Apple sold 120,000 iPads the day it opened its doors for pre-sale orders, making the new member of the all-star device lineup already a commercial hit. Yet the revelation of Apple’s battery replacement policy has stirred a bit of controversy, particularly as the device hasn’t even reached the hands of consumers yet.
The battery replacement policy will charge iPad owners $99 to swap out the device’s battery, upon which time they will also receive a new iPad. The policy is similar to the iPhone battery replacement system, save for the fact that your iPhone battery is the only thing that gets replaced. But the debate about whether or not the customers should pony up the cash to have their iPad replaced is of concern.
Several of Apple’s devices have limiting battery options, as they cannot be replaced on your own. The modified verbiage on the iPad, however, has raised a few brows. Compared to the jargon used for the iPhone battery replacement, it appears Apple may be expecting some issues with the batteries of its upcoming and heavily anticipated device.
One issue with the policy is that replaced devices could be refurbished. This is a relatively green (economic and otherwise) method for Apple, but should the company be charging so much for that process? The other issue is that your data will be lost, so backup of your iPad will be necessary for anything you want carried over to your replacement device.
The biggest issue, however, may be the iPad battery itself. Already the expectations around it have been compromised, so consumers and pundits alike will be looking for problems. The service fee, too, is a matter of debate, especially as the recall nation seeks retribution for faulty products. From Toyota to Pringles, the consumer trust level is waning for a few companies out there. With all the hype around Apple’s latest, will the iPad be something else to be distrusted?
If there really are battery problems with the iPad, consumers may be leary to purchase something with a known problem. Especially as they are made aware of the battery replacement policy beforehand, some consumers may want to wait until the next generation of the iPad all together.
Unless the iPad has major issues with its battery, I doubt this will become a major issue for sales or the legal system. Nevertheless, it’s important for Apple to protect its brand. Doing so will ensure the health of its media-changing potential with the iPad device itself.