Bitter Former Customer

November 11th, 2003 · 74 Comments


iPods irreplaceable battery lasts only 18 months

On the corner of 6th Avenue and Broome Street in SoHo there is a car wash that is closed, it’s under renovation. Towering above the car wash is an enormous ad for Apple’s iPod. Around the car wash is a make-shift plywood wall that, from beginning to end, is plastered with the same ads. With graffiti stenciled on the ads, a bitter former customer gets his revenge.

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74 Comments so far ↓

  • rachelle

    sorry. when i listed to the clip this morning i turned the volume down really low because my roommate was sleeping and i didnt hear the part about the apple working telling this guy that his only option was to refurbish for $255 and recommending that he just buy a new ipod.

  • CJ

    Looks like they got the attention they wanted - Cnet news

  • Dave

    Want the truth?

    Apple offers an official iPod battery replacement for $99:

    And, third party companies offer battery replacements for as little as $49:

    No battery lasts forever, but there are thousands of people with 1st generation iPods well over 18 months old (myself and my girlfriend included) that work perfectly fine and have minimal degradation in battery life.

    You may also be interested to know that I offered to mirror their video after their original webhost apparently pulled out, with one condition: that they link to, or otherwise inform users about, Apple’s official $99 iPod battery replacement, since the video, as it stands, is incorrect: the iPod’s battery is replaceable, and, on top of it, there’s an official Apple program for $99.

    They agreed to provide this information, and said they had no problem telling users how to solve the problem. I, in turn, provided webspace and bandwidth for them. The bottom line: after two days of lies and false starts, and milking my institution’s generosity by providing almost 100,000 downloads and 0.7 terabytes of data transfer, they NEVER posted any information about how to solve the problem that they promised to post. Their agenda seems clear, and that’s sensationalism, melodrama, and attention. The full email exchange is here:

  • matt

    Darn it, again. This time, Dave beat me to posting this info. Oh well, next time… again.

  • matt

    Oh, and I guess it makes sense that Dave would be quick with the info since that’s HIS story! Interesting read. I wonder what those punks (I used to think they were heroes) are trying to get out of their exposure (and wonderful documentation of their vandalizing property)!?

  • rachelleb

    thanks for sharing that information, dave. very interesting. .

  • joe

    If I had a $1,000,000
    I’d buy you a K-Car
    A nice Reliant automobile

  • o'malley

    But not a real K-Car – that’s cruel.

  • rachelle

    The Neistat Brothers who made the video now have a message on their site that says, in part:

    “After we finished production of the film, but not necessarily in response to it, Apple began offerring a battery replacement program for the ipod for a fee of $99 and an extended warranty for the ipod for $59. We think Apple’s new policy is fair. Our movie is a documentation of our experience.”

    So at least they’re admitting that Apple has done something and that the battery is not irreplaceable. Still their message is one click in and not posted on the same page that the video is downloaded from.

    Also, /. has a huge discussion going that i’ve been getting a bunch of hits from.

  • Walt

    This thread will never die! (John Gruber weighs in.)

  • Charles

    BTW, you should read Neistat’s own writings, he knows the battery is replaceable because he BOUGHT a new battery and replaced it himself. But he ruined his iPod in the process. So now he’s pissed at Apple because he screwed up his own iPod due to his own sloppy work. He should be pissed at himself. And the funny part is he bought a new iPod despite his hate for the product.

  • Beeb

    The iPod battery is lithium-ion. The Neistats claim of “18 months” is on the low end. Any of your lithium-ion batteries could die in 18 to 36 months.


    “Aging is a concern with most lithium-ion batteries and many manufacturers remain silent about this issue. Some capacity deterioration is noticeable after one year, whether the battery is in use or not. The battery frequently fails after two or three years. It should be noted that other chemistries also have age-related degenerative effects. This is especially true for nickel-metal-hydride if exposed to high ambient temperatures.”

    It is not just Apple. Your cell phone battery will follow the same path.

  • Jerry

    Out of date and invalid. ALL. Check present Apple position. Further, that is not “art” or “graffitti, popular genres in NYC. Those are stenciled over legally paid for advertisement. What do we call it in the rest of the country? Vandalsim. It’s punisable both my monetary fine and imprisonment in virtually all states. And that’s all it is and to use ILLEGAL vandalism as graphics for a presentation of your particular rant may well also be illegal for all I go. We live in an imperfect world. Those who have had long experience with Apple, as I have, can mention any number of circumstances where problems occurred, but if widespread were inventually solved. Looked at Windows. Gates has been trying to fix it since 1987 and it still sucks and is full of security holes. You want to rant? Try text and a photo of some kind of your DOIA iPod or check back now and see what there policy is. I had a PowerBook 5300ce purchsed in 1997 for about $4200.00. Apple eventually replaced the mother board 4 times and it has an unlimited warranty period. That’s the kind of company Apple is. You buy quality and you get quality from Apple. Lemons? Sure, there will be lemons and Apple now has a policy to deal with itg.

  • AxsDeny

    To go back a little bit to the discussion about conformity and buying the non-popular brands.

    I think buying an Apple product would be about the most non-mainstream thing you could do. Since when has Apple been considered mainstream. Anytime anyone mentions Apple they are talking about how elitist and small the user base is. Doesn’t buying an iPod result in going against the (Microsoft, Dell, etc.) grain?

  • Herdy

    Happy new year

  • Bloggable

    Around the Mac Blogosphere

    Wes Meltzer joins ATPM with a new column of highlights from the Mac blogosphere because, as great as NetNewsWire is, most of us don’t have time to read all the Mac blogs!

  • Jisusu

    You must be in the same area as these guys…
    go to Movies and watch “iPod’s Dirty Secret”

  • sacha

    yes that is true i saw a movie clip of the man phoning apple and then praying all of the adds!! you have to pay a large sum just to buy a new battery!

  • killian

    i love that so many apple freaks get all defensive over their little cult.

    Especially the guy who was freaking out over someone defacing an apple wheat pasted ad.
    Do you think Apple paid that construction site to place their ads there- nope they are as much defacers as the guy who stenciled his message on the ad.

    Losers- apple doesnt really care about you!!!
    They make proprietary elitist expensive hardware for graphics dorks who dont really know how the computer works anyway!!!!

    Stick to makin pretty pictures in photoshop and save your wacked out rants for your thick framed glasses wearing posse at the apple store.

    Flame On!
    he he

  • Felix

    This is a great site, but parts of it can’t be seen while using Firefox.

  • Anonymous

    Ys, it is very true, my battery is shocking only lasting around 3-4 hours when it should of been lasting at least 12