01 March 2006

More whining… iPod style

A year and seven days ago I bought a one-gig iPod shuffle and loved it. I had resisted the temptation while at Macworld (site of the announcement) as I had just purchased my second model as a Christmas gift. Now having bought my fourth (also as a gift)… I am struggling with my shuffle. I took it to the San Francisco apple store a few in January and they found it to work just fine.

Two weeks later the store near (an hours drive makes this a relative measure) replaced it. Just this week, they again replaced. Each time I get three months of additional warrantee, which I very much appreciate. But the unit works less and less with each replacement model. This time it worked at the store. I brought it home, transferred my favorite selection of running music to it and went for a nice long run. It worked great! So I plugged it backing to the USB port to fully charge it and it has not worked since.

I followed all of the steps on the web site support page (very thorough I might add), yet I still have a non-working shuffle. So I suppose I will head back to the store, yet again.

The support (or commiseration) forums on apples web site have hundreds, if not thousands of similar stories. Most of these are from frustrated owners, just outside of the warrantee zone. So I should probably consider myself lucky. But the question comes to mind, with such (reportedly) small margins, and such extraordinary failure rate, how do they make money at this? Is it time to buy Apple stock on the short?