Dept.: Void Your Warranty
Investigators: Casey and Van Neistat
Personal tech: iPod
Cost: $50 to $100
Time: ~2 hours
It wasn't just the fact that his iPod's battery was nearly dead after 18 months that got Casey Neistat so mad. The filmmaker had worked with enough electronics to know that lithium-ion batteries (like the iPod's) could only be recharged 300 to 500 times before their run time declined. It's a given: Batteries die, you replace them. What irked Neistat was that the iPod's battery seemed to be inaccessible, sealed up tight in that gleaming silver and white case. But figuring Apple must have a solution, he went to the company's Manhattan retail store -- where the staff told him there was nothing Apple could do: his iPod's one-year warranty had expired. But they would be happy to sell him a new model to replace it.
Not believing a smart company like Apple could have designed in an irreplaceable battery, Neistat says he called AppleCare customer support. The company line was repeated: No way to replace it, why don't you just buy a new iPod? Still not convinced Apple was declaring the iPod disposable, Neistat mailed his broken baby straight to the Man in Black, Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The employee who called back "on Mr. Jobs' behalf" apologized, then told him the same thing.
That's when Neistat lost it, and decided to vent his anger publicly.
Instead of buying a new iPod, he and his brother Van bought spray paint and made a stencil. Video camera in hand, they canvassed downtown Manhattan, tagging dozens of Apple ad posters with their message: "iPod's unreplaceable battery lasts only 18 months." Then the brothers edited the stunt into a 2-minute movie called iPod's Dirty Secret and posted it on the Web. By the next day, they had over 50,000 hits. Around the same time, Apple introduced a $100 iPod battery-replacement program, which the company says was in development long before the Neistats made a stink. But Casey's story was everywhere: blogs, news sites, even The Washington Post.
Eventually, Casey tried fixing the problem with a $50 DIY battery replacement kit from ipodbattery.com, but his iPod didn't survive the operation. (He thinks he killed the hard drive as he tried to pry the old battery loose.) A few weeks later, PopSci gave him another third-party battery, this time from pdasmart.com ($60), and another iPod from a staffer with
the same problem. That one survived and went back to its owner. And Casey ended up spending $400 on a new one.
yes, i think these neiastat bros have misrepresnted the issue and have taken credit for the apple battery program when i am sure it took months for apple to create in the first place.
by the way, you can buy a new <a href="http://www.ipodjuice.com">ipod battery</a> from online companies today that are way less than the prices in this article (i guess prices drop over time on these ipod batteries).