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My $300 mistake or... how much I hate iPod nanos.


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Like any good consumer-whore, I went out and purchased the first generation iPod nano back in November 2005. A few days later, I noticed the scratches on the nano. The only place that would produce those scratches would be my right pocket. The only other thing I put in my right pocket is my Sony-Ericsson T616 phone and nothing else (no keys, no coins.) At any rate, the iPod is scratched up pretty bad for the first couple of days. Then I noticed a class action lawsuit against Apple for the scratch case. I thought it was silly to sue them, even though I felt the same pain as they have with their iPod nanos. Months went by and I noticed my nano losing its charge up to the point where it could only play 3-4 songs before it completely die out. Yes, I kept it charged and used it regularly. And yes, I upgraded the software via iTunes to the latest version everytime a new one comes out. And yes, I "rebooted" the iPod as directed by their website many times.

Last week, I decided to buy a replacement battery for my nano as a last resort. As I waited for the shipment of my battery, I was curious about how I would replace the old battery with a new one. I've seen Kevin Rose open up the nano before and I decided to watch it again. As demonstrated, it took some force and patience to open it up without damaging anything. I don't have a putty knife, so I used a flathead glasses-repair screwdriver to pry it open. My nano opened just fine and I noticed that the connections to the battery were soldered. I closed the case and turned on the nano. It works just fine... for 3 seconds. It was showing the low battery message and it shutdown like has been doing before.

The next day, the battery arrived in my mailbox and as advertised on their site, it comes with everything to replace the battery: A new battery and some cheap plastic nano case openers. The plastic case openers were of no use as the plastic material was no match for the metallic casing. I began to remove the case with my trusty screwdriver. As I pried the case open, the nano turned on and I noticed the damage of the screen. Even though the screwdriver didn't touch the screen, there was enough force to damage it.

damage-done.jpg

Really. I expected a little more from the Apple engineers to design something that'll last. I've forgiven them for using cheap plastic to "protect" my iPods from scratches. I've forgiven them putting short-lasting battery in my iPod, but I will not forgive them for making their customers, like myself, to pry open the case with such force that it ends up breaking the display. Whatever happened to a separate compartment for storing and replacing batteries like 99.9999% electronics out there without opening the entire case? Did Apple reached the point of going retro of making customers solder components such as batteries to their products?

$200 iPod nano

$80 nano FM transmitter

$20 replacement battery that will never be used

=====

$300 disappointment

The 1-year warranty expired as the battery gave out. No, I didn't bother going or asking the Apple store to replace my battery because they may want to charge some ridiculous Apple fee to replace my battery. Whatever profit Steve Jobs made from selling his iPod to me so he could buy his turtleneck sweater for his next WWDC is his. I don't feel like giving more money to him to fix this stupid battery problem. Yes, there are kits to replace the LCD screen, but I got tired of it. I'm tired of putting too much time, money and effort to fix this stupid problem.

I decided to get rid of my iPod for good. It's not in a trash can, but in the hands of a friend who likes to tinker with these things. As I packed up the iPod with the accessories and its CD it came with, I noticed the phrase printed on my original iPod box. "Designed in California."

I don't find that as a statement of pride, rather, it's a warning label.

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It is designed to not let you change batteries, by the time you would need to swap it out you should already have bought two or three new ones. So you're not as good of a consumer-whore as you think you are.

One year seems really low though, is that normal for the 1st gen nano? A device where you aren't supposed to swap out the batteries (yeah it's possible but you are strongly encouraged not to by the design) that dies after a year wouldn't be possible to sell in Sweden since they would need to replace (or repair) every single one for free.

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Yup, believe it or not, the iPod (despite it's price tag) is totally disposable. It's not designed to be repared, it's not designed to last longer than the weakest component (often the battery) and hey, if it only lasts a year who cares about scratches when you're 11 months away from buying a new one?

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Apple makes over-priced consumer hardware, like Sony. Its good for them because there market is basically people who like shiny friendly things, and will happily continue to throw good money after bad.

to be fair, all sony products ive had have been top-notch.

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Apple makes over-priced consumer hardware, like Sony. Its good for them because there market is basically people who like shiny friendly things, and will happily continue to throw good money after bad.

to be fair, all sony products ive had have been top-notch.

Yep. Top-notch rootkits ftw

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Apple makes over-priced consumer hardware, like Sony. Its good for them because there market is basically people who like shiny friendly things, and will happily continue to throw good money after bad.

to be fair, all sony products ive had have been top-notch.

Not really, maybe back in the 80's/90's... but the stuff in the last decade has been crap. Anybody else here ever owned a sony MD player? Only to find that it will just stop working after a year?. Sony's products were high end consumer gear that was worth it, but now there just consumer crap. The high end kit is still good, but has a price tag to match. Just like Apple's entire product range, consumer crap that will break the second your apple care runs out, or its high end, high quality but for a niche market. Apple knows there computers will never have the market share of Microsoft (even if they hired an entire 3rd world country and made the things 24/7), but they can get into the digital entertainment market thanks to the consumer success of the iPod. However, if Jobs quits, gets ill again or dies Apple will collapse.

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I had a MiniDisc Player too, the software which you had to use to copy music to it was so dam awful half the time it never worked and the other half it would take an age to copy one track, It broke a few months ago and has been sitting on my desk waiting to be taken to bits and mucked around with.

But yer back on the topic every thing (well most) things are now made to be "disposable" Tv, firdges,microwaves,ipods and to a lesser extent even cars, because the price of production has fallen so much and there all mass produced.

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Trouble is that you can't really recycle mass produced stuff (yet). Your dads old stereo system is probally pretty good still, as is granddads old radio he used during the war. Not as good as todays stuff, but probally not any worse than they were new. And yet we all have piles of broken or obsolete highly propitiatory gadgets less than a decade old that no one without a Masters , a spare week and some luck cam re-purpose. Like my old Clie pda, which due to a closed platform is fully functional but impossible to upgrade. I'd like to add wifi but they locked out the functionality for the model and discontinued the addon.

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