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Lawsuit reveals Apple secretly changed nano in December 2005

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, January 23, 2009
News Categories: iPod nano

Apple has agreed to a $22 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit regarding scratches on the first-generation iPod nano. The case, which dates back to October 2005, alleged that first-gen nano screens “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.” Apple denied the claims, suggesting that users were subjecting the nanos to unusual forms of abrasion, but quietly made two changes, only one of which was known to the public. In addition to adding cheap sleeve-like cases to the nanos, the settlement reveals that Apple began selling “coated” iPod nano units in December 2005; some, but not all, units sold during this time received the coating. As a consequence, units with some iPod nanos were more susceptible to scratching than others, and the settlement provides differing remedies for different users.

According to the terms of the settlement, customers who did not receive slip cases with their nanos may be entitled to a cash payment of $25, while users who did receive the cases may be entitled to a $15 payment. Those with the scratch protection appear to be entitled to nothing. Of the three different first-generation units we tested in the settlement web site’s serial number verifier, one 4GB model was deemed eligible, while two 1GB units were not. The $22.5 million also includes attorneys’ fees of $4.5 million and litigation expenses of up to $200,000. A judge still needs to sign off on the terms of the settlement; a hearing on the matter has been scheduled for April 28.

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Comments

1

Normally I hate lawsuits like this but, I bought a Nano the right when they came out and the scratching really was terrible.

Lawsuit worthy terrible.

You shouldn’t need to buy a protector to have a screen clear of terrible scratches. Just putting it in your pocket would result in scratches. After a month of use my screen looked really bad. It was an horrible design flaw and one Apple deserves to be punished for.

I’m applying for the $25.

Posted by ort on January 25, 2009 at 5:28 PM (PDT)

2

I bought my Nano at Best Buy, took it home, loaded some tunes on it, and then went running with it.  By the end of my run the entire face was completely ruined.  I had nothing in my pocket except for the Nanno itself.  That means the cloth of my pocket scratched the plastic something fierce.  I took it back the next day.  That associate couldn’t believe it was less than 24hrs. old.  I then upgraded to the 30 gig video iPod and put it in a case immediately since I was hearing reports of the video iPods also having problems with scratching as well.

Posted by Dan on January 26, 2009 at 1:01 PM (PDT)

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