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Apple Retail offering $59 iPod battery replacements [Update]

Apple Computer through its retail store locations has begun to offer iPod owners a significant discount on its iPod Battery Replacement Program if the battery life of an iPod fails to meet certain conditions, AppleInsider has confirmed.

iPod owners experiencing poor battery life with an existing iPod can bring the player to an Apple-owned retail store for testing. If tests show the battery to hold a charge of only 50 percent or less of its original strength, Apple will offer a replacement for $59.

The program adjustment offers customers with qualifying iPods a discount of $40 off the cost of the standard $99 iPod Battery Repair Program. Apple originally launched the program in late-2003 following criticism amongst iPod owners who discovered the battery life of their iPod would slowly deteriorate over time.

Battery woes associated with early iPod models have also landed Apple in the court room. Last month, a court conditionally approved a settlement in a class action suit brought against the company by several consumers who claim their first-, second-, and third-generation iPod batteries did not live up to the company's representation.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, most qualifying iPod owners who file a claim will receive a $50 reimbursement or credit towards new Apple goods. A fairness hearing on the case is scheduled to take place late next month to decide if the settlement should be granted and on what terms.

Rumors that Apple had begun offering a discount for in-store iPod battery replacements first surfaced earlier this month on Apple Retail enthusiasts site, ifoAppleStore.

Update: Apple has now dropped the mail-in price to $59 as well.