I love my iPad. It's the original model, bought on April 3, 2010. It's been working perfectly since then but the battery life was really bad, lasting only a couple of hours lately. It was exhausted. I had to replace it.
In the process, I got a fresh iPad 64GB at the Apple Store for just $US100 (AU note: not sure what the price would be here in Australia — if you try this and it works, let us know how much you paid). The good news, you can get one too.
After so many charging cycles, my original iPad's battery was exhausted. It took forever to recharge and only a few hours to completely run out. I remember the days when I first got it. I could use it normally for a couple of days, watching at least two movies on it, or browsing the web, running some apps and reading comic books.
I went to the Apple Store to ask for a battery replacement. But, as it turns out, you can't replace an iPad's battery. As the guy at the Apple Store's Genius Bar told me: "See? They don't have screws. We can't replace the battery."
Then he added: "If you want a new battery, we have to give you an entire new iPad."
How? My iPad was out of warranty. I didn't buy AppleCare. He answered that this was no problem. I only have to pay $US100 for the "battery". In return, they would give you a reconditioned iPad with the same storage size as yours, with a fresh battery inside.
So I did exactly that. I paid the hundred bucks and got back home with a perfect battery life and an iPad with no blemishes whatsoever. If your battery life is sketchy — which is probably the case if you bought it back in April 2010 — you should go to an Apple store, pay your hundred and get a fresh new iPad on your hands.
And your old iPad doesn't go to waste. These get refurbished too. Any bad parts get replaced and go back into the cycle of Apple life.
Update: A former Genius shares his tips with us:
• You can do the same thing with any iPhone for $US79, and most iPods for $US69.
• Apple will replace an iPhone in almost any condition (the only exception being for devices that are literally broken into little pieces, or ones that are missing parts) for $US199, even if it's liquid damaged or cracked.
• Apple will replace any OOW damaged iPad for around half the price.
• On an iPhone 4, if the back glass is cracked, an Apple employee can replace it for $US29 in only about five minutes, also not a bad idea if your camera lens is scratched beyond repair
• If you restore your device before bringing it in, there are no usage records saved and they have to take your word for it that the battery is defective.
That's pretty good customer service indeed.