December 21, 2003
iPod owners are learning an unpleasant truth: their little pal isn't immortal. It turns out that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the iPod is good for about 500 recharges. After that, it's toast.
Apple's answer, until recently, was that when the battery breathed its last, iPod owners should shell out several hundred dollars for a new iPod, since the battery is not easily replaced by the user.
This inflamed the passions of one Casey Neistat, a New York multimedia artist who took his dissatisfaction public. Neistat and his brother, Van, fired up their Apple computers and iMovie software and put together a guerrilla rant, "iPod's Dirty Secret," currently a huge hit on the Internet circuit at www.ipodsdirtysecret.com.
The brothers also spent some time pursuing a non-digital approach to the problem: they or their supporters sprayed graffiti on Apple advertisements around New York City warning unsuspecting Gotham of the latest threat lurking in the city - "iPod's Unreplaceable (sic) Battery Lasts Only 18 Months."
Apple, meanwhile, has taken note of the problem and recently announced a new $99 mail-in batery replacement offer for iPod owners. The company denies that the brothers' movie had anything to do with the new service.