Apple to pay $22.5M in suit over scratched iPod nanos

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple has agreed to a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by customers who experienced quality issues with the easily-scratchable surface of first generation iPod nanos.



The suit alleged Apple knew the glossy front surface scratched easily but misled customers by failing to disclose that information.



As part of the settlement, Apple has agreed to pay $22.5 million without admitting any wrongdoing.Â* The agreement goes into effect pending an April approval hearing at California Superior Court in Los Angeles.



The announcement would bring to an end a three-and-a-half year legal battle between the iPod maker and unhappy customers. Â*It all began mere weeks after the nano's release in September 2005, as early adopters began toÂ*express discontentÂ*with the players' susceptibility to scratches and, in some cases, cracks in their LCD displays. Â*Apple acknowledged the cracking in a statement, but said it was a "real but minor issue involving a vendor quality problem" that only affected less than one-tenth of 1% of the total iPod nano units shipped.Â*



In a complaint filed the the following month, owners claimed the device "scratch[ed] excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen ... unreadable." Â*Nano owner Jason Tomczak said even the act of rubbing a paper towel on the face of the nano left "significant scratches."



The iPod nanoÂ*was introducedÂ*inÂ*September 2005, with chief executive Steve Jobs predicting it would "change the rules for the entire portable music market." Â*The 2GB model was priced at $199, while the 4GB sold for $249.



A first-gen iPod nano scuffed up from normal wear and tear | Photo: Chris.JP's Flickr album.



U.S. customers who purchased a first generation nano without an included slip case will receive $25, assuming they submit a claim form.Â* Customers who bought the digital media player a little later, afterÂ*Apple began to include a free slip case in the package, will receive $15.



Apple has also agreed to $4.5 million in attorney fees and an award of litigation expenses of up to $200,000.



A court-orderedÂ*websiteÂ*provides more information, including aÂ*linkÂ*to a form where customers can enter their iPod nano's serial number to make sure they are eligible for the payment.



According to the site, customers can expect to wait as long as a year after the April hearing if the case is appealed before they receive their reimbursement.Â* All claim forms must be postmarked on or before June 10, 2009, in order to be eligible.Â*Â*Full instructionsÂ*are available at the website.



The settlement applies only to the first-generation iPod nano.Â* Later versions and other iPod models are not included.



Full details, including a list ofÂ*frequently asked questions, are also available.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Yet another example of form over function.
  • Reply 2 of 49
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    As a shareholder, I gotta say thats bullshit. $22.5M because a glossy plastic ipod gets scratched and that wasn't written on the box? Come on! Thats absurd.
  • Reply 3 of 49
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    I remember a lot of people claimed that the scuffing made the screen unreadable. The example in the photo clearly doesn't have that problem. Flash or careful lighting can make a good looking iPod look bad, or a bad iPod look good, your choice.



    It would have been nice if Apple had put decent scratch resistant coatings on their products, but other than surface scuffing, my nanos have been among the most durable piece of pocket electronics I've ever used, and I used it 4-8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The hold switch went bad on one, but the Apple Store rep gave me a new one right away without any rigmarole.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,961member
    Yet another crappy way for people to get some of Apple's money. I guess I should find something dumb to sue Apple over and get paid.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    this is the kind of thing that makes me feel sick.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    I remember a company that included a disclaimer with its products that said "if you are the type of person who does not accept responsibility for your actions, please do not use our product".
  • Reply 7 of 49
    1. Apple pays out $22,5000,000

    2. Each user gets a max of $25

    3. Lawyers get $4,500,000



    Looks like 1&2 got screwed over by 3.



    -Matt
  • Reply 8 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    I've had an LG glossy Chocolate phone that has been in out of my pocket along with keys and coins for over a year yet looks barely scratched at all. Use a better grade of plastic or better technology Apple- problem solved. Shouldn't share holders be demanding that rather than blasting the consumers?
  • Reply 9 of 49
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member
    My 3G iPhone got scratches on the back in less than 2 days! who wanna join me in my lawsuit against Apple?

  • Reply 10 of 49
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...en_issues.html

    -

    "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."

