You can arrange an iPad battery replacement over the phone or in an Apple store, though Apple warns that an iPad that has been damaged or been in contact with liquids, or should be replaced for a different reason than the battery will not be eligible for the exchange.
Once you pay the fee and arrange the replacement, Apple will give you in return either a new iPad or a refurbished one, which in Apple’s standards basically means new.
For example, refurbished iPhones given as a replacement for faulty devices are often serviced models with a brand-new shell, so that no cosmetic defects are visible. The same will probably apply for the iPad in this case.
Apple also advises you to sync your iPad with iTunes before sending it off for replacement, as all the data on it will be lost in the process. The turnaround week is approximately a week.
Apple claims that the iPad battery can last up to ten hours on a single charge, using the same battery technology found in Mac laptops, which are said to last up to three times more than usual batteries.
Interestingly, MacWorld‘s Jeff Porten calculates on average that typical usage patterns would give the iPad around 500 recharge cycles (every couple of days), meaning that it would take around three years before you see battery degradation.
This could mean that by 2013 Apple should still have this year’s iPad models for replacement purposes, considering Apple would update the iPad hardware by then. Jeff Porten thinks that this could signal Apple’s strategy to sell older versions of the iPad alongside newer models, as it does now with the iPhone 3G.
However, The Inquirer‘s Nick Farell is not trusting of Apple’s so-called generosity with iPad battery replacements. He thinks that the program is a “cunning plan” for Apple to get more money off customers who are faced with either paying $99 for a replacement older model or buying a new device instead.
What do you think? Is the $99 battery replacement deal OK or just a blessing in disguise? Sound off in the comments.