iPod nano screen complaints abound | iLounge News


iPod nano screen complaints abound

Apple’s iPod nano may be receiving rave reviews, but a slew of nano owners are complaining about the device’s screen getting scratched too easily. Apple’s support forum contains several hundred postings discussing the flaw, with some claiming that their nano’s screen is unreadable because of the scratches. The majority of nano owners made it clear that the device was not treated badly and said pockets, fingernails and soft cloths all caused extreme scuffing.

“I don’t really care if the case on my Nano gets scratched but my screen has scratched up so badly that all the images are starting to become distorted,” one nano owner wrote. “I have only carried it in my small pocket in my shorts and nothing is in there to scratch it. I still can’t figure how the screen looks like it has been rubbed with sandpaper when the entire time it has been safe in my pocket (with absolutely no items).”

Meanwhile, one dissatisfied nano owner has set up FlawedMusicPlayer.com (formerly iPodNanoFlaw.com) to chronicle what he calls an “Apple design flaw” with the nano screen. The person said the screen on his nano unexpectedly cracked after carrying it in his pocket for a short time. He said the player was not subjected to any abuse.

“The iPod Nano is not really to be used. It is way too fragile,” he writes on the site. “Apple markets it in a pocket. Hell, Steve Jobs himself pulls it out of his when he announces it. My Nano broke on day 4. The screen that is. It shattered. It was in my pocket as I was walking and I sat down. No, I didn’t sit on it, it was just in my pocket just as all iPod’s before it have done, and my cell phone, which also has a screen on the outside, does. This is what they were meant to do. That’s why they make them pocket size.”

In what can be considered more than just a coincidence, several iLoungers report that iPodResQ has raised the price of its iPod nano LCD screen replacement service from $99 to $145. “We are experiencing a temporary price increase on the nano LCD repair due to LCD availability and overwhelming demand,” the company states on its website.

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If you don’t own a black nano, then you have no idea what you’re talking about.  I have had several ipods and take great care of them all.  The black nano is just ridiculously easy to scratch.  I’ve carried mine around in a moshi microfiber pouch the past two weeks and its extremely scratched up.  Believe me when I say that NO OTHER ipod scratches like these.  I figured the unprotected nano would hold up rather well until cases came out a month later, but that’s just not so.  I now wish I had never taken it out of the box which is ridiculous!  This isn’t about whining anal people complaining over small scratches, it’s a serious issue where I know that if I continue to use my nano daily, I won’t be able to see the screen within the next month or so.  So if you don’t have a nano, stop bitching at the people who do, and let the threads get a real assessment of how wide spread this problem is.

Posted by DennisQ on September 26, 2005 at 12:26 PM (CDT)


After X generations of iPods with screens, you’d have to be a damned idiot not to expect an unprotected iPod screen to scratch.  I’ve got three iPods and they all have scratches.  Live with it you babies!

Posted by Frank Z on September 26, 2005 at 12:53 PM (CDT)


It would be one thing if ridiculously easy scratching was common on small electronics but it seems Apple is the only manufacture that missed the boat.  Motorola produces millions of phones with hard coated polycarb screens.  Why?  Because people put them in their pockets.  Name one other small electronics manufacture that gets this many complaints about scratching.

Anyone who says this is to be expected that doesn’t actually own one needs to STFU.  It is NOT asking too much to be able to put the Nano in your pocket w/o a screen protector.  It’s a shame all the Apple fan boys have convinced themselves that this is all normal and that having to cover up their product with a screen protector is to be expected.  Why is Apple the only company that gets a pass on not using suitable materials for their product.

Posted by Michael on September 26, 2005 at 1:47 PM (CDT)


I don’t own a nano, but go to a bricks and mortar Apple store and look at the Nanos on display.  I guarantee they are scratched, likely severely, unless the store opens a new bunch of Nanos everyday to display (unlikely).  I was shocked when I saw this and assumed they were “demos” which were put through the mill to see what they could take.  They were not.  They are “excessively” fragile, moreso in degree than the battery problem was “excessive”, and resulted in a class action suit.  I would pull them off the shelves.  It’s that bad.

Posted by Memphisguy on September 26, 2005 at 1:54 PM (CDT)


There is an Apple.com discussion thread on this topic that is approaching 500 posts! 

Sure, I guess all us Nano owners a bunch of *damned idiots/babies*. 

http://discussions.info.apple.com/webx?[email protected]@.68b94d61

Posted by jcs on September 26, 2005 at 2:20 PM (CDT)


Simple comparison.

If you wear glasses (or sunglasses), would you put them in your jeans pocket?  NO.  If they got dirty, would you try to clean them by rubbing them with denim?  NO.  How about the rugged nylon/canvas your backpack is made out of?  NO.

Why?  Because your glasses would get scratched.  Duh.

Sheesh, people with no common sense.

