iPod nano owners sue Apple over screen issues

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Consumers upset about their iPod nano screen becoming easily scratched or marred have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple Computer, demanding their money back plus a share of the company?s profits.



The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Jose on Wednesday, will bring before the courts the same complaints recently voiced by nano adopters on websites and online message boards.



According to the Red Herring, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of nano owner Jason Tomczak and others who have purchased the relatively new device. The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and ?that alone left significant scratches.?



In the suit, lawyers for the plaintiffs charge that screens on the nano ?scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable, and violating state consumer protection statutes [...] and causing Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary damages.?



The suit goes on to allege that the player's screen "scratches so excessively that the items shown on the screen can no longer be viewed by the user. In fact, if users were to put their nanos in their pockets with common items such as coins, keys, a money clip, a credit card, or even the earphones that accompany the nano, the devices would likely scratch so badly that viewing the screens would be extremely difficult, if not impossible."



Tomczak and class action members are being represented by law firms Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and David P. Meyer & Associates.



The lawsuit follows an abundance of nano complaints around the Web, media reports about its increased susceptibility to scratches, and Apple's own acknowledgment of an LCD flaw with a small number of the players.



Last month, scratching issues related to the nano spurred a flurry of first-hand reports from disgruntled customers and also fueled the creation of websites like www.flawedmusicplayer.com, which urged Apple recall the product.



Apple responded by acknowledging a "vendor quality problem in a small number of units" that could cause the nano's LCD screen to fail or crack, but downplayed concerns that the screen was more prone to scratches than previous iPod models.



"A few vocal customers are saying that their iPod nano is more susceptible to scratching than prior iPods. We have received very few calls from customers reporting this problem, and do not believe this is a widespread issue," the company said.



Apple added: "The iPod nano is made with the same high-quality polycarbonate plastic as the fourth-generation iPod. We suggest concerned customers use one of the iPod nano cases that are coming to market to protect the music player."



In the 31-page suit obtained by AppleInsider, Tomczak and his lawyers oppose Apple's response, arguing: "Although it was clear that the nano was defective, with the fierce competition in the digital music industry, Apple decided not to delay the release of the Nano, but to pass off the cost of replacing the defective product along to class members."



"Moreover," the plaintiffs said, "rather than admit the design flaw when consumers began to express widespread complaints about the screen's propensity to scratch easily and excessively, Apple concealed the defect and advised class members that they would need to purchase additional equipment to prevent the screen from scratching excessively."



The plaintiffs are asking for a trial by jury. They seek damages including reimbursement for the cost of the nanos, statutory and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees. They are also asking for a share of the "unlawful or illegal profits" Apple has made from sales of the players.



Apple introduced the iPod nano on September 6th and has since sold over 1 million of the players. However, recent analysis suggest Apple is gearing up to sell as many as 10 million nanos in the three-month period ending December 31st.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 207




    Didn't we have several cases like this before?
  • Reply 2 of 207
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Does anyone have photos of the scuffed devices? Of all the stories I've seen, with all the posts and claims made, I have yet to see a photo of the damage. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I'd like to see what it does look like, not someone's written or verbal description of the problem.



    If they get money back from Apple, I don't see why they'd get more than that other than to cover legal expenses. A share of the company's profits are already in the sale price of the nano, plus some if the device was bought through a third party.
  • Reply 3 of 207
    synosyno Posts: 33member
    God Bless America
  • Reply 4 of 207
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider



    [...]demanding their money back plus a share of the company?s profits



    [...]



    Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and ?that alone left significant scratches.?



    [...]



    In fact, if users were to put their nanos in their pockets with common items such as coins, keys, a money clip, a credit card, or even the earphones that accompany the nano, the devices would likely scratch so badly that viewing the screens would be extremely difficult, if not impossible."[...]




    I dislike Apple, the company, as much as the next guy. But these people should have their assses handed to themselves. Why not just stick with the truth instead of exaggerating and claim a replacement insted of this junk?
  • Reply 5 of 207
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,353member
    Sorry folks. As much as I hate to admit it ..it's totally true.



    I went into the Apple Store with my gf not long after the Nano was out. Every single floor model was scratched to a point were legibility was hampered.



    I will not buy a Nano because of this and I'll be watching to make sure the issue doesn't affect the larger iPod either.



    Apple has laid another PR turd here and frankly I think they should lose the class action lawsuite. It's reasonable to expect a certain amount of durability in a portable product. The Nano does not have that durability IMO.
  • Reply 6 of 207
    zangzang Posts: 10member
    Damn, my Honda has scratches. Perhaps I should sue them for a new Civic, huh?



    F-ing ridiculous.
  • Reply 7 of 207
    Somebody should sue apple for releasing those F-ing ridiculous powerbooks
  • Reply 8 of 207
    What gives them the right to demand a share of the profits? That alone just proves the motive.



    Let's say that they were illegally gained profits, why should these people have a share? That's the pot calling the kettle black. If I bought one and so did James, but James gets a refund plus cash from Apple, aren't I going to be annoyed that I just gave a load of money to James? What did James do to deserve that money? I'd rather it was kept by the court and given back to me as a refund.



    James is basically saying "I'm not happy with this, you took my money for an inferior product. Therefore I'd like my money back, and I'd like to take someone else's money for the hassle it caused me. Sod them, I'm more important."



