Nano lawsuit.

Jason

Eyebrow Moderator
BBC Reports of lawsuit regarding nano...

The lawsuit alleges that Apple launched the music player despite knowing its design would limit its life.

The legal action follows a rash of complaints from iPod Nano users who reported cracked and scratched screens.

Apple said a bad batch of Nanos had caused those problems and denied the device was more likely to scratch than other models of the popular player.

Commenting on the lawsuit, Apple said: "We do not comment on pending litigation."

Coating questioned

In the first 17 days that the iPod Nano was on sale, Apple sold more than a million of the credit card-sized music players.

But the gloss of the early September launch of the Nano was marred by reports that screens of some devices were cracking or scratching very quickly. Protests were led by Matthew Peterson who started a website to force Apple to admit the problems and replace gadgets.

Now Jason Tomczak, another disgruntled Nano customer, is at the centre of legal action over the gadget.

Represented by Seattle-based legal firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Mr Tomczak filed a lawsuit on 19 October in the San Jose District Court which alleges that the Nano is too delicate for normal use.

Paperwork supporting the filing says that iPod Nanos "scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable".

The lawsuit pins the blame for the scratching on changes Apple made to the design of the music player to make it as thin as possible.

It alleges that screen and controls in the Nano are beneath a film of resin much thinner than in other models. It alleges that other versions of the iPod do not scratch as easily because they are covered in a thicker, stronger plastic coat.

Mr Tomczak launched the legal action after a replacement iPod Nano also suffered scratching soon after he got it.

He is seeking the return of a $25 fee he had to pay to send the player back to Apple, plus the original cost of the gadget and damages.

The lawsuit was filed by Mr Tomczak and "on behalf of all others similarly situated" but will require a ruling by a judge to have it granted class action status.

Surging interest in the iPod in all its forms helped Apple report its best ever financial results in the year to 24 September when it reported profits of $430m (£246m).
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
Its because of frivolous lawsuits like this that the nano sells for $299 and not $199.
And last time I checked, the iPod nano was a music player, not a video player.

Have a look at this coverage of Matthew Peterson from ArsTechnica:
http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2005/9/28/1373

Looks like he's taken to harassing Apple store employees as well now, even after getting his nano replaced by Apple. Its pure attention seeking rubbish.
 

Jason

Eyebrow Moderator
As much as I dont like his tactics, I have to agree, every nano ive seen has been in pretty bad shape, but at the same time i don't know exactly what they have been through.

Do we have any nano owners here?
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Friend of mine has one for two weeks now. No scratches that are really bad. A couple of small ones like I have on my iPod 4G. Gotta say: I hate those lawsuits. Hate's a harsh word? I mean it that way.
 

Jason

Eyebrow Moderator
See the only thing that I personally think is different is the way they marketed it. I think the nano is put in a position that its going to get scratched more simply because they are kinda marketing as something you slip in your pocket, whereas the ipod is generall a case on the belt type of thing.

Hmmmmm
 

Jason

Eyebrow Moderator
*note* this doesnt mean i agree with said lawsuit, but i do think that apple dropped the ball putting the same or less coating on something that supposedly is supposed to be a pocket item.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
I dunno. Having used mobile phones and portable music players as well as PDAs for more than a decade now, I can safely say I *know* one doesn't keep those items where the keys are. Or if one does keep them there, one accepts some scratches. I don't have some specialised case for my iPod, it resides in one of my jacket's pockets - usually with nothing else in there. It gets some scratches over time, but that's just normal... The nano's no different here. Maybe the smaller screen makes the scratches more evident, but to create a _lawsuit_ out of this... If it'd scratch _itself_ or become unreadably scratched within a matter of days: I'd take it back to the dealer and claim the device is faulty and would want a replacement. That's it. A _lawsuit_? That's just crazy.
 

mdnky

[Bobs/Prog/Design:~] mod%
Staff member
Mod
I bought my 30GB Photo in June of this year and it's got it's share of scratches, most all from slipping in my pocket (jean type material mostly) with no keys or coins. It's going to happen no matter what coating they put on it...common-sense dictates when you rub something soft (plastic) against something abrasive (jean material or other coarse fabrics) scratches will occur. The metal back even shows those tiny light scratches.

Most of it is the materials used in the construction...shiny smooth plastics and metals in white and 'chrome' will show minor scratches many times over what a grey or other medium color in a dull finish will.

If I wanted to keep it from happening, I would have acquired a case of some type. Personally I don't think it really matters...the thing still works just like it should. As far as a lawsuit about it...it's a joke. The guy should have used some plain old common-sense, end of story. Hopefully they (judge/judges/jury) figure that out and deny him.
 

lilbandit

I hate Meath
I own a black nano and it does scratch very easily. No coins, keys etc. in my pocket. Just the nano. I'm always reasonably careful with phones, iPods etc. so as not to scratch the screens but the nano is a different kettle of fish. Lots of tiny scratches. I posted this somewhere before but the best description is that it looks like it was rubbed with steel wool. Very unsightly and I have to admit, unexpected. I can tolerate a few marks, but this issue detracts from an otherwise excellent little player. I admit that I have never used a case for an iPod or phone, usually I make sure that the iPod/phone is the only item in that pocket. Typically this is enough to ensure that the product doesn't become damaged. This hasn't been the case with the nano. If you introduce the product by pulling it out of your jeans pocket (without a case) surely it shouldn't scratch so easily?
 

