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iPad Battery Replacement: $99 For a New-to-You iPad

Apple’s iPad hasn’t even started shipping yet—although pre-ordering is now available—but already the device is drawing a new round of criticism. This time, complaints aren’t revolving around the design, aspect ratio, closed platform, lack of multitasking, or content—this time it’s about batteries. Apple has announced how it will handle dead batteries in the iPad: for $99, customers can send their iPad back to Apple, and Apple will ship them back a different iPad with a brand-new battery. Any personal data on your iPad will be lost.

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The pricing for the iPad Battery Replacement Service is $99—plus $6.95 shipping and handling—regardless of the type of iPad; that means the cost for replacing the battery in a starter 8GB WiFi-only iPad is the same as the replacement cost for a 64 GB WiFi+3G iPad. iPad customers will not be eligible for the program if their iPad has been damaged (say through an accident or “liquid contact”); users can’t participate in the program if they have disassembled their iPads or done unauthorized service or modifications. Users will be able to arrange for the service by contacting Apple technical support or working through an Apple service provider or retail store.

The program follows along the lines of Apple’s battery replacement program for the iPhone: users sen their iPhones back to Apple, and Apple ships them a new-to-them iPhone with a new battery. Users’ data is not preserved in the process: users are expected to back up their iPhone (and, presumably) iPad data to a personal computer via iTunes, then restore their data to the new device they receive from Apple.

As with the iPhone, the plan is drawing criticism from potential customers who don’t want to be without their iPads for the week or so it would take for a replacement iPad to arrive from Apple.

The move is just the latest in Apple hardware designs that lack user-replaceable batteries. Apple iPods have lacked user-replaceable batteries for years; that design choice extended to the iPhone, and more recently to the top-end 17-inch MacBook Pro. The reasoning is that reportedly most consumers just use the current batteries as long as they can, and the ultimate failure of the battery comes after the point the consumers is already considering upgrading or replacing the device. Of course, the exceptions are power users, who are also most likely to be Apple’s loudest advocates…or critics.

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Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
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