AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple faces lawsuit over iPod Nano screen

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 23 Oct 2005 23:16 User comments (29)

Apple faces lawsuit over iPod Nano screen Apple Computer Inc. now faces a lawsuit over defective iPod Nanos which have screens that are extremely easy to scratch. The Nano was released last month along with the Motorola ROKR phone (iTunes-compatible phone) and immediately got excellent reviews. However over time, Nano owners noticed that the screen on the ultra small MP3 player was easily scratched during normal usage. The lawsuit alleges that Apple knew of the flaw but decided to go ahead with the release anyway.
A judge will now decide whether the lawsuit can be grouped with similar claims to win class action status. The lawsuit claims Apple's iPod Nano scratches "excessively during normal usage." It accuses Apple of making consumers believe the Nano was durable when the company already knew different. It blames the scratching defect on the film of plastic resin that covers it to protect it from damage.

Older iPod models had thicker and stronger resin according to the suit. "Rather than admit the design flaw when consumers began to express widespread complaints ... Apple concealed the defect and advised class members that they would need to purchase additional equipment to prevent the screen from scratching excessively," the complaint continues.

Apple did admit to one problem concerning the iPod Nano. A certain batch (less than one tenth of 1%) of the iPods had screens that could be cracked easily and in some cases, broken. The company offered to replace those devices. Jason Tomczak, the plaintiff named in the California lawsuit, had earlier trouble with an iPod Nano battery too, for which he received a replacement. However, both screens scratched so bad that he couldn't view them anymore.

He, and others with similar complaints, want the $25 fee they paid to return the Nano back along with the full original cost of the devices and several other damages. The suit also claims that Apple deleted posts on its website that relate to the scratching problem.


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29 user comments

123.10.2005 23:33

i'm expecting this sour apple.

224.10.2005 1:11

we sell nanos where i work.. i take 5-10 back because of them damn screens.. for the same price you can get the 20gb version..

324.10.2005 2:15

apple always deletes post from there web site especially if it hurts there ipod sells or takes money away from there repair costs

424.10.2005 3:00

From this moment on, I hate all apple products. I hate the company I hate everything to do with them, even their OS's! This is just a typical marketing scam, yeah just ship dodgy ones, If they break it's their own fault.. I hate their OSs (a little off-topic I know) because of their compatibility with hardware devices and software and assistance. Very little help is provided with software and also hardware. -Mike

524.10.2005 4:34

This is just what happens when kids play with grown up toys. Of course the Ipod nano is going to be scratched, people most likely keep them in their pockets or school bags. Batteries I can understand, "cracked" screens I can understand that as well but scratches? Learn how to take care of your shiznit.

624.10.2005 4:47

Caveat Emptor. "Let the sucker beware". Slight deviation from the original Latin). Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #1: "Once you get their money, you never give it back." Suckers. Fools. Dopes. Dupes. They tell me there's one born every minute, you know. iPod, SchmiPod. You bought into the HYPE, you big dummies. You just had to have one of these pathetic hi-tech toys didn't you? Couldn't bear to live without it, eh? God! What would the neighbours think if you weren't one of the first kids on your block to get taken in....[er] get one of these miracle devices? The screen, even IF it was 100% scratch-proof, is so friggen small you have to use a magnifying lens to see the damn thing. Enjoy your new hi-tech gizmo, lads. It'll be a chic item for another short while yet, (until the next apple "must-have" piece of s--t comes along.) I think it's going to be called the "iPod Dummy". But you've got lots of money, don't you, so it doesn't matter. And don't worry - they make _terrific_ little desktop paperweights after they break down anyway. Don't forget to put-in your advance order _right away_. Supplies WILL be limited! Quick, quick, hurry, hurry! Buy NOW. Now-now-now. Buy-buy-buy! Christmas is just around the corner! Steve Jobs just loves, you man. I think he's just published a new book called "iPods For Dummies". (I can probably get you a 20% discount. Just PM me.) Hell, with all you big dummies out there with money burning holes in your pockets, I think now might be a good time for me to invest in some publicly-traded Apple stocks. P.S. Yes, I am indeed making fun of you. I luv you guys (truly I do), but if my words only serve as a WakeUp Call and save you from future grief, I will have performed a public service. You big dummies. -- I'm just joking!!!!!!

