A few weeks ago I mentioned my disappointment that Apple had appealed the settlement of the class action suit for iPod owners whose batteries did not live up to initial claims. While I am still disappointed with Apple for appealing the settlement I am quite happy to say the appeal has been dismissed.

When I checked the settlement administration website today I found this message:

Update December 22, 2005

On December 20, 2005, the appeal filed by individual objectors to the Settlement was dismissed and the Settlement is now Final. This means Apple and the Settlement Administrator can move forward with claims administration and claims fulfillment.

Deadlines relating to claim submissions have not changed. Class members should comply with the claim filing deadlines identified by the Settlement. For Generation 3 iPods, the claim form submission must be postmarked within two years of the original product purchase date. The deadline for submitting Generation 1 and Generation 2 iPod claims expired on 9/30/05.

While it’s still a little unclear how Apple will go about replacing the defective batteries I am glad to see we’re back on track to get this suit settled.

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I’ve been patiently awaiting some news on exactly how Apple planned to fulfill the battery claims on iPods and finally there is news… Unfortunately it is not good.

On October, 24 Apple filed an appeal to the settlement on a class action suit which would have forced Apple to replace or repair iPods which failed to meet their originally claimed battery life. While I understand this is big business and big money I am very disappointed with this move by apple.

The settlement, which may still go through, was expected to cost Apple a mere $15 million. I wonder how much Apple will spend on the appeal, and meanwhile I have a third generation iPod which is just over two years old which will not last an hour on battery.

According to the official settlement administration website the appeal could take “up to a year or more”. I was really hoping Apple would replace or repair my iPod before it became obsolete.

I would like to think Apple would learn a lesson from this, but with the iPod Nano, Shuffle, and new Video iPods having the same closed-box construction which all but demands you send the unit back to Apple for a battery replacement I’m afraid they just won’t learn.

So a 60 gig iPod goes on the Christmas list, but until Apple comes through with a slightly more user serviceable model I’ll always be just a little shy of the iPod. Apple should be able to do better.

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It looks like the class-action suit for iPod owners got final approval last week. The suit forces Apple to replace batteries in iPods which failed early in their use. For the full details on the suit check out the Apple iPod Settlement Administration website.

iPod users have until September 30, 2005 (or two years from original purchase if it is a third generation iPod) to place a claim. It is still unclear how the claims will be processed; will Apple ask folks to send in their iPods, will they send out special shipping boxes, will owners be able to take their iPods to local service people?

The claims are expected to cost Apple around $15 million, but as an owner of one of these iPods, I have to say this claim is legitimate. The battery in my iPod has been flakey since the day I bought it and in the past year has been nothing short of terrible.

Hopefully the sting of $15 million will encourage Apple to consider a user-replaceable battery in their next iPod. I can only imagine a large portion of that $15 million is the “Authorized Service” necessary to replace these.

For more on the claim check out these links:

Apple iPod Settlement Administration website
Article on settlement from appleinsider.com
Article from macsimumnews.com

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Battery ExplodingDon’t try this at home!

These guys took a lithium ion battery (you know, like we all have in our cell phones) and forced it so far into over-charge that it exploded!

Obviously any properly functioning charger on an undamaged battery would not cause this type of reaction. In fact, all lithium batteries have a charge limiter (either on the charger or battery) to protect the battery. For this demonstration the charge limiting was bypassed. Even with all the precautions they took it seems like it was a bigger explosion than expected.

This was set up with a radio controlled model airplane battery. Check out the video and be thankful for those charge limiter.

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