iPods have 4-year life, says Apple

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2005
    4 year life! :eek: Are they serious? All the iPods I've had die a month or two outside warranty.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    I dropped my 20GB iPod 2G and now every time the hard drive spins up, it makes a high-pitched squeal. The battery is original and I get about 7-8 hours out of it. Onto 3 years it's working well, but once either of those components go, I'll probably just trash it.
  4. hob
    macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2003
    London, UK

    my 3G iPod was given to me in December 2003.

    Now in mid-2006 the battery is totally extinct.

    Still works, to some extent - but not as an iPod!! Only as a music carrying device for my powerbook!

    Think I might have to fork out for an ebay DIY battery thing....
  5. Lau

    Nonsense. I don't know anyone whose iPod has lasted that long, and I know people who have babied theirs by keeping the plastic on all the way through to one guy whose iPod looked as if it had taken a bullet for him, and then he'd sandpapered it. Everyone's has at least had a battery or a hard drive die on them.
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Do they say Earth years? No.

    They're obviously referring to 4 of the planet Mercury's years.
  7. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    4 years is an average, not a claim that covers every single iPod. And of course, in forums, the people with the dead iPods are the ones who will post--just human nature. Also, the lifetime of a product doesn't necessarily mean the lifetime of a battery: you can put in a new battery, even if not always easy. The need for a new battery isn't the same as a dead iPod that must be chucked. I don't know which Apple means, but I'm guessing they're talking about 4 years average before total failure, not before battery gets weak.

    So to be completely inhuman, I will say that my first-version 3rd-gen iPod Photo still works perfectly, and still keeps a good battery charge :) I won't be shocked if it still runs in another 2 years, but I won't expect much battery life at that time.

    I think if people knew the failure rates of just about any product they'd be horrified. Electronics especially.
  8. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    But if that's so, then there must be those who are getting 6 years or more use from their iPods which I find a little hard to accept.

    I think it's just some idealised figure plucked from some kind of mechanical stress-testing routine, similar to how lightbulbs are said to last x thousand hours or so.

    ...besides, when did the 3rd-gen iPod become an iPod Photo? :confused:
  9. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Q Division, Los Angeles
    Regardless of the number, I think it's only proper for Apple to say (admit?) that iPods have a limited lifespan. It's true of practically all electronics, but it's mostly left unspoken by manufacturers and retailers.

    For example, when you buy a really cheap printer, they never say "this might last a year or 2 if you take care of it." Instead, they pretend it will last forever -- except when they try to sell you the extended warranty!

    When we shop, we should really know the estimated or average expected lifetime of a product, and in fact it's one of the most important attributes we ought to consider... if only we had a way to know what that number is. It doesn't have to be exact. I think it's a law that appliances in the U.S. must include an estimate of energy costs. If only we had the same type of information for product longevity.

    Once, a few years back, when I was shopping for a CRT monitor, I found tons of reviews of the models I was considering, but not a single one mentioned how long the tube or display quality might last. When I mentioned this to a friend who is an Apple tech, he told me that one of the models was great looking, but only for about a year, while another model, a bit more expensive to buy, would last me much longer. I bought the longer-lasting one, which cost more but saved me money.

    When people compare the sales price of two competing MP3 players, they should be comparing the price per year over its expected lifetime. Otherwise, it's like comparing the prices on two boxes of cornflakes in the supermarket without noticing how many ounces they are.
  10. macrumors member

    May 14, 2006
    my 4th generation lasted a year before the battery blew
  11. Guest


    Apr 26, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a 1st Generation iPod. I use it nearly every day. It's still going very strong. Just take good care of it and you can easily get 4 years out of it.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2003
    Nelson, Wales
    Well you know someone now! I have a 1st gen that still works absolutely fine. I bought it when it was first announced way bac, and its a 10gig model. Its scratched up badly, and the scroll wheel will just spin around because the tension has gone form it, but apart from that it works fine. You still get a few hours of listening time out of it between charges too.

    Sure lots of people have had bad experiences, and I'm not going to deny they arent legitimate concerns, but from my own expeirence I can say that I've never had an issue with an Ipod. I've owned three and all worked fine.

  13. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I wonder if this is a case where soemone is confusing MTBF or MTTF and usable life.

    It's not uncommon (for a generally reliable product) for the MTBF to exceed the usable life time for the product. This just means that most of the population of devices will work well until they fail hard. Best represented by the infamous bathtub curve. The end of life failures are not generally counted in MTBF/MTTF calculations.

  14. macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    I'm september I will have had my 5gb 1st gen for 4 years got it back in 2002. Still workin strong yet some skips...
  15. macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
  16. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Dang that is odd. I know people still using their 2nd gen.
  17. macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    Steve's RDF years I think.;)
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2003
    Nelson, Wales
    is it me or are most people talking about failures and issues with 3rd gen ipods? Could it be the 3rd gen model wasnt as reliable as earlier models?
  19. macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2005
    There is a girl who rides my subway line everday here in NYC that I see every morning on the way in to work and she had an original first generation firewire iPod...still going strong.....
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2005
    Eagle Mountain, UT
    Why are people surprised? Most personal electronics are built to last for a certain amount of time. Obviously they don't all last that time and can last forever but they don't want them to last forever. This has been going on since personal electronics started showing up.
  21. macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2002
    Central Texas
    Same here, the battery has been replaced with one that lasts 20 hours. It is not used every week and it is still going strong.
  22. macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2005
    Austin, TX
    My 2G iPod is still going strong. I've had it now for four years. The battery gives me about 4 hours of play.
  23. macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    hate to echo the young'ns, but my 3G from Sep 03 still give me 6 hours when i take it out and about. since i got my 5G, it doesn't get out much, but still....
  24. macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    That funny because i have a 1st Gen that works fine(it got a new battery but the old one worked for about 6hrs, the new one says 21 max but i never test it
  25. macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2003
    I've been using my 3rd generation iPod every day in the past two years (26 months to be exact), and it still works great. Battery life is not as good as it used to be when I bought it, though it still hold enough charge for most bus rides I do. Though this is expected, batteries have a limited number of charge cycles… the good thing is that replacement batteries are cheap now.

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