724.10.2005 6:28

well, I am not a big fan of Apple (I was traumatized by being raised with an Apple IIe), but this is free market capitalism. To argue that, because a product is low quality and thus damages soon after purchase, you should be able to sue, is stupid. Think about all the generic buyers out there. Same reasoning. If I buy a cheap car and it breaks down in 3 years, versus an expensive one that lasts 6 years, well, different quality for different products. Sorry guys, but you got suckered into buying the ipod which I think is stupid anyway. Plenty of so-called generic ipods for a lot less money that play more types of songs, especially wma's.

824.10.2005 6:38

I'd love to know what everybody is doing to scratch the hell out of their screens. I bought a Nano for my wife for her B-day over a month ago and the screen is still perfect. She keeps it in an ipod sock (we can't find the damn Nano tubes) in her purse. It's in a side pocket by itself. She listens to it every day and she's not exactly what you would describe as 'careful.' I agree that people need to learn to take care of their shiznit.

924.10.2005 7:06

I have to agree that it is a design flaw. I bought an iPod Nano a few weeks ago as a replacement for another MP3 player. I am not an Apple fan - I don't own or use any other Apple products. I bought the Nano because it was small and had 4GB of storage. I treated the Nano with absolute care. It either sat on my desk at work, or was alone in the pocket of a cotton shirt. I did that same things with my older player for months and it never scratched. After only 2 days the screen of the Nano was becoming scratched and it was hard to read the text. If a product is so delicate that you can barely touch it without inflicting damage then there has to be a problem. The plastic is just too soft. I now have the original protective plastic covering the screen (which looks like crap) and I have ordered a 3rd party protective cover. Apple needs to admit that they have a problem and either replace the scratched units and/or offer some sort of protective case/cover to affected owners.

1024.10.2005 7:50

Hmmm... I paid $55 for a Rio S10. Not as slick and thin as the nano but it has taken a beating without missing a beat. No pun intended. I guess my only point is, it's possible for any manufacturer to make these kinds of devices tough enough to withstand normal use and handling. Can you imagine a cell phone manufacturer trying to sell a phone that was this delicate? P.S. With the Rio I can replace my own battery...

1124.10.2005 8:09

P.S. With the Rio I can replace my own battery...
With my $99 JVC discman, I can replace my own MP3 discs, and it runs off two (2) .99c AA batteries. <gg> Oh yeah....... I ain't ever scratched the screen either, and I don't need a magnifying lens to read it. You big dummies. I'm Joking, I'm Only Joking! Pleeze don't kills me!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Oct 2005 @ 8:11

1224.10.2005 9:26

Yeah, the Rio runs on one AA cell for 30 hours. I use rechargables. It has an SD card slot that supports up to 1/2 gig cards (last 1/2 gig card I bought cost $18) and has no moving parts, a vastly under-rated feature IMHO. Perhaps not the best mp3 player ever but it works well and I havn't scratched mine yet either, and I carry it around in my pocket! Gasp.

1324.10.2005 12:47

WOW is this like the first apple law suit

1424.10.2005 12:51

was that scarcasm? i'm guessing it was.. who didnt hear about the class action lawsuit on the ipod battery

1524.10.2005 13:03

In Never Heard about it

1624.10.2005 15:04

I didnt either.

1724.10.2005 17:56

Most consumers are simply nitwits. I put a screen protector (just cut a piece of cheap self laminating plastic) over any small LCD. Didn't let my son touch his Gameboy b4 putting a lid on the LCD. Let alone carry the thing around w/out a decent case.

