Apple responds to iPod nano screen issues

Apple has responded to reports of iPod nano screen issues:

“Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller said there are two completely separate issues going on here. One is the broken screen and the other is the complaint about the iPod screen scratches,” Jim Dalrymple reports for MacCentral.

Regarding the broken screens:

“This is a real but minor issue involving a vendor quality problem in a small number of units,” said Schiller. “In fact, this issue has affected less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the total iPod nano units that we’ve shipped. It is not a design issue.”

Contact AppleCare and the iPod will be replaced, Dalrymple reports.

Regarding screen scratches:

Dalrymple reports, “Apple said that the screens on the iPod nano are made with the same material that is found in the company’s fourth-generation iPod, which, to date, is complaint free. ‘We have received very few calls from customers reporting this problem – we do not think this is a widespread issue,’ said Schiller. ‘If customers are concerned about scratching we suggest they use one of the many iPod nano cases to protect their iPod.'”

Full article here.
Good news about the cracked/broken screens issue!

As for the “scratched sceens” issue, from SteveJack’s opinion piece, “Are iPod nano ‘screen issues’ really just FUD?” in which SteveJack focused on the issue of scratched screens:

All I know is that the screen surface seems very similar, except for size, to the iPod and the iPod mini’s screen. I could scratch the iPod or the iPod mini’s screen to the same effect as I could scratch the iPod nano screen, that much seems “clear” to me. Not that I’m going to go scratching up my screens. You see, I keep my iPods in cases right out of the box. I’m funny that way; I like to protect my tech gadgets and I don’t expect them not to get marred up if I mistreat them.

Now, I’m not saying that people are mistreating them, but from using iPods, iPod minis and iPod nanos (and cell phones, Palms, etc.), I can tell you the screens can be scratched. And scratched pretty much with equal force in my opinion. I wonder, have the alleged iPod nano owners who claim to be having problems with their screens ever owned an iPod before? …I’m sitting here looking and poking at a 3G iPod screen, a two-month old iPod mini screen, and a 4GB iPod nano screen and they all seem pretty much the same “hardness” to me.

More in SteveJack’s full article: iPod nano ‘screen issues’ really just FUD? – September 26, 2005

MacDailyNews and iPodDailyNews are Apple Store and Apple iTunes Music Store affiliates. If we did not believe in the quality of any Apple product, we would not advertise that Apple product and we would tell you about it. That is not the case with the iPod nano which we can confidently recommend for users who wish to own a very light, very tiny digital audio player that holds up to 1,000 songs. We do recommend protective cases for all iPod models, unless you don’t care about cosmetic changes including scratches, fingerprints, etc. to the iPod case. Do not eat iPod shuffle.

Related articles: website alleging iPod nano ‘screen flaws’ hosted on Apple’s .Mac – September 26, 2005 editor: ‘The iPod nano is fast becoming Apple’s next Cube’ – September 26, 2005
Alleged problems surfacing with Apple iPod Nano screen – September 26, 2005
Site reports iPod nano screen failures – September 23, 2005
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CNET iPod nano review: ‘Sets new standards, stretches boundaries of tech, Apple’s done it again’ – September 16, 2005
The New York Times’ Pogue states iPod’s Law: the impossible is possible – September 14, 2005
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  1. “‘If customers are concerned about scratching we suggest they use one of the many iPod nano cases to protect their iPod.'”

    — they aren’t selling the cases yet..(still 2-4 weeks i think)

  2. The only problem I see with the response is the mention of using a protective case with the Nano… since the cases were not available when the product was shipped. People will harp on this incessantly.

    It is nice to see Apple respond, however.

    I, myself, have experienced minimal scratching from daily use since I received my unit. Standard unprotected iPod “wear & tear”, which I expected.

    Bring on the complainers.

  3. I scratched mine but it was all my fault. You see I had on my diamond wedding ring and was fishing around in my hubby’s pocket looking for the biggie and scratched the mini. Darn shame too, the biggie is self-repairing.

  4. I can’t believe people haven’t worked out what’s going on. It’s because the black model is by far more popular than the white one, and the black glossy finish shows scratches much more than the white one.

    Go into an Apple Store and look at the two side by side – all the store models are pretty scratched – and the black units look much worse. As black nano salers overwhelmingly outnumber white units, and apart from the U2 ipod there’s never been a been a black iPod, the higher visibility of the scratches on black has never been a matter for complaint before. Now that they’re in circulation in massive numbers, people think that they scratch easier simply because the scratches are more immediately obvious.

    Stop whining, get a case. Or better still, do what I did and buy this:

    Its fantastic! Renders the iPod scratch-free with an invisible coating.

  5. My third generation 40GB iPod’s face can be (and has been) easily scratched if I don’t watch it when around hard, pointy things.

    However, I now use a high quality paste silver polish on the entire exterior of the case at least once a week, and now it looks ALMOST like new!

  6. 1/10 of 1% sounds very low. In quality manufacturing terms, its 1000 parts per million. This is, seriously, an unacceptable defect rate.

    6-sigma quality programs go for 3.4 defects per million.

    I hope Apple isn’t passing off “1/10 of 1%” as acceptable.

  7. “they aren’t selling the cases yet..(still 2-4 weeks i think)”

    “opps… its 4-6 weeks still”

    There are already about a dozen third party vendor products… It doesn’t have to say Apple on it… Remember, Apple doesn’t actually make these things… They just design and market them.

  8. Oh wait, never mind my last comment. I was being an idiot. Obviously Apple WASN’T passing 1/10% off as acceptable. If it were, it wouldn’t have issued a statement to address the issue, promised to replace defective units, and explained that it’s a vendor issue.

  9. Do the test yourself

    Go to an Apple store and compare the demo models – the iPod that has been there for a couple of months being handled daily by the public shows considerable less scratches than the Nano.

    MDN word = “deal” as in deal with it Apple.

  10. I don’t think he is saying that 1/10th of 1 percent is not a problem. He is just trying to clarify that it is a manufacturing problem and not a design problem. This reassures shareholders that Apple’s design is okay and does not need to be changed which would be a recall of all the devices sold.

    This should mean that people will be able to get it replaced and that the manufacturer will be held responsible for the issue that caused the cracked screens.

  11. Yep, I did the test. Went into my local Apple store with a Brillo pad. Took one iPod Photo and one iPod nano, and scratched the hell out of both of them. Scientific-like. Sure enough, they’re both a mess.

    Then I shoved a red hot poker up my nose, to sort of illustrate another point, the particulars of which I seem to have forgotten in the searing agony that ensued.

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