Lawyer: Apple ‘ignored obvious defects’ with iPod nano | iLounge News


Lawyer: Apple ‘ignored obvious defects’ with iPod nano

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the law firm representing plaintiffs in the iPod nano lawsuit against Apple, has sent out a press release announcing its claims. As reported last week, Jason Tomczak and other consumers have filed a class action suit over the iPod nano’s susceptibility to scratches.

Steve Berman, lead attorney in the case, says that Apple chose to ignore a design problem with the nano before it was released and has since downplayed the complaints from owners. “We intend to prove that in an effort to rush the iPod nano to the market, Apple ignored obvious defects in the design and later tried to cover up negative responses received from consumers,” says Berman. “We seek to recover money lost in purchasing this product as well as the $25 fee Apple has chosen to impose on those who have returned their product after it became unusable.”

The press release also attempts to describe the alleged defect with the nano. “Previous versions of the iPod separated the screen and controls from the case and was covered with a thick film of resin. In designing the nano, Apple reconstructed the housing into a seamless front where the screen and controls reside directly under a much less durable film of resin allowing irreparable damage to occur.”

The announcement goes on to say that “Apple knew the nano was defective, but chose to go forward with the release and pass the cost of replacing the defective device on to class members. The suit also claims that instead of admitting to the flaw after widespread complaint, Apple concealed the defect and advised class members to purchase additional equipment to prevent the screen from scratching excessively.”

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Nononsense is right on the mark!
Like what I said before… Stupidity/Greed knows no bound :)

Posted by floridante2k on October 24, 2005 at 11:08 AM (CDT)


Stupidity/Greed knows no bound

Are you refering to Apple’s side?

Posted by iJay on October 24, 2005 at 11:12 AM (CDT)


my nano uis basically in bad condition since i bought it and i realy think that apple did not do a good job on testing the defects on the nano before putting it on the market. i will probably bring my ipod nano back!!!!!!!!

Posted by carl on October 24, 2005 at 11:57 AM (CDT)


My iPod scratched the first day I had it, now keep in mind this was a 3rd gen, and sure I was sad, but unlike this idiot I didn’t sue over it…some people are just retarded and will do anything for a quick buck, I hope this Jackass loses big time.

Posted by matrixsjd on October 24, 2005 at 12:03 PM (CDT)


Since I got my nano, the song I’ve probably listened to most is “Bad Boy Limp”, off the new Goldie Lookin’ Chain album.

It’s basically a spot on p*ss take about the “compensation culture” we have here in Britain today - thanks to money-grabbing ambulance chasing lawyers.

While I understand why you have powerful product liability laws in the US (Ford’s famous “let them burn” memo about the Pinto’s fuel tank design flaws still disgusts me) they exist for life threatening reasons.

Anyone whinging about a scratched nano (mine has lots of tiny scratches - only visible under really bright lights) needs to get things in perspective. Did you buy the thing to listen to music, or to stare at all day long?

I too, hope they lose big time.

Posted by Tonester on October 24, 2005 at 12:23 PM (CDT)


I get what the fanboys are saying, and they kind of have a point.

BUT…  I think Apple staff, and the Apple website should mention the fact that the iPod is VERY easy to scratch.  They should also include a pouch or sock (iPod 3G/5G) with EVERY iPod.

You should not be forced into buying expensive cases, unless you want to have a hard plastic case, or a different colour etc etc.

It would cost Apple almost nothing to apply a protective coating, they should do that as well as supplying a basic case/pouch/sock.

Posted by Hmmm on October 24, 2005 at 12:24 PM (CDT)


How come the freaking powersupport film is amazing and is jus a laer of plastic. Why couldn’t apple do this? Are people bribing apple to make their faces cheaper so they can sell cases?

My PSF is the best accessory ive ever purchased for an ipod…


Posted by Andrew Maier on October 24, 2005 at 1:17 PM (CDT)


I guess we all get to sue our car manufacturers for the lack or protective coatings that make it impossible to scratch the surface! 

