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8/29/2005
12:56 PM
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Judge Orders Apple To Pay Up For Bad iPod Batteries

A settlement reached in June, now formally cleared by the judge, reimburses customers--at least in part--for replacing defective batteries in the iPod music player.

A California judge last week formally approved the settlement in a class action suit against Apple Computer that will help pay for as many as 1.3 million defective batteries in the company's popular iPod music player.

The settlement, which won tentative approval in June, gives buyers of the first two iPod models either $25 cash or $50 in credit at an Apple store that can be redeemed for any Apple-branded product, including iTunes downloads. Owners of the third-generation iPod are entitled to a free replacement battery if theirs fails.

Those who have already had a battery replaced are eligible for a refund equal to half the amount paid.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman approved the deal.

The settlement has a minimum estimated value of $15 million, and claimants have until May to file forms requesting refunds or credits.

The class action lawsuit was filed in December, 2003, not long after Apple offered a $99 battery-replacement service. Previous to that, Apple had told customers that they needed to buy another iPod if a battery wouldn't hold a charge.

More information about the suit can be found on Apple's Web site.

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