of the half-dozen iPods my family has bought since Apple began selling them in October 2001. We also own five Apple computers, and have become pathetically loyal because of our reliance on the iPod. To the extent that Apple is using the iPod to drive sales of other Apple products, the Nocera family is proof that the strategy works; we’ve probably spent more than $10,000 on Apple hardware since the iPod first came out. Alas, at least three of the iPods were replacements for ones that broke.

(Editor’s Note: the NY Times now charges for articles in their archive, so it’ll cost you US$4 to read the article or US$8 per month to subscribe – a real shame.)
PowerPage reader hjcho writes with some analysis of the NYT piece:
I found this particularly amusing, since the average cell phone user gets a new one every 18 months (and how much does a new RAZR or Treo cost, not counting the service?), the “fragile” disk drives Enderle speaks so knowingly about are installed in about a zillion laptops, and by his logic, any electronics company that sells fewer media players than Apple will have even less incentive to provide customer service.
The funny thing is, I have a four year old 2G iPod that’s still going strong. I did have to replace the plug after three years, but it has lasted longer than any cell phone or PDA I’ve had so far. No doubt there have been problems, but for every ‘horror story,” there are probably at least ten satisfied customers, if not more. The numbers are hard to argue with, and there must be thousands of repeat buyers, including the guy who wrote the column!

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