Come on!!  Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP - Get a clue, since when did a simple scratch on your nice BMW and Mercedes result in an unsuable vehicle?  Did your engine blow up because you got a scratch on your hood from the rock kicked on on the highway?  I don’t think so…  Remember the whole 10% depreciation simply driving it off the lot?  In the electronics world that’s called a Restocking Fee.

Posted by KSAT on October 24, 2005 at 1:25 PM (CDT)


Two things…
1.  Unless you own a nano, shut up, because you have no idea what you’re talking about.  I’ve owned several iPods and always carry them in the silk-lined inner breast pocket of my suit as I commute (my cell phone in the other pocket).  NONE of my ipods nor my cell phone has ever scratched.  However, after 5 days of the nano traveling in this same silk-lined pocket, you would think that I was carrying it along with my keys.

Secondly - go to an Apple store and look at the new iPods on display - they are WAY more scratched than the other ipods.  I found out that the store in Chicago is now changing them out more often because consumers were asking why they were so scratched.

Finally, for all of you car analogy idiots - I doubt it very much if you wouldn’t bitch to the manufacturer if the paint started peeling off your car from driving down the highway.

Posted by Dan on October 24, 2005 at 3:22 PM (CDT)


Nathan A: “since when has surface scratches made an iPod unusable? Sure it might be annoying, but they don’t affect it functionally at all.”

Wow!  So people who buy iPods actually care about functionality?  I always thought they just bought iPods because of the style, since there are players with much more functionality available (and for a lower price as well).

For the people who are defending Apple’s right to sell products such as these, aren’t you angry at the fact that the only positive attribute of the player (its styling) has a large chance of being destroyed within a short period of time?

When one buys an iPod, with that purchase comes the excitement of being able to show it around to friends and other people, but who wants to see a slab of electronics buried under scratches?  If all you’re concerned with is showing off and looking hip, why not get a player that will “wow” others with its features?

Posted by Cole on October 24, 2005 at 3:26 PM (CDT)


I think it’s good to perhaps outline a few common sense themes here:

* Apple acknowledged some iPod nano’s had a manufacturing problem and suggested for the owners to contact AppleCare or their local Apple Store.  If those resources do not meet your satisfaction, then look into other avenues (I would imagine a class-action lawsuit would not be my first choice.)

* The iPod, just like any small portable electronic device, is going to have a few dings or scratches.  This is the same reason why many people buy cases for their cell phones, PDA’s, and also laptop computers.

* “Cases shouldn’t be mandatory.”  I agree with this.  I don’t like the idea of having to buy a $30 case when I’ve just spent $300 on something.  I think it’s ok to be annoyed that Apple doesn’t include more things in the box.  I don’t think it’s “class-action” worthy annoyance, but I can understand the beef with Apple on this one. 

* In almost all cases, customers control how they care for their products.  If customers want something to stay nice, they need to take care of it.  This doesn’t mean you have to buy a case, but it does mean you need to consider taking care of your products more carefully.

* The iPod was not meant to bullet-proof.  Yes, I would love if I didn’t have to worry about dropping or scratching my iPod, but again the reality is that it’s not meant to be scratch proof.  If you’re a more active iPod user, check out the reviews section of this website to find a case that fits your needs.  Unfortunately cost and durability do not go hand-in-hand. 

* Consider the source before judging whether this issue is really all that large.  I do think there are some owners who have tried to keep their iPods nice and yet have had more scratches than normal.  However, this is the internet and one small complaint can snowball very easily.  I was at Best Buy this weekend looking at an iPod nano that has been on display for the last month (bought a few DVD’s recently).  It looked fine for a floor model.  Sure, it looked like it had been thrown around a little buy a bunch of teenagers, but it’s condution looked like nothing more than wear and tear.  Also - the iPod was still FUNCTIONING, which was better than the other offerings by Creative and RIO who had buttons broken off of the players. 

* Most of these complaints have been seen before.  It’s funny how the same issues (scratching, battery life, finger smudges on the silver backing) are brought up each time a new iPod comes out. 