1825.10.2005 0:20

GrayArea, although I think - in general - these devices are over-hyped and under-protected, -- your little Rio looks a bit better (more robust) than most of the devices I've seen. I'm kindof a dummy myself - I bought a Sony mp3 player (no moving parts, runs off a single mini-AAA battery), but I HATE the clunky Sony "Sonic Stage" software you have to install in order to transfer the songs over to the device. The software really is a bloated mess and very awkward to use. (The player itself is so small though, I could probably stuff it up my left nostril). :) This is probably not a good thing, as.. (a) - it tends to impede my breathing, and (b) - the player's buttons are SO tiny, it takes supreme effort to push the right ones. (Several of the tiny buttons are deeply recessed, and each button serves several separate functions depending on what "Mode" you are currently in). In other words, this player is a real awkward bitch to operate in real life. And although a 1/2 gig memory card IS a pretty good deal at just $18, you have to remember that a blank 700MB cd costs something like .40c these days, AND you don't need to plug in a USB cable or install any clunky song-transferring-software. The trouble with ALL these devices are that they are built just too damn shoddily! They are CHEEPLY CONSTRUCTED & FLIMSY! Built-in obsolescence is ever-around-the-corner, as is their impending demise. (Destruction). Do NOT slip an iPod Nano into your back pocket (an easy-enough thing to do considering their small size), and then sit down on a hard wooden chair. CRUNCH! Bye-bye one iPod. In the real-world, ALL these devices take a physical pounding, and few of them (any?) are up to the task. If Apple were to expend half as much energy in trying to make these players as _rugged_ as possible, rather than concentrating so much on all the hi-tech 'gosh-wow' features, we'd all be better off! Damn! These players are not cheap, and their life-expectancy is about as short as an African tse-tse fly! :-)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Oct 2005 @ 0:38

1925.10.2005 7:56

This is awfull,Wars,people killing each other,raping,people still buying ipods, this is the end i tell you!!

2025.10.2005 8:44

Binighted- Have you seen the pix of Brittany's baby? It's a dark day when roughians can go around saying "NEEE" to old ladys at will... ;-) A_Klingon Well, the Rio software is nothing to rave about either. In fairness, with the rather LARGE execeptions of DRM and the bad habit of doing things for you without asking the iTunes software is probably the best thing about Apple music products. It's pretty clean and easy. If I could use winamp to load my Rio (and it supported .m3u lists!) I'd be in hog heaven. I suppose someone writing a plugin to do that would involve reverse engineering, then Rio would sue the author siting DMCA violations. But I digress. If your player let's you forget about it and enjoy the music it's good enough...

2125.10.2005 8:48

here's the ipod battery lawsuit..

2225.10.2005 19:45

screw ipod. People just buy it because its "cool". Besides, why buy a nano when you can get the 20g model for less money. i wouldnt buy a nano. apple needs to come up with another selling point besides "its really really small!".

2326.10.2005 3:57

Ipods are good in my opinion got a regular 15 gig one and it works fine for like 3 years. My mom got a pink mini and it works fine going on a year. I guess it just depends on how you use it and what you do with it.

2427.10.2005 7:52

aw2600 (Newbie) 24 October 2005 11:06 ... I treated the Nano with absolute care. It either sat on my desk at work, or was alone in the pocket of a cotton shirt. I did that same things with my older player for months and it never scratched. After only 2 days the screen of the Nano was becoming scratched and it was hard to read the text.
o.O That is incredible! I wanted to get one of these for my little sister because all of her friends have an ipod and she felt out of the loop. If it gets to the point where you can't read the text... Man, no way.

2529.10.2005 21:46

who needs a special mp3 player? I use my cell phone and sd memory.

2630.10.2005 7:52

see the creative zen mico is readily availible for $200 CAD yet everyone goes out and buys a $300 iPod Mini when you cant even change the battery... If you Zen Micro battery dies then you just buy another one for $50 CAD... while if you are un-intelligent enough to buy an ipod you would have to pay a thefty $100 USD! more than twice for the zen battery replacment... PLUS you dont loose your mp3 player for 2-3 weeks. i currently use my psp with a 512meg mem stick for listening to music. but i use that crappy sonicstage software to get every compressed into atrac3 at 105 kb/s. in atrac3 105 kb/s is the same as 192 kb/s in mp3 so i think its a fair trade. having to use a utterly garbage program to get more songs on it :)

274.11.2005 19:17

im a junior member i wish i were senior

287.11.2005 2:35

Bit off-topic don't ya think? You get to Senior Member by posting good quality posts. Anyway, it's quality, not quantity. -Mike - Guides written by me. - Join us Live on IRC!

(Kudos to Ripper For The Beautiful Sig!)

299.11.2005 9:55

I've had an Ipod nano for 3 weeks and i haven't came across any of the problems people keep talking about. Sure the screen gets microscopic scratches but come on people. If it gets that bad you can't read the text on the screen then u should get a kiddie mp3, cause ur obviously not capable of takin care of a mature mp3.

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