Thursday, May 26, 2011

iPod Touch Repair Challenge

I ended up getting a co-worker's cast off first generation iPod Touch. Like I need another gadget, I know. But the price was right (free), and it came with an added bonus that many gadgets don't--it didn't work. Stopped working a year ago, actually. The screen turns on and the battery holds a charge, but the touch-pad is completely unresponsive. We can't even push the "slide to unlock" bar. Because I like to tinker and I hate e-waste, it's a challenge I couldn't refuse.

At our local mall there is a kiosk that sells protective cases and screens for "smart" phones. They've got a big poster that says, "Screen broken? Fix it here!"

Surprisingly, getting the young fellow's attention was a challenge. Usually those kiosk guys are shouting at passer-by, doing the hard sell. This guy was too wrapped up in his own iPhone to notice the passing crowd.

When I did get his attention, and he did see the gadget, he said, "Oh, sorry. We can't get the parts for those old models any more."

"Old models?" I said. "These things were released under four years ago."

"Yeah, but we see it all the time. Touch screens stop working after a while."

"All touch screens?" I said. "On everything?"

He said, "Hey, it's like life. Things wear out and stop working."

"You're a philosopher," I said.

So...challenge accepted. Even Apple can't make a product so crappy it's unrepairable after just four years.

Can they?


  1. I've owned three ipods, the latest an ipod touch, and ALL of them died after 2 years because the battery stopped holding a charge. LAME.

  2. Good grief! Our first (and only, until this one) iPod is a clunky 80GB model from 2006. Still working fine, knock on wood, with plenty of free space left on the hard drive. It doesn't get used all that much, though, so maybe the battery hasn't been through too many cycles. When I pulled it out at work the other day, a co-worker said, "What is that huge thing?" I told them it was a cutting-edge satellite phone and put it back in my bag.

    Of course I have to ask...after that much abuse, why do you keep buying iPods?

  3. My first-generation iPod Touch is still working fine, except in terms of software -- it can't run the latest system.

    Of course Apple's strategy is to make every one of its products become obsolete in terms of hardware, software, or trendiness within a year or two, keeping us buying the next new thing. It's a strategy that works like a charm.

    (The word verification, "hythyptl," perfectly expresses my feelings about the strategy!)