Posted by SPThom on September 26, 2005 at 2:30 PM (CDT)


Black will show off scratches more than white. Get over it. Anyone who has ever owned a black car will attest to how easily it shows cobwebbing and swirlmarks. If you don’t want to see scratches do two simple things:

You could also just get some clear contact paper and stick it on the nano face and back temporarily until you get a case.

If anyone thinks that the pocket of their jeans is not going to scratch something smooth and shiny I’d love for you to use it to polish your dark colored car with. Absolutely bizzare to expect it NOT to scratch up.

I have a black samsung D500 phone and it has a large plastic screen that is prone to scratches unless I use a screen protector. The same with any palm or pda. You wouldn’t carry it in your pocket without a screen protector and expect it to be dazzling scratch free right?

Bottom line is don’t expect this to defy physics. An abrassive material will leave scratches so get some protection for your nano!

Posted by Nano owner on September 26, 2005 at 2:30 PM (CDT)


then are too cheap to spend another $20-$30 to protect it.

The reality is that Apple could choose to make any iPod more scratch-proof by spending much less than this, because it could buy the material at cost and apply it at the factory.

The reality is that polycarbonate, which the nano uses, is very hard and resists shear and torsion strain but is quite soft. The standard way to enhance it against scratches is to apply a thin-film deposition of some sort of crystal such as sapphire. This has a manufacturing cost of around $3 per item and results in those nice devices (such as high-end mobile phones) that can sit in a bag for years and get minimally scratched. Apple could also choose to anodize the metal casing, which would protect against scratches, or to glaze it with some sort of clear epoxy. Again, a cost of up to $5 per item.

That Apple chooses not to spend this chump change making iPods scratch proof is either a conspiracy theory to get people to junk iPods early, to encourage the development of a 3rd party iPod skin/case ecology, or simply because Apple is cheap and prefers to shave the few dollars off to increase margin.

Personally, knowing how tight Steve Jobs is, I favor the third, latter hypothesis.

Posted by Demosthenes on September 26, 2005 at 2:33 PM (CDT)


This guy’s website does not deserve the attention that it is getting.  Sure, this screen thing is a problem, but the author of the website is a JERK.  Have any of you actually bothered to read through it?  He’s the biggest prick i’ve ever seen.  He’s actually attempting to cause an apple store’s employee to lose her job over this stupid ordeal. 

This guy needs to get a life.

Posted by pooponyourface on September 26, 2005 at 2:46 PM (CDT)


I still don’t understand why Apple doesn’t use Saphire or Mineral glass, as it can be found on better watches. Doesn’t cost a fortune, and makes scratches a thing of the past. I have a perfectly faked Rolex which I bought in China for USD 10 (ten) and this thing doesn’t have a single scratch after 2 years of EXTREME outdoor adventures.

Posted by ismokePod - but didn't inhale on September 26, 2005 at 2:50 PM (CDT)


Yeah, scra-scra-scraaaatchhhh is right. They should pre-load Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show” on this thing in black. I took the stickers off, put it back in its box, and the freaking PAPER from the other side of the box scratched it after I carried the box cross town.

The arm-band that Apple sells leaves the screen totally unprotected also, no help there.

So if storing the thing face down on a sheet of PAPER will scratch it, covering it with something is a must-do. I wish Apple had made the damn thing out of harder plastic or a thin coating of epoxy or something. Or, gasp, a removable face-plate so we could fix ‘em cheap when they get banged up.

Much easier to ensure that your customer ‘upgrades’ every year to get rid of the absurdly banged-up version they bought not so long ago…


Posted by Skeeter on September 26, 2005 at 3:19 PM (CDT)


I own a Black 4G nano…got it the first week they were available.  I also have had every other iPod model available…from the first day the first iPod was released.

I carry the nano in my front jeans pocket. I have cased previous iPods, but I will not case my nano…it feels too good in the hand to wrap it in silicone or pda plastic. That’s my choice for what I want from the product.

It has micro scratches on it. They don’t bother me in the least, nor do they hinder the display.  The softness of the nano’s plastic MIGHT be more than previous models, but the softness brings easier buffing too with Novus and other scratch removers.

I am not saying that others shouldn’t be upset or bothered; it is their right to be bothered by whatever bothers them….bugs in the iPod firmware and in iTunes bother me, scratches bother others. Also, Apple certainly could make these things more scratch resistant, and I wouldn’t complain.

But I am at least one person, with a black unprotected nano, who is not up in arms about this matter (and the battery on my first gen iPod still gets 3+ hours of playback on a charge!).  Those who are upset should speak for themselves and not the rest of us who are very happy with the nano so far.

I hope some sort of solution is found so that others can enjoy their nano too!


