Apple is Replacing My Original iPod Nano. Is This A Good Thing?

nano recallapple/Promo image

Six years ago on TreeHugger, I wrote Ode to a Nano- Green Product of the Year? and claimed that it was as green as it gets:

The Nano demonstrates that brilliant design can let us all live as well or better than we do now in less space, using fewer resources and with a smaller footprint. The Nano is an inspiration.

Readers generally thought that I was crazy, and suggested that it wouldn't last three years:
Keep in mind that the battery is fixed inside and has to be replaced by Apple. Most lithium ion batteries will only give you around 3 years max before they don't hold enough charge. A new battery every 3 years means more waste. If the battery costs too much people will just buy the newer model (they probably will regardless!).

Last year, on its fifth anniversary, I reminisced and wrote:
Five years ago I called the iPod green because it eliminated the physical intermediary and let me live with less stuff. Five years later I can say that the design and the product have stood the test of time. I think that's green.

Again, readers were not impressed.
Fact is, Apple's policy is to make disposable electronics, and it is simply delusion to consider anything they make as being even remotely green. So TH, please stop publishing crap like this article, it really doesn't make you guys look overly intelligent...

So to all these haters, I have to ask: If Apple is so interested in selling disposable electronics, and if these things have such a short lifespan, why is the company offering to replace a unit that is five years out of warranty?

Apple gives its reasons:

Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006. This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.

It would be nice if they could just send out a battery to everyone and tell us to pop the case and replace it, but you can't do that, the case doesn't open. There is also no word on whether they are replacing with reconditioned units or not, though I doubt they have that many first generation nanos lying around to give us new ones.

But I still think it impressive that they are supporting a product that is so long out of warranty. Last year I said that it had stood the test of time, and now I will probably get another few years out of it thanks to their way-out-of-warranty support.

I think that's green.

2005:Ode to a Nano- Green Product of the Year?
2010:Ode To A Nano- My Green Product of the Year 2005

Apple is Replacing My Original iPod Nano. Is This A Good Thing?
The thing is six years old. Is this the responsible, green thing to do?

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