No one is really sure how widespread the problem is, but it has been enough of an issue for one individual to start a website dedicated to cataloging the failures. The Apple Time Capsule Memorial Register collects Time Capsule serial numbers, date of purchase, date of death, and location, and displays the information along with the average lifespan of a failed device. In just one day, the site has 119 reports in its database with an average lifespan of 17 months, 19 days.
Currently, all Time Capsules have a one-year warranty that begins on the date of purchase, but no option for extended warranty other than purchasing AppleCare for an eligible computer. When covered under a computer’s AppleCare, the warranty on a Time Capsule is extended to three years from the original purchase date.
This doesn’t help if all Apple does is replace the Time Capsule though. Replacing the device has the same result: people are losing their backups at some point in time. The majority of these Time Capsules in the database appear to be dying because of a PSU failure, thoughâ€”a savvy person could potentially remedy the problem long enough to get his or her data off the internal disk. Still, the act will void any warranty and result in a loss of several hundred dollars if you bought AppleCare to begin with.