A Bit of Background
With the sting of the Diamond Encrusted iPad still fresh, this one just hurts. The iPad is the most expensive tablet (not the diamond one, the cheap one), and the most hyped of all of the other tablets out there. Oh, and it’s not “out there” yet right? Okay, so let’s tally up the iPad score: no USB (actually there’s no input of any kind), no flash capability, no HDMI, no keyboard (“optional” dock, spend almost $200 more), no camera, so obviously no flash. Heck, the iPhone doesn’t even have a flash yet.
That’s just a too short-list of short-comings but considering that this was supposed to be the “dawn of new age” in mobile computing I would think that Apple would, at the very least, make allowances in other areas, like their service. Well apparently not, as they are still forcing AT&T into your life and onto your iPad. With the networking options included (read: none) and the “small fee” that you will pay to add, oh, I don’t know, say… Wi- Fi or 3G, so that you can fail to get signal from AT&T (almost no 3G coverage and very slow Wi-Fi service) it is starting to feel like they aren’t really thinking of the customer here.
So what happens when your fabulous, chic, trendy new iPad’s battery starts to give up the ghost? Well you replace it with a new battery, right? No, of course not! You are too good to have to do it yourself. What you will do is package up your iPad, drop it in the mail, or drop it off at your nearest Apple store and wait a week. Then, they will send you a new one! Well, maybe not actually “new,” per se, but a new one nonetheless. Great! Or so we thought…
The True Cost
Not really, as this service is going to cost you $105 and if you fail to back up your iPad to iTunes, someone else’s fresh, brand-spanking refurbished iPad is coming back to you lobotomized. And, if you don’t have Wi-Fi or 3G on the iPad, then you must buy the $100 + dock to do it. That’s right, all that stuff you had on it is gone. Every business note, every song you paid to download, every photo you took of baby’s first steps-everything-gone.
Apple has of late moved more and more in the direction of insuring that their precious machines are never opened up or seen on the inside by anyone, save for the High Priests of Apple. IPods and iPhones all suffer from the same general state, even the MacBook Pro is battery forbidden. If you need a new one you must send it to them and wait. You should keep in mind that you won’t be able to use the Battery Replacement Service to replace a broken machine. The support page includes “accident, liquid contact, disassembly, unauthorized service or unauthorized modifications” among the things that will prevent eligibility.
I suppose this means that if your iPad gets to them in in a condition less then what they think it should be, or anything other than a “natural death” of the battery then you might just receive an iMail informing you that you are not eligible for the battery replacement service. Boy, this sounds familiar… Anyway, do they send your money back? Will they keep the iPad to punish you? Well, yes they will keep the iPad and no, you don’t get your money back. Moreover, they will call you to say you have to buy a new one because you can’t have your back. You paid them to keep it. Oh, that’s right, I remember! They did the same thing with the iMac!
AT&T Kissing to Make Up?
The only reason that AT&T is offering a “reduced cost data plan” is to make up some of the ground lost in the mobile wars. And because they know their service is not what it’s cracked up to be. The price is $30.00 per month for 3G service. But considering that you will need to spend $130.00 over the base price of the unit to get a 3G enabled iPad it’s understandable that they would. I guess that AT&T is not so willing to “shove it up their noses” as Apple seems to be willing to do. AT&T does have other customers you know, AT&T is not Apple’s private carrier and Apple must learn to share.
However, on top of all the money you are going to be dropping for one of these marvels, haveing to pay $105.00 for the privilege is just too much. Think about it… You have to give the whole thing up for the battery inspection and then wait a week… Then you receive a refurbished one in return. The refurbished one that has been lobotomized because they can’t be bothered to transfer your data using iTunes, the same iTunes they control, too. Um… No, I don’t think so. Personally, I’m not falling for it, and I hope no one else does either.
The iPast Continues
I mean, it’s bad enough that in order to have a whopping 64Gb of storage you have to drop another couple of hundred on the extra feature when SD cards are so much less expensive. This is just too much and it’s a shame really, when you remember the first Apple commercials that struck like a call to freedom for PC users. Remember the “1984-esque” commercial for the Mac? Those were the days, weren’t they? Now you’ve got Apple brainwashing the world of Mac users to pay them forwarrantied servicing normally included… This is just another of the same in a long series of acts that blatantly show the world Apple as making sure that their customers “know their place,” or so it seems.
References & Resources:
Engadget: Dead Battery? nevermind that-Apple Replaces iPad for $99
Wired: Free iPad with battery Replacement