Posted by Tom Affinito on September 26, 2005 at 3:22 PM (CDT)


If you buy a PSP screen cover from walmart it comes with two covers.  Cut one in 1/2 an use it to cover the front screen of your ipod and then use the extra full screen cover to protect the chrome casing on the back of the ipod (which will scratch worse than the screen). This is for a 60G ipod photo but the principle should be the same for any ipod model. It is a very cheap way to keep your ipod looking the way it did when you got it, especially if you own an ipod with a color screen. This also allows you to protect your ipod from scratches while maintaining it’s aesthetic quality and functionality (someting most ases annot provide).

Posted by joshM on September 26, 2005 at 3:23 PM (CDT)


i carried it in a tiffany & co pouch bag designed for silver jewelry and it still created scratches.  I am convinced that they must have left out the protective coating during the manufacturing process in error.  I dont mind scratches on the body of the nano, but on the screen it really bothers me.  I am sure Apple is aware of it and will fix this pretty quickly.

Posted by khyberny on September 26, 2005 at 5:33 PM (CDT)


Why doesn’t apple try to use some sort of mineral glass. I recently purchased I timex watch. The screen is supposedly made of this and I have bumped it into many things, but it does not show so much as a blemish.

Posted by bob on September 26, 2005 at 6:45 PM (CDT)


I don’t really understand the comment by bobby about people being stupid for expecting it to have the durability of their mobile…?

That’s EXACTLY the kind of durability it should have and I can not think of an excuse as to why it doesn’t other than 1) Lower quality = Higher profits, 2) Lazyness, 3) Disposable culture (the non-replaceable battery fits into this category as well)

My mobile phone has a similar screen quality and resolution to the Nano and cost about the same. While I treat it with a level of respect it’s also very robust. It goes unprotected into my bag and pocket fine, it’s been dropped several times and knocked about but it still looks good with minimal visible scratches. This is after 6 months of use, most of the complaints about the Nano are surfacing after a week of owning the device.

It seems to me that Apple want the device to be high maintenance - Seriously, the silver back? It takes two seconds of handling it for that to look like rubbish - covered in smudges. I’ve never liked - it has no practical value whatsoever, serving only as shop counter ‘bling’ to make people drool over the product.

In my opinion, the iPod mini is the best shell design they have issued so far. It’s robust, doesn’t really require a case (especially if they employed better screen plastic). I’d take that type of shell over the standard iPod or Nano any day.

Posted by kura on September 26, 2005 at 6:48 PM (CDT)


Many of those posts on Apple’s discussion board are by new members with only one post too, so to say there are hundreds of complaints there is a bit dubious to say the least.

Personally, I have had a black nano now for over two weeks and my only complaint has been with the fingerprint issue.  I just have to wipe it down after using it, but it’s really not that big of a deal though.  I’ve also placed mine in my pocket several times, yet I have no really noticeable scratches at all.  I’m not sure what all of the hoopla is about really, it’s definitely been blown WAY out of proportion.

Posted by LanceTX on September 26, 2005 at 7:28 PM (CDT)


i’ve owned several mp3 players before the nano.  i also own a psp that did not have a screen protector for the first month i owned it.  all of these things have gone into my jeans pocket without causing any noticeable scratches. i put the nano in my pocket ONCE and the screen was scuffed up like i had rubbed an emery board against it.  i didn’t pay $250 for something that is less durable than my old $100 cheapy mp3 player.  i won’t be buying another ipod again until this changes.  form shouldn’t take so much of a precedent over function. i was beguiled by the nano’s sexy shape and promise of a superior interface. in all seriousness, i would care less if it was just the case that got scratched, but clearly the screen is equally as vulnerable.

Posted by alainiala on September 26, 2005 at 7:51 PM (CDT)


now let me tell you, this apple corp. is going down the drain internally why you are all giving them more money to make more products that fall apart when your warranty is up. all the fault lies in the hands of good ol’ Steve Jobs… he keeps cranking out new “revolutionary” products to cover up for all the CRAP! he has sold. yeah i thought my ipod was the Chrons until the peice of crap battery only lasted for the first few steps i take after unplugging it from the charger. yeah so go buy yourself some sony products because apple needs to quit digging a deeper hole and get the EF out of the audio business

Posted by SJohnson on September 26, 2005 at 10:43 PM (CDT)


“i put the nano in my pocket ONCE and the screen was scuffed up like i had rubbed an emery board against it.”

I’m sorry, but unless your pockets are lined with sandpaper, I find it highly improbable that simply placing it in your pocket one time could do damage like that.  I’ve placed mine in my jeans pocket SEVERAL times and nothing of the sort has occurred.  If I look at it under a bright light, I can see several hairline scratches, but nothing that detracts from the nano’s appearance, nor anything that effects the readability of the display at all.

Either there was a really bad batch of nanos that were shipped out by mistake, or some of these people posting online have quite an imagination.  I’m not really sure which it is, but the black nano I have certainly doesn’t have this kind of problem.

Posted by Rob on September 26, 2005 at 10:44 PM (CDT)

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