Just a few random thoughts to help pass the work day… :-)

Posted by Joe Bob on October 24, 2005 at 3:44 PM (CDT)


Read comments by “nononsense”. This guy is SO stupid, he doesn’t even KNOW that he’s stupid. ALL of you, who “feel” that it is unreasonable, “greedy” to expect a manufacurer to deliver a troublefree product should class sue the surgeon who’s screwed up your lobotomy. You are cerityfibale schmucks. Don’t you DARE impose YOUR cockroach standards on MY wallet, or, value system.

Here is MY stance. I have $$. I BUY things. If they don NOT perform in a trouble-free, stellar fashion, the manufcaturere gets it back, in suppository form. (So does anyone else who seks to deny me my consumer freedom. Got it?)

Posted by Caesar on October 24, 2005 at 4:30 PM (CDT)


Here are my $0.02 on this debate:

1) the nano is clearly marketed towards younger users as it has replaced the mini as the fashionable ipod for younger users to own.

2) within 3 days of normal use, my 8 yr old had his black 2gb nano so scratched that the screen is barely visible.

3) some may say that what do you expect when an 8yr old uses an ipod, but I disagree.  This is the most expensive gift he has ever received and he truly treated it with care.

Given my “real-life” case study, I can only conclude that the iPod Nano is built with an inferior plastic casing, as the laminate shell should be durable enough to avoid multiple scratches from daily use.  I think that Apple should be forced to replace any Nano that gets scratched, as I didn’t have the opportunity to buy a case b4 my sons Nano was essentially ruined. 

I normally don’t support lawyers or class action lawsuits, but in this case Apple jumped the gun on an inferior product and they should be forced to replace defective units with new ones.  Otherwise, spend more $ for a scratch resistant surface.

Posted by ambipod on October 24, 2005 at 4:53 PM (CDT)


im suing god because i god scarred in life. BOOOOOOO!

Posted by on October 24, 2005 at 5:12 PM (CDT)


Hey, “fourteensquarefeet”, lemme guess: Harvard, RIGHT? Thought so.

Posted by Caesar on October 24, 2005 at 5:59 PM (CDT)


Ambipod - If I were you, I’d be less worried about the Nano getting messed up and more worried about my son getting messed up in the head from being spoiled at such a young age.  I doubt Apple was marketing the Nano toward a group of people who normally find their entertainment in toys with “Playskool” written on the side.

Posted by Cole on October 24, 2005 at 6:40 PM (CDT)


I wish these low-life brain-dead fools who love to sue over stupid $hit would get f u c k i n g lives or get hit by a vus and killed. Small=Fragile, guys. That’s the way it’s always been and it’s the way it will always be. Hey, if you want to make it out of a hard substance cut a chunk from the head of one of these morons who think that their iPod should never be able to be broken and make it with that—it’s hard, empty and not being used for anything else of any importance.

Posted by Jack on October 24, 2005 at 6:43 PM (CDT)



Did that scratch on your precious Bimmer prevent you from actually using your car? 

Thought so…

The contention from this suit seems to be that scratch collecting is apparently the BEST thing that the nano does, and it does it so well that as to inhibit the actual operational use of the unit. Even your now-flawed Bimmer wasn’t THAT decapped as to claim that.

I don’t see how this can’t be anything other than poor product planning and design, period. Apple slipped up, and so they’re human.  It’s not life or death, but it’s still m-o-n-e-y exchanging hands (and we know how people—and corporations—can be with dead presidents).

Is it worth suing over?  Well, I guess the courts will decide that. As well they should.

Posted by flatline response on October 24, 2005 at 6:47 PM (CDT)


My favorite phrase from the complaint…“irreparable damage”

How can 10 minutes with Displex/Novus/Brasso to buff out the scratches be irreparable damage?  Unless the scratches were caused by keys/coins/etc or other similiarly irresponsible behaviors?

My black nano is still in great shape….no case, carried in jeans, lots of micro scratches that can’t even be seen unless you’re looking for them in the right light…

Posted by taffinito on October 24, 2005 at 6:51 PM (CDT)


yeah, um….  so im not trying to attract a flaming here, but does anyone know how to get in on this?  yeah yeah say it, but hey free stuff is free stuff.

Posted by softserve on October 24, 2005 at 7:22 PM (CDT)

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