How long should a Treo 600 last? How about an IPod?


A confluence of five events:


  • My two year old Treo 600 stopped working: Despite my best efforts to revive it. Reboots, hard resets, new software - it was dropping calls all the time and had finally become unusable. Took it to the Sprint Store where their tech played with it for 1/2 hour and came to the conclusion that it was defective. As it was out of warrantee, my only option was to turn it back in to them for a $50 credit towards my next phone. There is no repair option. There is no authorized repair facility. This is a $400 device, 2 years old. Throw it out.

  • My two year old iPod stopped working: Despite my best efforts to revive it. Reboots, hard resets, new software - more and more often it would hang in the bootup mode, to the point now that it had become unusable. Took it to the Apple store where their tech played with it for 1/2 hour and came to the conclusion that it was defective. As it was out of warantee, I was basically SOL. Apple doesn't repair them and doesn't authorize any other repair.

  • Walt Mossberg strongly endorses iPod Nano. In fact he really really loves it. Walt Mossberg of course is one of the top journaists covering consumer electronics, computers and software. He's hard-core -- doesn't give any quarter when it comes to the user experience. Here's some of what he says: "... In fact, the nano has the best combination of beauty and functionality of any music player I've tested -- including the iconic original white iPod. And it sounds great. I plan to buy one..."

  • Palm Treo Owners sue Palm in a class action lawsuit: According to Om Malik, a frequent commentator and well known blogger: This just in…. things are getting decidedly bad in the Palm-land. Disgruntled users are suing the handheld/smart phone maker over all the technology related issues."

  • iPod nano Screens crack? This has been reported all over the place, up to the point that Apple (who never does this kind of thing) has agreed to replace some small set of nanos that they agree are defective.


Ok, so what do we make of this confluence of events?


I was somewhat outraged at Sprint not taking responsibility for a 2 year old, $400 device simply ceasing to work. And I was somewhat outraged a few weeks later at Apple for not taking responsibility for a 2 year old, $350 device simply ceasing to work. In both cases they were like, "well it's out of warantee so of course we can't replace it." And I was, like, "I am not asking you to replace it, I'll be glad to pay to have it repaired." And they, "Well, we don't repair them." SOL.


I guess my expectations are out of whack. I guess I should just plan that my multi-hundred dollar electronic gizmo is only good for 2 or so years. Shouldn't we expect more? If Walt Mossberg can be outraged at some piece of software being a little hard to use or crashing now and again, why not be as outraged at some piece of hardware not lasting more than 2 years? I think that should be a consideration before giving it two thumbs up?



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Posted on October 3, 2005 and filed under Life, Technology.