Brothers Make Apple See iPOD Light

Casey Neistat is not the first New York artist to have a love-hate relationship with his Muse.

And that inspiration, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta, is his Apple iPod – a pocket-sized gadget that can store a staggering 10,000 songs, which Neistat downloads off of his Apple computer.

"I use iPod all the time, almost every day. It's great," Neistat said.

But after 18 months of achieving high-tech music bliss, the iPod hit a sour note – its battery suddenly fizzled out.

"I took my iPod to the Apple store here in Manhattan and asked them to replace the battery," Neistat told Acosta. "And they explained to me that Apple does not offer a service to replace the battery in the iPod, and my best bet was to buy a new iPod."

A new iPod – that would cost another $400.

"I felt taken advantage of, exploited," Neistat said.

To say that Neistat took matters into his own hands would be an understatement. He decided to hit Apple where it hurts, Acosta reports.

As filmmakers, Neistat and his brother Van use nearly every kind of Apple equipment imaginable, so they aimed their arsenal and made a movie, complete with Casey's conversation with Apple tech support.

Tech support: "You might as well get a new one."
Casey: "Apple doesn't offer a new battery?"
Tech support: "Not for the iPod, no."

That conversation plays in the background while the film shows Casey taking to the streets, mounting a new slogan on iPod billboards that Apple never intended: "Ipod's unreplaceable battery lasts only 18 months."

The message taps into a consumer gripe about electronics – that they're made with limited life spans to pry more money out of loyal buyers, Acosta reports.

"It sounded fishy," said Van Neistat. "It sounded suspect that this sort of planned obsolescence would be part of their game."

After the Neistat brothers put their film on the Net, a million viewers saw the protest for themselves. Two days later, Apple called to inform Casey that the company had started a new battery replacement program.

"Of course, my first question was, 'Are you calling me in response to the film that we made," Casey Neistat said. "And their response to that was, 'We can neither confirm nor deny that we have seen that film.'"

That's better than what Apple gave CBS News, after refusing to comment on a film that scored one for the consumer.
  • Joel Arak

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