Concerns mount over iPod nano LCD durability

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A significant number of early iPod nano adopters are waging concerns and complaints about the durability of new players, claiming the LCD screens are easily scratched or broken with minimal abuse.



The issue has spurred a flurry of first-hand reports from disgruntled customers on Apple's support forums and also fueled the creation of websites like www.flawedmusicplayer.com, which urge Apple recall the product.



In an email to the website, one iPod nano owner wrote: "On Monday morning, I dropped it in my pocket on the way to work, and when I took it out to show it to all my friends, the LCD was cracked."



Another customer said: "Last night I broke my 2GB black iPod while it was simply sitting in my pocket. I was destroyed over it considering I sacrificed my whole paycheck for it."



Over on Apple's support forums, the company appears to be deleting comments concerning broken iPod nano LCD screens as they appear. Still, one thread dedicated to the iPod nano includes nearly 500 posts chronicling the ease in which the LCD can become severely scratched or damaged.



"I received my black 4GB nano on the 23rd (of Sept.) and already it looks like it's been through a sandpaper factory," said one customer. "Like many other users I have been very careful with it and it has not been in any pockets with anything else."



Says another customer, "I bought the black 2GB at Best Buy four days ago and have used it once. I held it in my hand and the thing looks awful. It was my first iPod and I am bummed."



The iPod nano's screen is arguably its most critical component, as it provides a means to navigate playlists and display full-color photos.



"The nano screen is just as vulnerable as any other iPod LCD, however I feel that the public impression is that you can carry these in your back pocket or just toss them inside of a book bag and not worry -- this is far from the truth," said Ryan Arter, president of iPodResQ, a company which offers LCD replacement services for the nano.



Already iPodResQ is receiving more nano LCD repair requests than it had initially expected. As of last Thursday the company said it was dealing with hundreds of LCD damages, with demand steadily increasing from day to day.



"We replaced the first [iPod nano LCD] the day after they were released, and frankly I never anticipated that," Arter said. Demand for nano LCD repairs through iPodResQ has since escalated, causing a shortage of the replacement LCDs and forcing the company to raise the cost of its repair service from $99 to $145.



So far Apple has made no official comment on the issue and its retail store and phone support employees have told iPod nano owners that their LCD damage is not covered under warranty. Some customers are having a tough time digesting this response because they feel Apple had implied that the player was durable enough for everyday use and storage "in your pocket".



During the Sept. 7th unveiling of the iPod nano in San Francisco, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs pulled the player from his front pocket and declared: "1,000 songs in your pocket and impossibly small."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 100
    lupalupa Posts: 202member
    It's a small (extreeeemely thin) electronic device, what else did they expect?
  • Reply 2 of 100
    guarthoguartho Posts: 1,208member
    True but,



    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    ... its retail store and phone support employees have told iPod nano owners that their LCD damage is not covered under warranty.



    Just WTF IS covered under warranty!?
  • Reply 3 of 100
    lupalupa Posts: 202member
    I missed that the first time through... I wonder if there was any reason to do this (other than to be cheap).
  • Reply 4 of 100
    I don't see how it's any different from the other iPods. My U2 B&W iPod seemed to get scratched the minute I took the plastic off of it, but it's for music so it only bothers me when I am thinking about it, and not listening to it. However, I bought a baby sock set and use that to cover it, it seems to keep it from scratching some more. Something I'll consider since I was thinking about a new iPod.
  • Reply 5 of 100
    rhoqrhoq Posts: 190member
    Lupa, you had it right the first time.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Lupa

    It's a small (extreeeemely thin) electronic device, what else did they expect?



    It's common sense. Why should Apple have to replace broken LCDs because a user is lacks the common sense necessary to care for their $250 investment? Seriously, haven't these people ever heard of a protective carry case? If I were to spend $250 on anything, I would do everything I could to make sure it remained in pristine condition for as long as physically possible. I would never even think to just throw a Nano in my pocket or into a bag, unprotected.
  • Reply 6 of 100
    i fear that if this continues, they'll be no different from micrsoft. i can't believe that apple is royally scr**ing everybody.



    i am totally pro apple, but they have been a bit uncomprehensible with the realse of the nano and the rebates. i had trouble with the rebate offering. why would you want to take advantage of a student. that's just wrong.
  • Reply 7 of 100
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Lupa

    It's a small (extreeeemely thin) electronic device, what else did they expect?



