Apple launched the 1st generation iPod nano in September 2005 as a replacement for the widely acclaimed iPod mini. Since then, many problems have plagued the small device, including plastic susceptible to scratches, as well as serious battery issues.
The issues were first reported in 2008 and in 2009, many customers in Japan reported that their 1st generation devices caught fire or exploded, causing minor burns.
Apple also admitted that the battery is in danger of catching fire or exploding as it ages. As a result, they launched a replacement program in order to prevent such disasters. On Friday evening, Apple launched the new program and sent out a mass email to owners of a registered 1st generation iPod nano. Apple’s email read:
Dear iPod nano owner,
Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.
This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.
Apple recommends that you stop using your iPod nano (1st gen) and follow the process noted below to order a replacement unit, free of charge.
Note: This battery issue is specific to the iPod nano (1st gen) and does not affect any other iPod.
You may order a replacement unit via the web. Click here to begin.
Your iPod nano serial number will be checked to verify that it is eligible for this program. You will receive a replacement unit approximately 6 weeks after we receive your current iPod nano (1st gen).
If you have a personalized iPod nano, you will receive a non-personalized replacement. Make sure to use iTunes to back up any data on your current iPod nano before sending it in for a replacement unit.
Identifying an iPod nano (1st gen):
• It has a black or white plastic front and a silver metal back – later iPod nano models have a metal front and back.
If you need assistance with placing an order, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) and bring your iPod nano with you for serial number validation.
Your replacement iPod product is warranted to be free from defects for 90 days from the date of service.
Apple’s new program allows customers to enter the serial number of their iPod nano on an Apple.com support site, which then prompts log-in using an Apple ID. It then asks for an address to ship out a return box or the recalled nano.
Apple estimates that it will take 5-6 weeks for the replacement nano to arrive after receipt of the recalled one. The replacement device will come included with a new 90 day warranty for any other repairs.
It is unclear at this point, whether Apple will replace the nano with the same 1st generation device or a newer sixth generation device. Customers in Japan reported that after complaining to Apple about the battery issue, they received the same 1st generation device. The link to the Replacement Program support page can be found on Apple’s website, or a direct link to the support page here.