Much-ballyhooed iPod nano screen concerns ‘a real but minor issue’

Regarding the much-ballyhooed iPod nano screen “issues,” Rob Pegoraro reports for The Washington Post, “Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said Tuesday afternoon that cracked or otherwise destroyed screens were ‘a real but minor issue involving a vendor quality problem in… less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the total iPod Nano units we’ve shipped.’ Neumayr said it was ‘not a design issue,’ and that anybody who experienced the problem should contact Apple for a free replacement. As for surface scratching, Neumayr said the Nano is made from the same plastic as the full-size iPod and that a variety of cases were available to prevent that sort of cosmetic damage.”

“Other companies have shipped products with comparable problems before, but their issues don’t draw nearly as much attention. Apple, however, regularly gets held to a higher standard — perhaps because it keeps advertising itself as the think-different company, the one that fusses over the details to ensure that it won’t crank out the same junk as everybody else,” Pegoraro writes.

Pegoraro writes, “With the iPod, [Apple have] broken through, even though it came to the music-player market years after its competitors and with products that initially cost more and offered fewer features than other players… There’s a habit in the tech business of thinking that a product like that must ride on nothing more than good marketing. Someday, the thinking goes, the device’s flaws will surface, showing it to be the cheap fraud it was all along. And then won’t all those bandwagon-hopping customers be sorry? Apple’s detractors may be hoping that [recent reports about iPod nano screen “issues”] provided that moment — just as some earlier seized on the fact that you must pay Apple to get an iPod’s battery replaced (which two iPod users called the ‘iPod’s Dirty Little Secret’ on a Web site of the same title). But reality is often less melodramatic: iPods sell better because they are easier to use and look cooler than their competitors, and [when] the ‘dirty secret’ turns out to be a fixable problem or a basic misunderstanding, [it turns out that] customers have been making rational choices all along.”

Full article here.

Advertisement: Apple iPod nano. 1,000 songs. Impossibly small. From $199. Free shipping.
We are happy that iPod nano owners that make up less than one-tenth of one percent of the total iPod Nano units with cracked screens will receive free replacements from Apple. We expect nothing less from Apple. That said, this story is so overblown that it passed the ridiculous stage days ago. Does it seem to you that, since iPod nano’s release, when it became obvious to most that Apple’s iPod could not be stopped, any minor issue would be exploited regardless of actual facts? Or do you think that we’re underplaying the “issue” in order to try to “protect” Apple? Rest assured, if we thought that this was a real issue that affected significant numbers of users or was something we considered a “design flaw” instead of a vendor quality control issue in a small batch of units, we’d call Apple on it. This case simply doesn’t seem to warrant the attention it is currently receiving and we’re obliged to explain that we believe this issue is tremendously overblown.

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:
Apple shares fall on iPod nano screen issues – September 28, 2005
Apple replaces iPod nano cracked screens; handful of units affected, WSJ: ‘barrage of complaints’ – September 28, 2005
Apple responds to iPod nano screen issues – September 27, 2005
iPod nano ‘screen issues’ really just FUD? – September 26, 2005 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
Thurrott: Apple iPod nano is almost perfect – September 23, 2005
Inside Apple’s iPod nano; how healthy are Apple’s margins? – September 22, 2005
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
Associated Press praises Apple iPod nano, takes swipe at Microsoft WMA-based also-ran music services – September 14, 2005
Apple’s music competition having tough time and the iPod nano won’t help them – September 14, 2005
One of big stars at Microsoft’s PDC show: Apple’s iPod nano; Microsoft reps ‘in awe’ – September 14, 2005
Piper Jaffray: Apple seeing high demand for iPod nano – September 14, 2005
Australian IT: Apple iPod nano ‘a little bar of techno-joy’ – September 14, 2005
Apple iPod nano takes a beating and keeps on beating – September 12, 2005
Apple’s iPod nano: The ‘thin lady’ sings unwelcome iTune to competitors – September 09, 2005
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Mossberg: Apple iPod nano ‘beautiful, incredibly thin, and exceeds Apple’s performance specs’ – September 08, 2005
Apple’s iPod nano will make competitors whimper, Motorola’s ROKR inexplicably bland – September 07, 2005
Tech pundit Enderle: ‘iPod Nano is a hit,’ Motorola ROKR ‘simply doesn’t have enough Apple in it’ – September 07, 2005
Jupiter analyst Gartenberg: ‘the market is going to go for Apple iPod nano in a big way’ – September 07, 2005
Analyst: iPod nano ‘could be Apple’s next home run’ – September 07, 2005
Video of Steve Jobs introducing iPod nano, ROKR iTunes phone now available online – September 07, 2005
Apple’s Steve Jobs predicts ultra-thin iPod nano ‘will become the highest volume iPod in the world’ – September 07, 2005
Apple’s iPod nano will make competitors whimper, Motorola’s ROKR inexplicably bland – September 07, 2005
Apple introduces iPod nano – September 07, 2005


  1. I’d be willing to bet that the engineering department was looking into it and the customer service department were left in the dark until engineering had an understanding of the problem. Face it, most people in the customer service department are not the ones “in the know”. Notice it wasn’t customer service that issued the announcement at Apple…

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