Reports of the success of the iPod – the two-millionth of which was sold in December – have been marred by rumours that the iPod battery has a life expectancy of just 18 months. Now UK iPod owners can breath a sigh of relief – Apple has made the iPod AppleCare Protection Plan available in the UK.

The plan has been available in the US since November, allowing US owners of iPods to extend their 90 days of complimentary support and one-year warranty on their iPod to up to two years of support and service – including replacing the battery for free if required.

According to reports, some iPod owners had claimed that their iPod battery died just after their one year warranty ran out – and that when they called Apple to get a replacement battery they were told it would cost nearly as much as a new iPod.

However, Apple has since introduced an iPod Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Program in the US in November – telling iPod owners: "Send in any model of iPod and Apple will replace the battery for $99". This scheme is also due to launch in the UK soon, according to Apple Europe PR manager Alan Hely.

For more information about the issues with the iPod battery visit