Sunday, September 10, 2006

Why I don't want an iPod

Sales of Apple's iPod are plummeting, according to a story from The Observer. Here's one of the reasons that are discussed...
Although it has sold nearly 60 million actual iPods and a billion downloaded songs worldwide, cracks have begun to appear in the edifice. The Zandl Group, a New York-based trends forecaster which regularly interviews a panel of 3,000 consumers aged 25-35, recently picked up its first significant criticisms. 'The iPod is far and away the most popular tech gadget with our panellists - however, for the first time we are hearing negative feedback about the iPod from some panellists,' said the organisation's spokeswoman, Carla Avruch. 'Panellists cite that the batteries are not replaceable, so when they die the entire player must be replaced,' she said. 'We have heard from some conspiracy theorists that the batteries are made to die soon after the warranty ends.
This is the #1 reason why I refuse to invest any good money in an iPod. For it to not have a replaceable battery is one of the most insane business decisions I've ever seen, right up there with the conscious choice by Sony to make the Betamax VCR not able to record more than an hour of television. I don't know why Steve Jobs and the other suits at Apple haven't considered the fact that consumers would gladly buy extra batteries for their iPods for a myriad of reasons... not the least of which is being able to have a spare or two handy for when the iPod runs out of juice on long trips. Or when the iPod battery runs out after two measly hours of watching video like a couple episodes of Lost. There's no reason in the world why anyone should be robbed of this obvious convenience. But I guess in the world according to Apple, nobody is supposed to ever be more than a few hours away from a readily available electrical outlet.

(I guess Apple doesn't want the extra $$$ that selling spare batteries would generate, either.)

Hey Apple guys: offer us an iPod with user-replaceable batteries, and I will gladly reconsider striking it from my Christmas wish list. In the meantime, I'm perfectly happy with my 20 GB Dell Pocket DJ MP3 player. Yeah, it might not have a replaceable battery either... but its able to hold a charge much longer than the iPod. And I might add that after a year and a half of using it, I haven't noticed any degradation of battery output at all, and I use it plenty often enough. Might be worth thinking about getting a Pocket DJ if you're hot to get an MP3 player while manufacturers twiddle their thumbs on giving us replaceable batteries.