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Apple settles iPod battery suit

Consumers who sued Apple Computer over battery problems with older versions of the iPod will get $50 vouchers and extended service warranties under a tentative settlement in the class action case, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

Lawyers representing consumers in the state court case against Apple said the settlement could affect as many as 2 million buyers nationwide who purchased first-, second- and third-generation iPods through May 2004.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple confirmed the settlement but did not provide immediate comment.

In 2003, eight customers sued the company, claiming the popular digital-music player 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 fewer before having to recharge.

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