Can iPod Batteries Be Replaced?

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 03/20/20 •  8 min read

The iPod was first released nearly 20 years ago, (October 23, 2001), and served as the forerunner to the iPhone. It was designed to last several years, but can the battery be replaced, and if so, how much will it cost to replace?

To replace the battery in your iPod, it will cost anywhere from $39 to $149 to have an Apple Technician replace it for you, depending on the model in question. In short, the older the unit, the more it will cost. To replace the battery of the latest iPod Touch, will only cost $39.

In this article, we will discuss battery longevity, Pro Tips you can implement to maximize and extend the battery life of your iPod Touch.  We will also answer the question if it is even worth buying an iPod today, given that the iPhone does everything the iPod does and more.  But before we begin, let’s first point out that there are two ways that you can use an iPod.  You can use it while connected to Wi-Fi, or you can download music, games, apps, and movies and watch them locally, (and by “locally”, I mean without use of the internet). 

When the original iPod came out, it did not support Wi-Fi, and it would only play mp3 files.  In fact, the original iPod was only designed to play music.  Today’s iPod will do everything the iPhone will do (with the exception of making phone calls), and even then, you could use FaceTime provided that you are connected via Wi-Fi to talk to people face to face. 

How Long is an iPod Battery Supposed to Last?

On October 23, 2001, Apple introduced the first iPod which was touted as being able to “hold 1000 songs in your pocket.”  This scroll-wheel United had a 10 hour battery utilizing a 1200 mAh Lithium Polymer battery. 

Today, the latest iPod (iPod Touch, 7th generation), officially provides an estimated 40 hours of battery life for music playback and 8 hours for video playback.

Before moving forward, it is important to understand that every single battery in the world has a life cycle. Batteries, like people, will eventually die.  That is the nature of batteries. This is why you’re your iPod Touch, (as well as other Apple products like the iPhone), allow for battery replacement.

So, just how long is the battery in a brand new iPod touch supposed to last before it needs to be replaced?  Well, after calling Apple Support directly, even they were not able to provide a definitive answer to this question.  That’s not a slam on Apple Support.  If anything, it’s probably because they don’t run into battery replacement issues too often. People are probably apt to replace the unit as opposed to replacing the battery given how inexpensive and iPod touch is.

I scoured Apple’s website for the answer to this question and was not able to find a clear-cut answer. I then called AppleCare+ and asked them directly, and they told me that I should easily expect to get two or three years of use out of the battery before it needed to be replaced. That sounds very reasonable, considering that the battery is smaller than that found in an iPhone, which needs to be replaced once it hits a maximum capacity of 80%. The same rule applies for your iPod touch.

To find out the maximum battery capacity that you iPod allows for right now, you simply need to open the Settings app, tap Battery, and then tap, Battery Health.  At the top of the screen, you will find the “Maximum Capacity” displayed on the right side of your screen.  Once this number hits 80%, Apple recommends that you replace the battery.  Doing so will breathe new life into your iPod.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace the iPod Battery?

Below is a list of all the iPods that Apple currently supports, and as such, Apple will replace the battery for any of the following units. 

Model Battery Service
IPod Shuffle $39
iPod nano $59
iPod classic 160 GB (Late 2009) $149
iPod touch $79

Battery replacement for the following products are only available to California customers.

Model Battery Service
iPod shuffle (4th generation) 2010 $39
iPod nano (6th generation) $59
iPod touch 8 GB (3rd generation) $79

Pro Tips to Maximize and Extend the Battery Life on Your iPod Touch

There are certain things that you can do to extend the battery life on your iPod.  If you implement these suggestions, you will not only extend the battery for daily use, but also the overall lifespan of the battery on your iPod.

Update to the Latest Version of IOS

Keeping your iPod up to date with the latest version of the operating system is key to ensuring that you have the ability to maximize the life of your battery.  To ensure that you have the latest version, simply go to navigate to Settings > General > Software Update.

Optimize your Settings

The brightness of the display is the greatest determining factor in battery drainage.  To combat this, you can dim the screen or turn Auto-Brightness on to extend your battery life.

To dim your display, open Control Center by swiping down from the top of your home screen, and then drag the Brightness slider down.  The more you drag it, the dimmer the display will appear.

Alternately, you can opt to use the Auto-Brightness feature on your iPod touch.  This will automatically adjust your screen to lighting conditions. To enable this, simply open the Settings App and tap on General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations and set Auto-Brightness to On.

Enable Low Power Mode

According to Apple’s website:

“If you want to extend the battery life on your iPhone, turn on Low Power Mode. This reduces power consumption until you turn it off or charge your iPod to 80%. When Low Power Mode is on, certain settings and features like app updates, downloads of new TV shows or podcast episodes, mail fetch, and some visual effects such as True Tone are reduced or disabled.”

Should I Replace the Battery or Simply Buy a New iPod

The answer to this question really depends on how old the iPod in question is and how would you use it. If you are sporting an iPod classic from 2009, buy a new one. The replacement battery for that iPod is $179, and it does not have nearly all that the iPod touch has which only costs $20 more.

If you have an iPod that is only two or three years old, and he find that you need to replace the battery, you just may want to do that because it will only cost you $39 to replace the battery that’s a whole lot less expensive than purchasing a new unit at $199.

Is an iPod Worth Buying?

So, why would you want to purchase an iPod Touch when it basically does everything an iPhone does with the exception of placing cellular phone calls?

  1. The iPod Touch is far Less Expensive. The entry price for the latest iPhone is $699.  The entry price for the latest iPod is $199. That’s a savings of $500. 
  2. The iPod Touch will literally do everything the iPhone does except place phone calls. It uses the exact same operating system (IOS), as the iPhone does. 
  3. The iPod Touch is much smaller in size than even the smallest iPhone. It’s thinner, lighter and easily fits into the tightest jeans or front pocket of a pair of kaki pants. 
  4. It’s a great “starter device” for kids.  We all know that kids want an iPhone, but we also know that kids are learning how to be responsible.  Entrusting then with a $700 iPhone seems to me to be a great risk, considering that it could easily get lost or accidentally damaged. Purchasing an iPod gives your child nearly all the functionality of the iPhone for $500 less. 

Closing Thoughts

There is no question that Apple hit a home run when they first introduced the iPad back in 2001.  Some would say that it put them on the map.  It caused “Apple” to be come a household name.  The fact that the iPod is now 19 years old, and is still selling units is remarkable.

The iPod is a solid device that can play 40 hours of music non-stop or play 8 hours of video and yet easily fit into one’s pocket is a testimony to the incredible engineering that went into this product.  If you need all of the functionality of an iPhone without the ability to place cellular phone calls, then this is the product for you.

Tim Chesonis

Tim has been helping people with computers needs for several years, and he loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective and enjoys freelance writing. In fact, when he's not writing an article, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Tim, click here.