    Matt
  • Reply 9 of 207
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mike Moscow

    Somebody should sue apple for releasing those F-ing ridiculous powerbooks



    If they had released anything better someone would dig up 100 recent PB buyers and made a class action against Apple over the resell value of their machines.
  • Reply 10 of 207
    It's true! Not only are nanos susceptible to being shoved in a coin & key filled pocket and sat on, but aluminum PowerBooks are susceptible to damage from nails that are pounded clear through the case, and I have noticed that Apple's install DVDs are much more flammable than their competitors'. For shame.
  • Reply 11 of 207
    guarthoguartho Posts: 1,208member
    Hmm.. rather than taking half an hour and a $20 bill to buy a PDA style screen protector, I'll just get an attorney and spend months in a law suit.



    "Oh my god... The flaw in my totally unnecessary luxury item has caused me so much woe and grief. I had to take out two loans to buy this music player and now it's hard to read. My life as I knew it is over. Damn you Apple! Damn your corporate greed and what it's done to my life! I must be compensated!



    and a thousand times
  • Reply 12 of 207
    My new Nokia phone's screen is already all scratched up after just a few weeks use. I want my money back and I want part of Nokia's profits!



    Oh and my old Nokia phone, after I had it for a few months dust got behind the screen, and it was very hard to make out the text. I want my money back for that one too!



    Get real folks, if you don't want it to be scratched, put it in a case. Take my Palm Tungsten T3 for example. It's important to me, so I put it in a case, and it doesn't get scratched that way. If I just dumped it in my pocket, it sure would.
  • Reply 13 of 207
    wow-

    the most riduculus thing that i've heard in a while. How do they expect their money back PLUS a cut of Nano profits. WTF is that about? How do they expect to get a cut of Nano profits?



    {The suit goes on to allege that the player's screen "scratches so excessively that the items shown on the screen can no longer be viewed by the user. In fact, if users were to put their nanos in their pockets with common items such as coins, keys, a money clip, a credit card, or even the earphones that accompany the nano, the devices would likely scratch so badly that viewing the screens would be extremely difficult, if not impossible."}



    Who in their correctly sane mind would put an unprotected iPod in a pocket with coins and keys?



    didn't your mommy teach you that if you want to keep your toys, you had to take care of them. Mr. Tomczak should be arrested and convicted of iPod abuse.
  • Reply 14 of 207
    "The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and ?that alone left significant scratches."



    That explains why it's scratched! Case closed.
  • Reply 15 of 207
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and ?that alone left significant scratches.?





    I hope this shit for brains doesnt have eye glasses...you do NOT use paper towels or any wood-baced product to clean clear polimers...you use microfiber cloth, anyone who has bought eyeglasses with advanced plastic lenses in the last ~4 years knows that!(I have been using microfiber for ~10 years!) it aint rocket science!





    Wanna polish/buff the iPod? use microfiber
  • Reply 16 of 207
    bergzbergz Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JeffDM

    Does anyone have photos of the scuffed devices? Of all the stories I've seen, with all the posts and claims made, I have yet to see a photo of the damage.



    Open your eyes, man.



    This is the mini that spent the entire keynote in Steve's pocket.







    --B
  • Reply 17 of 207
    Quote:

    The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and ?that alone left significant scratches.?



    wow what an idiot. maybe someone should inform this retard that lcd screens are usually made of polycarbonate... and even the strongest polycarbonate, take glasses for example, are VERY susceptable to being scratched from wood fiber. furthermore just because paper towels sometimes seem very soft, they usually have at least some wood fibers... i guess when i scratch my glasses with a paper towel, rather than trying to get lens crafters to replace them under warranty (which they wont btw) i should just sue them... goodluck with your lawsuit, unfortnately you cant sue for not understanding how things work. Hey Jason, next time try using something soft, light and cotton, like your brain for example :-)
  • Reply 18 of 207
    It's just plastic casing, obviously softer than a regular LCD screen. Not obvious of course, if you bought it sight unseen, so I feel a little sorry for those who didn't go to there local store and beat up the store model. Has anyone seen the new video ipod?



    The first thing I do when I get anything with an LCD screen is cover it. You can spend $5 for a PDA screen protector,

    or the next time you buy an electronic devices of any kind save the sticky plastic film protector and cut sheets out to protect all your toys.

    I was happily living off the sheet of plastic on the side of my G4 for years, keeping my min ipod (click wheel too), camera, phone and palm coddled like babies.

    I just unwrapped a bunch of keyboards and saved the plastic for...

    my new Nano. I'll wrap it lengthwise, tape it in the back and enjoy my lighter than air new toy.



    (Funny I'm readingh this article exactly ONE minute after deciding to buy the Nano. I was going for the video iPod, but decided on a Palm TX instead. I called Palm and asked them to please get on the horn to Steve so I can watch Lost on my TX. Jeeze it's tiny!).



    Can I sue because I think the skinny format is going to cause Blackberry Thumb syndrome? THAT is my reservation over the new design.
  • Reply 19 of 207
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bergz

    Open your eyes, man.



    This is the mini that spent the entire keynote in Steve's pocket.



    (image)



    --B




    Try adding some white blurring to the screen. Scratches scatter light, not refract it.
  • Reply 20 of 207
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,353member
    You all are being silly and unrealistic. The facts are the Nano is a portable device that will indeed be put into pockets and bookbags and whatnot.



    The reality is it scratches far too easy. I've seen it with my own eyes. It mars bad enough to obscure the screen.



    Asking for a portion of the profits is frankly ridiculous but lawyers will always ask for the moon and hope to get close.



    Apple should have spent the extra money on higher quality plastic. Looking at the bill of goods thread they are making excellent margin. They did'nt have to take the uncessary risk and use cheaper plastic.
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