    First of all, something so thin needs to be durable. Steve Jobs himself pulled it out of his pocket. That's what the motive is behind having such a small device. People are complaining they break too easy just putting it in your pocket. Apple's not going to win this one.
  • Reply 8 of 100
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,959member
    I agree that it's up to the consumer to realize that plastic devices will get scratched when rubbed against hard objects (no innuendo intended) and to take precautions against this type of damage. I mean, would you rub your keys against the screen of a brand new LCD display? Then why would you treat your iPod any differently?



    That said, I think it'd make sense for Apple to put a blurb on the box stating that iPods are not scratch resistant, nor is such damage covered under warranty, and that owners should invest in a protective cover if they want to avoid this type of damage. Just to cover themselves against lawsuits from people who want to be compensated for the fact that they lack critical thinking skills.



    Either that or develop a military-grade iPod and charge accordingly for it. I can see pink camoflage being a hot seller.
  • Reply 9 of 100
    I don't own a nano, but after I read some of the posts in apple's discussion forum I wanted to see just how bad these scratches were. So I went to my local Best Buy which carries the nano. This device sees more action and abuse than any of these people complaining and it was nearly scratch free. I asked the rep behind the counter how long they have had it out on the shelf. "Couple weeks".



    I used the nano.. moved my finger across it, used it like a normal person would and placed zero scratches on it. Now.. there were some scratches on it, but they were very small and nowhere near the extent that people are describing and I was easily able to still read everything on the screen flawlessly.
  • Reply 10 of 100
    lupalupa Posts: 202member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Rhoq

    It's common sense. Why should Apple have to replace broken LCDs because a user is lacks the common sense necessary to care for their $250 investment? Seriously, haven't these people ever heard of a protective carry case? If I were to spend $250 on anything, I would do everything I could to make sure it remained in pristine condition for as long as physically possible. I would never even think to just throw a Nano in my pocket or into a bag, unprotected.



    I definitely see what you mean, it's ridiculous to just toss something like that around. Also, complaints about the scratches are just anal and pointless. If we can completely chalk up these LCD problems to user neglect and (properly manufactured/assembled) fragile parts, then by all means, let the users deal with it. I just think it is slightly odd that there aren't any other widespread component failures being brought up. Maybe there are component issues which Apple should take responsibility for. [this is referring to the actual lcd, not casing or cosmetics] Either way, it's worth looking into, apple is not perfect (example: logic boards).
  • Reply 11 of 100
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hkbaq

    i fear that if this continues, they'll be no different from micrsoft. i can't believe that apple is royally scr**ing everybody.



    i am totally pro apple, but they have been a bit uncomprehensible with the realse of the nano and the rebates. i had trouble with the rebate offering. why would you want to take advantage of a student. that's just wrong.




    You're lucky you get a rebate. Now THAT'S just wrong.
  • Reply 12 of 100
    I just find it a bit shady that they would be deleting all posts related to this from their support forums.
  • Reply 13 of 100
    It's interesting that most people complaining noticed the crack after putting the nano in one of their pockets. Now, they all say that their nanos weren't under pressure and that their pockets weren't tight, yada yada, but if indeed the nano screen will get so royally screwed up by putting it into a pocket without subjecting it to any pressure or impact (say, bumping into a subway handrail while commuting precisely where one kept the nano in a "loose" pocket), then there should be accounts of such things happening "outside" of pockets.



    But, so far, all these cracks happened mysteriously while the nanos were in these people's pockets.



    Now, I know from experience that you are more oblivious of gadgets when they are kept in pockets or bags. Heck, I've rammed my shoulder bag with my laptop in it into corners of desks etc. more than once or twice. People are good at steering their bodies away from objects, but often it's a close call (hence, the bumping of your pinky-toe on the corner of your dresser every once in a while).



    My bet is that these cracks are happening in such circumstances, where the nanos *are* being put under pressure or being impacted but the owners don't realize it. After all, if the nanos are so fragile as to fracture with no pressure or impact, then we should be getting reports of nanos screens that cracked while someone was browsing through their music library.



    Just a thought I had. Not intending to be an Apple apologist, btw. I have my share of gripes with Apple products and have gotten replacements for more than one thing in the past (iBook logic board, iPod battery, etc.).



    R
  • Reply 14 of 100
    Call me crazy but this whole thing smells like organized FUD.



