I had purchased an Apple iPod Nano 8 GB (4th generation) from Canada in 2008. Agreed, not a well thought-out purchase, because I usually only listen to music on the TV or in my car when I’m driving. But well, Apple’s allure, and the urge to shop when abroad, eventually got to me.
Anyway, I used it for a while and finally relegated it to my cupboard, where it lay for the next two years. When I took it out again with the intention of selling it, I realised that the batteries had conked off! A Google search revealed that the problem was quite common, but thankfully easily fixed with a battery replacement.
A search on Amazon revealed that genuine replacement batteries were available in the US starting from US $35 (about Rs. 1500). I thought I could get my battery replaced for perhaps a little more than that, right here in India.
So I proceeded to the nearest Apple authorized service center, which was the iMagine Store in the Forum Mall in Koramangala. After I explained the problem, I was told that the only way out for me is to go in for the Out-of-warranty Battery Replacement Program, which basically means that Apple will replace my defunct iPod with a fully working one for Rs. 3500. When I asked why they can’t just replace the dead battery in my existing iPod, I was told that there is no Apple service centre in India that’s authorized to replace iPod batteries!
I was completely baffled to hear that. There are ample sites on the Internet that teach you how to replace iPod batteries yourself. The problem was getting a genuine iPod battery in India. Shipping one from the US would’ve taken a lot of time and might have been subject to import duty and other taxes. But the real question was, how come no Apple store was “authorized” to do what even we can do ourselves?
The only answer seems to be that it’s yet another way to make money from the poor consumer who gets taken in by all the glam and glitter surrounding Apple’s products. I mean, what does an iPod owner do if the battery conks out? He either goes in for this expensive iPod replacement option, or the even more expensive alternative of purchasing a brand new iPod! Which is great for Apple, of course…