    --

    People understand the screen can get damaged and would thus be unusable. But there is a question of reasonableness. It's unreasonable to think that if you wiped the screen clean with your T-Shirt it would be so scratched that it would be difficult to read the menu. that's Apple's fault.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    i find it amazing that courts, people and apple computer / apple put emphasis on such product decay. the nano felt useless from early on - it was very quickly replaced with my mobile phone, currently a nokia n95 8gb. so mine didn't get to be used long enough to get scratched. besides, apple build nice prototypes - but the "real" products are built after their ideas elsewhere. at any rate, good luck!!!!
  • Reply 12 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...en_issues.html

    -

    "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."

    --

    People understand the screen can get damaged and would thus be unusable. But there is a question of reasonableness. It's unreasonable to think that if you wiped the screen clean with your T-Shirt it would be so scratched that it would be difficult to read the menu. that's Apple's fault.



    I understand what you are saying, and everyone deserves a good product. However, we all know that there is a good use of class action suits, and I'm afraid this is not one. An ipod is a luxury item and will be technology out of date in less than 3 years. Financially penalizing a company for this hurts everyone except the law firm handling the action. $25 does not fix the problem.



    There are more important uses of this energy and money.



    Think about it.
  • Reply 13 of 49
    From the picture provided:



    "A first-gen iPod nano scuffed up from normal wear and tear"



    You can't seriously tell me that is normal wear and tear. It looks like they took some kind of circular buffing device and scratched it up.



    Is that supposed to be scratched just from your finger? If it is supposed to be from your nails whose nail goes all the way around the wheel. I just don't buy the pic. Sorry.



    And I just saw the last part:



    $4.5 million in attorney fees
  • Reply 14 of 49
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 444member
    "Nano owner Jason Tomczak said even the act of rubbing a paper towel on the face of the nano left "significant scratches.""



    I see...



    Jimzip
  • Reply 15 of 49
    Hey, I've got one of those nanos, and indeed it is FILLED with scratches. But, I took some clear packing tape, cut it to the size of the screen, and not only did it protect from scratches, it even filled some in making the screen clearer! Personally, I don't care so much the case got scratched... things get used, things break down and show wear. Can't prevent that.



    So, where can I get my money?



    On another note, I'd like Apple to pay me back for my faulty MBP for a burnt out gfx card and overheating issues, even though the Apple techs say its my fault because I run the fans too high. Totally different story.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Only in America!



    Millions of people are starving around the world and the wealthy waste their time suing for $25.

    SHame on all those people who raised this law suit, you should be focusing your effort in doing something good in the world.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    cbswecbswe Posts: 116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by parky View Post


    Only in America!



    Millions of people are starving around the world and the wealthy waste their time suing for $25.

    SHame on all those people who raised this law suit, you should be focusing your effort in doing something good in the world.



    word!
  • Reply 18 of 49
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    I think we should all object to the settlement and as iPod nano owners says that no payment is required as there is no issue with the iPod, you can do so here :-



    17. How do I tell the Court that I don?t like the settlement?

    If you?re a Class Member, you can object to the settlement if you don?t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to In re iPod nano Cases, Case No. BC 342057, JCCP No. 4469. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, the Serial Number of your iPod nano, your signature, and the reasons you object to the settlement. The objection and any supporting papers must be mailed to and actually received by the following addressees no later than March 27, 2009:

    COURT

    CO-LEAD COUNSEL

    DEFENSE COUNSEL

    Clerk of the Court

    Superior Court for the

    County of Los Angeles

    Central Civil West

    600 South Commonwealth Avenue

    Los Angeles, CA 90005

    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

    c/o Lee M. Gordon

    700 South Flower Street, Suite 2940

    Los Angeles, CA 90017

    Pearson, Simon, Soter, Warshaw & Penny, LLP

    c/o Bruce L. Simon

    44 Montgomery St., Suite 1430

    San Francisco, CA 94104

    Penelope A. Preovolos

    Morrison & Foerster LLP

    425 Market Street

    San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
  • Reply 19 of 49
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    I got my 1st Gen Nano the day they became available.

    When that got stolen 2 weeks later (they broke into my car to get it) I immediately replaced it.

    Yup it scratched. (After a while I stopped the process with a simple film cover.)

    Am I going to take advantage of this? No way. I have a conscience.

    Probably the best device I ever owned. (Until my touch.)
  • Reply 20 of 49
    I gotta admit, I used to get real pissed about my iPod bein' scratched all the time, but it's a little late now. Not many people use a first gen nano anymore.
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