CNET ‘iPod mini’ review inexplicably calls replaceable battery ‘nonreplaceable’

“Although it scarcely seems possible, we think the Apple iPod Mini’s design surpasses even that of its photogenic older sibling. Its stylish, anodized-aluminum shell is so tough that we felt as if we could stand on the device without consequence. Apple constructs the body by hollowing out Mini-shaped aluminum tubes so that there are no seams in the construction, then applies the color during the anodization process so that it can’t scratch off,” Eliot Van Buskirk reports for CNET.

Van Buskirk reports, “The tastiest design treat to our palate is the revamped scrollwheel. The play, menu/back, fast-forward, and rewind functions that the white iPod assigns to four touch-sensitive buttons are now located on the scrollwheel (or, rather, the clickwheel). We prefer this approach because it offers physical feedback when a function has been activated. In addition to the new functionality, the touch-sensitive clickwheel still works perfectly for scrolling through lengthy song lists with speed and precision. As with the white iPod, the unlabelled button in the middle of the wheel functions as Select. The only other control on the player is the sliding Hold key on top, which locks all functions.”

“Apple claims the internal battery takes three hours to rejuice and lasts eight hours on a single charge. Our tests outperformed this rating, usually by about an hour. The battery is nonreplaceable, but if you’re unhappy with its resiliency after a couple of years, Apple will swap in a new one for $99,” Van Buskirk reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Van Buskirk gives Apple’s iPod mini a rating of 8.7 out of 10, noting the lack of FM tuner and “nonreplaceable” battery as issues detracting from a perfect score. One question, though, if the battery is supposedly “nonreplaceable,” as Van Buskirk describes, how can Apple “swap in a new one for $99?” The only way the battery could be considered “nonreplaceable,” Elliot, would be if you had to throw out the iPod mini when the battery no longer held a charge. But, you know this, don’t you Elliot? So why did you include the word “nonreplaceable,” when the battery is indeed replaceable? Please, let us in on your addled thinking and twisted reasoning.


  1. I think what Eliot means, and was very poorly stated, is that the battery is not replaceable by the owner and he has a point. I would rather replace the battery of my iPod or mini myself than send it to someone else and have him or her do it for 99 bucks. I hope the next generation of pods will allow me to replace the battery.

  2. The word “nonreplaceable” is FUD. It is planted in the article on purpose to play upon fears that the Idiot Brothers iPod battery lie debacle created. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network, which publishes

    CNET is bullshit.

  3. File “nonreplaceable” in the class of words that need to be stricken with the vocabulary, along with “compatibility”, “upgradability”, “expandability”, “closed”, and a few others…

  4. guys, get a grip. It was an otherwise fantastic review. It is the only product I’ve ever seen on CNET’s review site to get a 10 in design. And it *is* a downside to both the iPod and iPod mini that the average user cannot replace the battery himself. Clearly, that is what the reviewer meant.

  5. Non-replaceable is not FUD. Does it tell you in the instructions that come with the iPod how to replace it ? No.

    It’s a non-user-replaceablet part.

    Replacing it is not something most people will want to do. There’s a good chance of permanently damaging the device if you do. It would make more sense for the consumer to have a bettery that was as simple to replace as one in a mobile phone.

    There’s a lot of FUD about the iPod, but I don’t think this is a good example at all. It highlights a design flaw with the device.

    Perhaps design flaw is a even being a little generous. A cynic might suggest it was deliberate so that Aplpe can make some money out of their replacement battery scheme.

    Sometimes MDN gets this wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday there was a headline here along the lines of “Apple RAM more expensive than PCs – CNET spreads the FUD”, whcn we all know it’s insane to buy memory direct from Apple at their prices.

    The replacement battery for my mobile phone was �12. That’s the kind of price people want to pay for abattery, not $99 !

  6. the integrated battery is far from a flaw. do you think the iPod and the mini could be so small if they also had to build in the ability to remove the battery? besides, unclippable batteries can be a big problem. I’m going to have to throw away my cell phone because suddenly the “replaceable” battery can’t stay connected and the phone goes dead intermittently. So despite the fact that I’ve never once had occasion to remove the battery for any reason, I’m going to have to buy a whole new phone specifically *because* my phone’s battery is replaceable. don’t discount the many advantages of having a one-piece non-detachable form factor…

  7. This subject always brings out the most devoted cultists.

    Replacable means you flip something open with your thumb, you pop out the battery, pop in a new one and close the thing. Maybe you have to turn a screw. You know–like your cell phone, walkman, watch, garage door opener, beeper, every other f*cking replaceable battery you’ve ever dealt with in your sad and pathetic life.

    “Replaceable” does not mean having to pry open the case with a screwdriver, ungluing the battery (clue–when the words pry and unglue are used, the thing is not replaceable), and messing with thin, easily torn wires. Oh, and for the extremely clueless–“replaceable” does not mean having to do things that void your warranty. Draw yourself a little Venn diagram–in one circle put the word “replaceable.” Draw a separate circle that does not intersect the first circle and write in that circle, ‘Voids warranty.” You have now correctly diagramed the relationship between “replaceable” and “voids warranty.”

    The iPod is consumer product; the mini is an ultra-consumer product aimed squarely at teenaged girls. Thirteen year old Jennifer is not going to pry open her mini, “unglue”–in other words, tear out without damaging–and play with delicate power couplings. Give me a break. That’s utterly ludicrous and y’all are idiots for citing it over and over again.

    By the way, if the hull of the mini is a solid tube it obviously involves some other method of changing the battery.

    I wouldn’t be quite so sarcastic about this, but come the hell on–the article fully explained Apple’s battery swap program with the price.

  8. BTW, even though I no longer have the manual for my phone, replacing the battery is an obvious thing.

    a. remove battery cover
    b. remove old battery
    c. put new battery in place
    d. relace battery cover.

    At no point does it say anything like, “wedge this little screwdriver into the side of the case and carefully…”

  9. The iPod mini’s battery is indeed replaceable and CNET is a collection of retarded assholes owned by Microsoft co-founder / co-moron Allen. As with MSNBC, CNET is completely unreliable, cannot be believed, is bought and paid for, has no integrity, and sucks wild monkey anus. Fsck CNET!!!

  10. ” Oh, and for the extremely clueless–“replaceable” does not mean having to do things that void your warranty.”

    Not that I want to point out the painfully, pitifully obvious, but if your iPod is still udner warranty, then you’re not going to be replacing the battery yourself, because it’s…under warranty.

    Nice try, but you’re going to have to work a whole lot harder to spread FUD about the iPod than that…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.