Apple started a worldwide replacement program for first generation iPod nanos last month as a safety precaution because the batteries in some units could overheat. While the company planned to replace the five year old iPods with the same model, it now appears that at least some owners will get the current sixth generation model instead.
Commentors on the MacRumors forums have said the emails from Apple confirming their replacement nanos are on the way include serial numbers for the current model, and not refurbished first generation units.
Defective first gen nano replacements might be the sixth gen model
The nanos with sixth generation serial numbers are scheduled to start arriving on Wednesday, and when they do, customers will know for sure exactly which model they’re getting as a replacement. It’s possible that they’ll still get first generation models, but with new serial numbers that match sixth generation units.
Apple alerted first generation iPod nano owners to the safety issue via email. The company stated, “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.”
The defective batteries pose a higher risk of overheating as they age, which makes it more important over time that users get the defective batteries replaced, especially since the original iPod nano is now at least five years old.
Nano owners hoping for a quick replacement, however, are in for a disappointment. Apple said the process will take about six weeks, and based on what The Mac Observer is seeing, that’s a fairly optimistic estimate.
Shipping boxes for two of the iPod nanos TMO submitted for replacement with in minutes of each other the day Apple announced the program arrived weeks apart, and the earlier of the two has been showing a “pending replacement” status since November 25.
First generation iPod nano owners that haven’t checked yet to see if they have a unit with a defective battery should pay a visit to Apple’s replacement Web page. You’ll need your serial number, and if your nano is eligible for replacement, Apple will send you a return shipping for free.