Consumer watchdog groups are interesting. It’s good that they exist, but more often than not, I just find them terribly annoying. While perusing Slashdot this morning, I found this story entitled “iPhone Battery Replacement An Unwelcome Surprise”.
I’m still trying to figure out who, exactly, is supposed to be surprised…wasn’t it made very clear since Macworld that the battery wasn’t removable? Is there anyone out there reading this that didn’t know they battery wasnt’t removeable?
Slashdot links to a Yahoo! News article (which seems to be pretty heavy on the Apple bashing as of late) that focuses on Harvey Rosenfield, who is the head of a consumer watchdog group based in California. Some notable quotes from Harvey include the following:
“Some of them might be waking up now,” Rosenfield said, “wondering who they got in bed with.”
The “some of them” is in reference those of us that purchased iPhones. He goes on…
“The cell phone industry is notorious for not being consumer-friendly while Apple has a fairly good reputation, so for Apple to stand on a technicality of a hidden disclosure that’s going to cost the user as much as 20 percent of the purchase price I think will prove to be a colossal mistake,” Rosenfield said.
The only way this is going to be a “huge mistake” is if the batteries all die the day they go out of warranty.
No one who is even remotely familiar with the iPod line (which the iPhone is an extension of) should be surprised by the fact that there is a battery replacement program.
The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of iPhone users will never need the battery replacement program because they will have upgraded their phone to either another model all together, or a future version of the iPhone by the time the battery in their current iPhones goes south.
I think a watchdog group that is out there looking to protect the consumer should be out there actually going after companies that are screwing us consumers. Pick a gas company…pick a cable company…look at the movie industry and the music industry…if you want to get out there and “fight the good fight” I don’t think calling a company out on a $600 luxury item is the way to go (unless you’re trying to get your name in the paper)….but that’s just me…I could be wrong.
How many of us has replaced a mobile battery or ever felt the need for two batteries? I have been using a mobile for nearly 12 years now and only ever had one battery in each of the mobile phones I have. I have also and never needed to use a second battery. Sure returning the phone for a replacement is a complete pain, but in the 12 month life of the phone will I need to replace it?
How many people that have replaced their iPod batteries have actually sent it to Apple? There are countless third party and DIY solutions out there. The iPhone will be no different. I’m sure a year from now, changing the iPhone battery will cost you about $10.
OT question. Just curious. Do USA citizens pay State sales tax on a iTunes sale from the USA iTunes store? (In the UK the 79p individual track price, already includes sales tax.)
True, over the past 10 years, I’ve had 5 cell phones. I never replaced the battery on any of them. My i90 probably could have used a new one since I had to charge it every single day, but it ended up as garbage when I broke the charging connector. All those phones lasted me at least 2 years before I either broke them or upgraded them.
People are making a big deal out of this as if they can’t, or are not being given the option to change the batteries themselves, which brings me back to the point made in my first post.
It’s a non-issue at best. I think these watchdogs need to focus their attention elsewhere instead of causing trouble.
Quote: “I think a watchdog group that is out there looking to protect the consumer should be out there actually going after companies that are screwing us consumers.”
I agree. Can someone point out to some watchdog group that Apple iTunes charges $0.99 for a song in the US and $1.60 for a song in the UK (60 percent more)? Is that an example of a company screwing consumers? And god only knows what the iPhone will cost when it arrives in Europe. Probably in the $1000 range.
So although US consumers might not consider Apple a company that should be monitored by a ‘watchdog’, I wish there were one such watchdog here in Europe.
I think that probably has more to do with the value of the US Dollar than Apple trying to gouge anyone. Our dollar is pretty weak, and as a result things cost more.
Now, if I’m wrong about that, someone please feel free to interject, but Apple is US based, and is going to be making profits based on what they would earn from the dollar as far as I know.
When iTunes was originally setup the UK the price for a song was the equivalent to $1.40 US. It is true that the weaker US dollar has increased the difference in price. However it seems that Apple at no time tried to charge in the UK or Europe a price equal the US price for music. I find this particularly irksome as the music is basically bits of data- so the higher price can’t be said to be caused by shipping, stocking or duty taxation (music by British artists are still cheaper in the US!). Also I have purchased all sorts of software online (ie. downloaded) from the US and those US companies charge a UK price comparable to the US price.
It should also be noted that it is not possible to buy iTunes songs from an Apple iTunes store outside the country that you reside. So even though the US songs are cheaper I cannot purchase them.
It is quite a pity as I would like to use the Apple iTunes store but I just can’t stomach paying so much more.