    Sure there are probably some valid complaints amongst this. But I suspect that the MS & Creative FUD machine is using this "weakness" and blow it out of proportion, hoping to hurt Apple's sales. (Because, at this point, this is the only thing that they can do)



    Did you guys read the article on Thurridiot's site where MS execs are talking about Apple at some event?



    One exec praised the nano, then told everyone that his nano stopped working after one day, and everyone laughed. He said "It looks like they have some moisture problem" and everyone laughed again. So as you can see the execs are aware that diffusing and repeating a (fake, but based on some possible problem) story like this could hurt the iPod, it's almost a running gag for them.
  • Reply 15 of 100
    lupalupa Posts: 202member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bdkennedy1

    First of all, something so thin needs to be durable. Steve Jobs himself pulled it out of his pocket. That's what the motive is behind having such a small device. People are complaining they break too easy just putting it in your pocket. Apple's not going to win this one.



    I agree that they need to have Some durability, but this article does not make it crystal clear how much people abuse the nanos or how weak the nano is physically (or whether there is a common flaw in some units, which is always a possibility)... One thing that is clear, however, is that putting the ipod in a pocket then taking it back out a moment later will not break the nano's lcd, unless you have a very viscous pocket. The thing is, we do not know who is resphonsible at this point, due to a lack of information.
  • Reply 16 of 100
    lupalupa Posts: 202member
    woops, wrong button.
  • Reply 17 of 100
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:

    Originally posted by VL-Tone

    Call me crazy but this whole thing smells like organized FUD.



    Sure there are probably some valid complaints amongst this. But I suspect that the MS & Creative FUD machine is using this "weakness" and blow it out of proportion, hoping to hurt Apple's sales. (Because, at this point, this is the only thing that they can do)




    Welp,



    This is why we contacted iPodResQ to verify that the problem exists and is growing. So unless Creative and MS are buying boxes of nanos, breaking them, and then sending them to iPodResQ for repair, I think you can discount the FUD assumption at least partially.



    Best,



    Kasper
  • Reply 18 of 100
    I have two words about these complaints of screens miraculously cracking after being placed in a shirt pocket: Ars Technica.



    Those guys gave us a step by step obliteration of a Nano and were frankly surprised at how robust the thing was. I know a thing or two about iPod owners to know that they will want to have it replaced under warrenty even if they took it deep sea diving!!! I'm at uni and I've met people who complain that Apple should have replaced their iPod becuase it's got a dent in it. You point out to them that they had it on while playing football and they acquiesce. You paid $250 for it, look after the damned thing as if you just paid your entire week's wages on it - which you just did! Here's a post I made earlier:



    The "screen scratch issue" is a farce, really. Firstly, the 'screen' doesn't so much scratch as the 'whole' device does. Saying it's the screen that scratches is putting a bit of a spin on things. It makes it sound as if the 'screen' goes bad. Not the case. I've seen Nanos in Apple stores that were on that hard wooden table for days, with, literally, thousands of people clammering to touch and use it, whose screens were still clear and easy to see. Ofcourse, the body had hair-line scratches, but nothing like what's being suggested. All spin, really.



    Noone's bothered to explain what it is that "scratch-prone screen" really means. All iPods scratch. Have you never seen people with their Motorola V3 with the plastic still on? I have. People hate their beautiful electronic goods being scratched. People never used to carry their GameBoy Micros around in cases. Now it's defacto for you to have a case for your PSP. Why? You know why? They're nice and shiny that's why. But still they sell - no complaints there!



    It is obvious, though, that people will complain about such things - and the traditional Apple baters are unto this like kids to candy. Nothing new there. For every complaint on a website that talks about scratches there are 10000 people happy with their purchase - scratches and all. Just like my sisters school friend, who doesn't give a damn, really. She just flings it about, acquiring new scratches as she goes!
  • Reply 19 of 100
    Haha, I never buy Rev A.
  • Reply 20 of 100
    tinktink Posts: 395member
    This might be FUD but its probably true.



    I haven't even seen a Nano Nano in hand yet, but I own a Canon Elf camera (that I'm stoked with) and a lot of the reviews I read talked about cracking LCDs. Mine is fine but ...what's the connection?.... these Mini LCDs are delicate!!!



    I just hope they can beef em up somehow with costing a mint and without this blowing up in our faces.



    ...if this really is an issue
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