pod people
February 20, 2007 1:58 PM   Subscribe

If I send my 3rd generation iPod in to Apple for a battery replacement, will I get a refurb 3rd gen or a 5.5?

Apple's service terms clearly give them the option of replacing old iPods with similar but newer models. Is this happening now, or am I likely to get a different 3rd gen iPod?

3rd party battery kits are about a third of the cost of apple's service, but if I get a newish video ipod, it might be worth it.
posted by b1tr0t to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you are specifically sending it in for a new battery, you will get your old iPod with a new battery.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:16 PM on February 20, 2007

When you send an iPod in to Apple for repair, you get the same generation iPod back from Apple. They won't upgrade you from, say, a 3rd gen to 5.5 gen iPod.
posted by buriedpaul at 2:38 PM on February 20, 2007

If you are specifically sending it in for a new battery, you will get your old iPod with a new battery.

Apple states that you definitely will not get your same ipod back.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:54 PM on February 20, 2007

Ideally, I'd like to hear from someone who has recently sent in an iPod for service. Speculation isn't useful to me here.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:55 PM on February 20, 2007

I think they have a stockpile of old models, so if they do replace it, they will replace it with the model you already have, unfortunately.

In January I had to send my mini in because it was totally screwed up in the battery, and I had this tiny little hope that they might send me a nano since they don't make minis anymore...but nope, another goddamn mini arrived in the mail.
posted by tastybrains at 2:57 PM on February 20, 2007

I don't think they send you your old iPod with a new battery--if they did, why would they be unable to preserve third-party engraving? Besides, Apple's documents refer repeatedly to 'replacement.'

And I'm not sure that they always send the same generation back, either. The FAQs on their site are quite coy on this point, and it seems unlikely that they've still got 1st-gen iPods lying around in a warehouse somewhere, just in case somebody returns them for battery replacement.

I've never sent an iPod in for battery replacement, though, and I might be wrong about all this.

Possibly-related: on the Apple website, the oldest refurbished iPods available for sale appear to be the current-gen ones.

On preview: the last part might be most relevant.
posted by box at 2:59 PM on February 20, 2007

Yeah, Apple won't upgrade you unless you've made special arrangements via their customer relations thanks to repeated failures or other customer satisfaction issues. They'll either put a new battery in your existing iPod or replace it with the same generation you sent in.

I am an Apple authorized service provider, FWIW.
posted by hollisimo at 3:00 PM on February 20, 2007

Has anyone sent a 3g unit in recently? This unit has been infamous for its battery problems. At some point, Apple is going to run out of old inventory.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:08 PM on February 20, 2007

At some point, Apple is going to run out of old inventory.

Ha. Ha ha ha. Keep dreaming. I've returned many an iPod, and always got the same model back. They aren't giving out new 3G units; they're "fixing" the ones they get back, and sending them out again. I assume at some point in the very far future, they will start to "run out" of older models, but that will probably coincide with when those older models stop being covered by AppleCare. Apple will never give out new models for old models. Never. Ever. Ever.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:15 PM on February 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

I've replaced the battery in a couple of iPods, myself -- it's not that hard. If you've got engraving, or don't want to have to go through reloading yours, or would miss it for a week while it was gone, you can also save a little cash at the same time. I've bought the Newer Tech batteries through Other world Computing and have been happy each time.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:46 PM on February 20, 2007

Second the Devils Rancher. I've had good reports about this place: iPodjuice.com. Why give more money to Apple?
posted by 543DoublePlay at 4:40 PM on February 20, 2007

I did this a few months ago. It cost $79 to replace the battery, but since they couldn't simply swap out old battery with new, they replaced my 3g with the same model (a "new" 3g iPod).
posted by iamkimiam at 4:48 PM on February 20, 2007

Replacing the battery on a 3G iPod is dirt easy, FWIW.
posted by neckro23 at 9:00 PM on February 20, 2007

'scuse me for the piggyback, but are you guys saying that if I had Apple engrave my iPod with, say, my name, and then sent it in for a battery replacement, I could get a different iPod back and someone else could get the one with my name on it?! That's insane!
posted by IndigoRain at 8:18 AM on February 21, 2007

From the ipod battery replacement page:

Will the data on my iPod be preserved?
No, your songs and files will not be transferred to your replacement iPod. Please backup important files, and remove all data from your iPod before sending it to Apple.

Will my iPod personalization be preserved?
If your original iPod was personalized by Apple, your replacement iPod will be automatically personalized with same text. If your original iPod was custom laser engraved by another company, your replacement iPod will not be personalized.

If apple is recycling the old components, they probably pry of the back of engraved ipods, replace the batteries, then put on a new one with no engraving, throwing out the old, engraved, back.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:32 AM on February 21, 2007

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