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Apple – When your iPad battery dies, dig out $99-plus

iPad Once your iPad’s battery conks out, Apple will give you a brand new device, but it’ll cost you. As with the iPhone, the rechargeable lithium-polymer battery in the soon-to-be-released Apple iPad is not user-replaceable, meaning you have to send the gadgets to Apple for servicing. And under the iPad Battery Replacement Service you’ll get a new iPad to go with that new battery.

But the service won’t come cheap. It’ll cost you $99 plus $6.95 shipping for a grand total of $105.95 per unit. You may also have to pay local taxes on the deal.

The purchase price for the iPad itself starts at $499 for a Wi-Fi-only version with 16GB of memory and ranges up to $829 for the Wi-Fi + 3G edition with 64GB of memory.

Apple will replace your iPad only if the battery has lost its charge through normal use. So if you make your battery kaput by spilling hot coffee on your iPad or accidentally dropping the device out the window, you’re out of luck.

And beware that the replacement iPad won’t have any of your personal data on it. You’ll need to make sure you have a fresh backup of your contacts, calendars, e-mail account, and other information. That’s one reason why it’s a good idea to sync your iPad with iTunes on a regular basis.

To get your replacement iPad, you can contact Apple Tech Support or visit a local Apple Store or authorized service center. Apple says you can expect service to be done within a week after you send in your old iPad.

iPhone and iPod owners know that Apple makes it a practice to sell devices without user-replaceable batteries and then charge a healthy fee to replace them. Many iPhone customers were initially miffed that they couldn’t replace their phone’s batteries themselves, with one unhappy customers even filing a lawsuit against Apple.

iPhone owners with dead batteries pay $79 plus tax to get a new battery within the warranty period. iPod users have to cough up anywhere from $49 to $59 to get a new battery installed, while iPod Touch owners pay $79 for the same privilege. Of course, for people who don’t want to spend that much money, there are ways of replacing the battery yourself.

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