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How to get Apple to replace your first-generation iPod nano

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Apple (s aapl) over the weekend sent out a notice to¬†registered¬†first-generation iPod nano owners detailing a recall for the product, and providing instructions about how to take advantage of the program to get a replacement device. Here’s a detailed guide for getting your replacement, and why you’d want to.

Apple helpfully sent out an email with detailed instructions, but if you haven’t registered your device, you picked it up second-hand or you’ve since changed your Apple ID, you won’t have the instructions. So, in any of those cases, you will want to find out if your device is eligible by checking the model first.

The iPod nano (1st gen) came out in September 2005 and was sold through December 2006. It has a flat, white or black plastic front, and a shiny metal back case, and it is tall and thin with a small rectangular LCD at the top of the device and a click-wheel control interface. You can see exactly what it looks like in the pictures attached to this article.

Once you’ve determined that yours is indeed the right kind of iPod, you’ll need to check the serial number on the back of your device, because Apple will ask you for that information when you’re going through the replacement unit ordering process. It’s located at the bottom rear of your device, on the metal back casing. See exactly where in the picture below.

With that information, you have everything you need to go through the replacement ordering process on Apple’s website. Apple says that a replacement unit will be sent out about six weeks after you send in your old nano. Apple sends you a box after your eligibility is determined, which you then use to ship your recalled device to them free of charge.

The unit that replaces your current nano will be a 1st gen model as well, according to statements made by an Apple spokesperson to Mashable. But having them replaced is a good idea even if you no longer use your nano and it’s just lying in a closet somewhere, since at the very least, you’ll get a fresh battery that should mean you’ll have another usable iPod sitting around as back-up for at least five years hence.

Apple says that personalized nanos (those with messages engraved on the back) will be replaced with clean, generic casings, so you’ll also at least be getting a brand new outer shell, too. It’s rare to see one of those shiny metal backs in pristine shape, so that’s also a good reason to get a replacement. Plus, the battery won’t overheat and burn you if you do use it, something which actually happened in around 60 incidents in Japan and prompted an earlier recall there.

12 Responses to “How to get Apple to replace your first-generation iPod nano”

  1. Littlered

    I waiting for the box to send mine back in I lent mine to a friend got it back and she said half of it melted and the back kept heating up so , then apple announced the recall and I don’t mind if it’s the same gen or higher because my scratched nearly working melting iPod is getting replaced for a decent working IPod that will have 0 scratches :) so those saying omg I hope I get a better one! Hello! We are talking about apple they wouldnt even give us a 2nd gen they maybe one of the richest companies in the world but they are defonatly the stingeyest everyone knows the new iPod nano came out so they have quite abit of stock of the one just before that but they would rather sell them then trade for our shitty ones ! Come on get real I’m 15 and know this!

  2. How do you know if you have a 1st gen ipod before you send it in? I went online and entereed the serial number but it doesnt tell me I cant remember if mine is a 1st or 2nd gen but it looks like the above one and has 2005 on it :S

  3. I wonder if they have stocks of the gen ones sat in a warehouse or whether they have had to start production again. I’m surprised they don’t just upgrade us to a newer model – it would probably cost them less.

  4. I replaced the battery myself two years ago with a cheap Chinese substitute. The email I got from Apple warned me that if they determine that the nano does not need replacement, they can charge me a diagnostic fee up to $100. My question is: Will they send me a new nano even though I replaced the battery myself? And also, why in the WORLD would I send Apple anything if they have the ability to charge me $100??

    • On the back of the shipping label that apple provides, it says that “If apple confirms that service is not covered but you follow instructions on returning the part, the estimated costs of parts and labor is $$0.” No worries on the $100 charge.