Apple's success in generating over 700,000 iPod sales over Christmas has begun to generate a media backlash, as reporters consider claims that iPod batteries last just 18-months – claims Apple has not confirmed.
This negative strand extends to UK radio: LBC show host and Mac fan Clive Bull spent much of his late-night Monday show discussing the merits of the iPod. The popular London based talk-show radio presenter asked for listeners' views and opinions on the increasingly popular product.
One caller, who claimed to have 10,000 songs on her iPod, discussed sharing music on a flight with a fellow traveller. Clive was "very tempted" to get his own iPod despite doubts over the battery life.
An earlier radio report – on London's XFM – discussed concerns about the product's battery life. One caller rebuffed such claims, suggesting that by the time it becomes an issue the replacement price will have dropped or Apple will have resolved the issue.
In discussion of Apple's new iPod mini, Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg told the New York Daily News that he thinks the new product should see at least a $50 proce drop in the coming year. "I think $249 is smart. You can always drop the price. It's much harder to raise it," he said. "I think we can see a $199 iPod in the coming months."
The negative publicity wave continues on the UK's Channel 4, which reports "iPod's battery life let-down". It claims: "The batteries are dying a lot faster than people thought."
Apple director of iPod marketing Stan Ng doesn't agree that the problem is as widespread as these reports make out. Speaking to Inside Digital Media analyst Phil Leigh last week he said: "iPod and iPod minis are designed for several years of use, with high-capacity lithium ion batteries Many customers have been using first-generation iPods since 2001 with no problems. We also have a battery replacement program."
Apple now offers its iPod AppleCare Protection Plan in the UK. This £59 plan allows iPod owners to extend their 90 days of complimentary product support and one-year warranty to up to two years of support and service – including replacing the battery for free if required.