Krevinek

Evil PPC Tweaker
The one thing that threw all credibility out of the window for this lawsuit was that they are trying to lay claim to profit. There is no way a percentage of the profits is just restitution for something like scratched screens. Those sort of judgements are given out on something where the plantiff is harmed by each unit sold. Why the heck would one buyer be harmed financially because a couple million other buyers also bought a Nano and didn't take part in the lawsuit?
 

pensfan

Registered
Krevinek said:
The one thing that threw all credibility out of the window for this lawsuit was that they are trying to lay claim to profit. There is no way a percentage of the profits is just restitution for something like scratched screens.
You're completely right on this point. I think the entire suit is frivolous. But even if he's correct and Apple is wrong for selling him an item that scratches, how does that justify him getting a percentage of profits? Wouldn't he be whole if they gave him his money back?

This is why health care costs are rising so out of control. Of course, we want people with legitimate claims to have easy access to the court system, but cases like this ruin it for everyone by driving costs up.

And like someone said earlier, this is part of the reason the price of the Nano is what it is.

Finally, how much do you want to bet this guy is still USING his beaten, worn and scratched iPod????
 

dduck

Registered
Hmm, two weeks in and I have to admit that I am now seeing the same "rubbed by steel wool" scratches on my nano. It has spent its life either on my desk, or (solo) in my kangaroo pocket on my jacket/sweater with the in-ears wrapped around it the better to avoid anything contacting the surface. Hundreds of little scratches.

I can live with it, but I must admit I was wrong, and the people who reported this were right :/
 

kainjow

Registered
This is getting ridiculous. How is suing going to make your nano scratch less? People are too committed to their Apple products... no one would sue Dell if their crappy Ditty thing scratched like crazy...

I think I might sue Honda because my car remote is scratched up a lot now.
 

Jason

Eyebrow Moderator
No one is saying that the lawsuit is correct.

The lawsuit is crap.

No one is defending the lawsuit itself.

But what I am saying, and what dduck is saying, is that the nano *does* scratch very easily and thats not a good thing. Especially for something thats marketed as being carried in your pocket.

A lawsuit will not solve that. Especially a stupid lawsuit.

But public awareness *might* put enough pressure on Apple to at least take a look at fixing it or make a public acknowledgement that either a) it is not supposed to be pocketed or b) it is going to scratch very very easily when in use like so.

I think you guys have been misunderstanding the point :)
 

pensfan

Registered
Jason said:
But public awareness *might* put enough pressure on Apple to at least take a look at fixing it or make a public acknowledgement that either a) it is not supposed to be pocketed or b) it is going to scratch very very easily when in use like so.

I think you guys have been misunderstanding the point :)
Jason, I understand what the folks who are complaining about their Nanos are saying. I don't have one -- yet (hint, hint, dear wife) -- but if they're as bad as I've heard, owners have a right to be angry.

But there is a large step between being angry and filing a class action lawsuit. And if the point of the suit were just to get a new Nano, hello folks, Apple's already said theyll give you a new Nano if you have a problem with it. Asking for part of the profits? C'mon.

These suits costs millions to defend and they drive up prices.

I'm a proud liberal and I don't want to deny anyone access to their courts to have a legitimate grievance heard.

Nano owners who have had a serious issue ought to do what they can to call attention to the problem. But filing a suit that will cost a company literally millions to defend over a scratch on a $249 product is a bit more than I can stomach.
 

joneSi

wanna be power user
fryke said:
I dunno. Having used mobile phones and portable music players as well as PDAs for more than a decade now, I can safely say I *know* one doesn't keep those items where the keys are.
?? I keep my mobile phone in my pocket with my keys every day. Its in MUCH better shape after one year than my nano is after one month, it was a free nokia phone, (ie a 'cheapie'). In a word _pathetic_

However, I have some 'thoughts'

to those suing --> I went and got some PDA protectors for my nano. I mean, seriously, $10 for 10 sheets of plastic will protect it and it will look the same. Big freakin' deal...no unnecessary lawsuits needed! How great!

to Apple --> DO NOT show Steve Jobs taking the new product out of his pocket with no protection on it if thats NOT how its going to work. Yeah, we get it, its small. Should have seen this coming gents...

my .02
joneSi
 

Krevinek

Evil PPC Tweaker
Well, I think there is a grievance if the product scratches too easily.

I just think the lawsuit has zero credibility because it is asking for unjust compensation.
 

Quicksilver

Find a golden apple.
Why dosen't somone just release screen protectors already? I've been using the ones that come with the PSP (packet costs $9). Just cut it up to fit your iPod or even just the iPod screen and its fine. If it scratches, replace it.

After all you still have an iPod that looks brand new every time.


Problem solved!



.
 

Tommo

Registered
Or more radically there are other players out there. I have a Sony HD Walkman, marginally bigger than the Nano, smaller than the Mini and having rattled around in my pocket for the last six months still unblemished. Sure it doesn't have the 'street cred' of the iPod but it has better battery life, and was better value for money.

I agree that this lawsuit can be construed as wrong, but I think the biggest outrage from the initial post is Apple's insistance that faulty goods are returned to them at the users expense even when still under warranty regardless of whether items are replaced or repaired free of charge.
 
Top