Customers whose older iPods had poor battery life will get $50 coupons and extended service warranties under a tentative settlement in a class-action lawsuit.
Lawyers representing consumers in the case said Thursday that the settlement could affect as many as 2 million people nationwide who bought first-, second- or third-generation versions of the digital music player through May 2004.
Apple Computer Inc. confirmed the settlement but had no other comment.
In 2003, eight customers sued Apple, claiming the iPod failed to live up to advertised claims that the rechargeable battery would last the product’s lifetime and play music continuously for up to 10 hours.
Thousands complained that the battery — which cost $99 to replace — lasted 18 months or less and that they could play music for only four hours or less before having to recharge it.
The iPod debuted in 2001, with early versions costing up to $400.
Under the settlement, people who fill out a claim form are entitled to $50 toward the purchase of any Apple products or services except iTunes downloads or iTunes gift certificates.
Consumers who had battery troubles can also get their battery or iPod replaced. Apple currently replaces or repairs defective products that are returned within one year; the settlement extends that to two years, plaintiffs’ lawyers said.
A California judge will hold a hearing in August on whether to give final approval.