Alleged problems surfacing with Apple iPod Nano screen

“Some owners of Apple Computer’s new ‘impossibly small’ iPod Nano are starting to wonder if the device is also impossibly delicate,” Michelle Meyers reports for CNET News. “The most widespread complaint about the otherwise highly praised device seems to be that the color display screen gets scratched extremely easily.”

Meyers reports, “Nano owner Brian Cason posted one of 250-some threads in response to a recent post on Apple’s discussion board about screen scratching. ‘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,’ Cason wrote, echoing the sentiment of many others in the discussion. ‘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).'”

Full article here.
While there might be a problem with a batch (or all) of iPod nano screens, a few cynical questions pop immediately into doubting minds:
• Didn’t they already try this with batteries and also fail miserably to dent iPod’s market dominance?
• How much of an idiot do you have to be to try to keep an iPod nano unprotected in your jeans change pocket and expect it not to rub/scratch on denim? Just because Steve Jobs used that pocket to highlight the nano’s size doesn’t absolve you from lacking basic common sense. Get a case for your nano or a pack of those 99-cent plastic screen protectors, at least. Take care of your stuff. By the way, all of our jeans’ change pockets are too shallow to accept and cover the entire iPod nano. We suspect Jobs’ jeans change pocket was altered for the nano’s unveiling.
• Would Apple really fail to take basic product design testing steps that every major company takes in order to make sure the screen design wouldn’t fail as is being alleged by a handful of users? Would Apple fail to do this on such an important product?
• Who would benefit if the public could be convinced that iPod nano units have defective screens?
• Is this all they’ve got left with which to “compete” with Apple?

Again, Apple certainly isn’t perfect (just much closer to it than most other computer and electronics makers). There might very well be a problem with a batch (or all) of iPod nano screens. Or there might not.

Related articles:
Site reports iPod nano screen failures – September 23, 2005
Apple iPod nano takes a beating and keeps on beating – September 12, 2005


  1. At lunch the other day a woman was showing off her nano to her friend. She was thrilled with all the features and how small it was and how great the sound was… and then she just tossed it in to the bottom of her purse. I wonder why these are getting scratched?

  2. I don’t know whether people have had problems or not with the iPod nano screen. I do know that I’ve had no problems. In fact, I dropped my iPod nano on rough pavement, and it suffered not one scratch or dent. I was pleasantly surprised. My wife and I both examined it carefully and were surprised that such a drop on such a surface didn’t dent or scratch it. Therefore I’m sceptical of these in-the-pocket scratch claims.

  3. I’ve been carrying mine (black 4G) around in my pocket for about a week now and I’m getting the same small scratches that I’ve had on all my other iPods. Nothing horrible cosmetically, and definitely not enough to distort the screen.

    People complain… they always complain. Look, now I’m complaining about people complaining. Meh.

  4. I’ve had my nano since it was introduced and have yet to experience any of the problems people have claimed it may have. It would be easy to start a few fake rumors about a product just to scare some people from buying it.

    I have carried my ipod nano in my jeans pocket many many times and never got a scratch on the screen. The ipod nano is no stronger or weaker then any other ipod.

    In fact the ArsTechnia review should be proof enough that the ipod nano is built very well and can handle a few drops and bumps.

  5. Why can’t Apple use a scratch resistant surface? Is it that hard?

    About two years ago, I had a Timex Expedition watch. The crystal on that got so scratched and so marred that I could barely see through the thing anymore. To echo the article’s comparison, it looked like someone had attacked it with sandpaper.

    About a year ago, I bought a new watch… again a Timex Expedition of the same price but of a slightly different style. The crystal on this watch, to this day, has not a single scratch on it, and I’ve treated it no differently. There have been a couple of times, in fact, where I smacked the thing hard against the corner of a wall or something. Gritting my teeth, I examined the crystal, saw the point of impact on the crystal, rubbed it with a thumb, and the “scratch” disappeared.

    If this kind of improvement can be done with a watch, then why not the surface of an iPod?


  6. I got Nano a week after introduction, but never have any problem. I never put nano in the jean pockets because my jean pockets get dirty and wet easily. For $250+, it is not some dirty paper money bills or coins, so I do not put in my jean. People should use some common sense and buy armband or some protective case.

  7. The first iPod I got I thought it would be super tough and so I carried it around without a case in my pocket while I was running. Guess what. It got scratched. I then bought a case and it did not get scratched any further. If I get a nano (I am hoping to but may have to wait a bit), I will at the very least get some of the plastic film protectors and probably a good case too. AND I will not keep it in a tight pocket where it will get stressed.

    I guess the nanos are tougher than mini hard drive iPods in that they have solid state memory. That doesn’t mean you can abuse them and expect them to come thru unscathed – especially the outer casing.

  8. Michelle Meyers reports for CNET News: “…the color display screen gets scratched extremely easily.”

    Get a fscking case for the nano.


    MaWo: ‘couldn’t’. As in, ‘Michelle couldn’t find her ass if it were sitting in both her hands.’

  9. I got the first iPod nano at my apple store and have been using regularly everyday. Having owned a smattering of various iPod models, I can say that this model DOES scratch a LOT easier than the others. Is the scratching obscently horrible, no. Is it enough to make the screen hard to read, yes.

    Apple just needs to adjust their manufacturing process to harden the outside surface. They coated the nano in some sort of shiny reflective coating that is not as resilient as the hardened plastic polymer underneath.

    I was going to buy a second one for my wife, but I’m going to hold out until version two.

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