Hysteria over iPod nano manufacturing blip proves Apple is not a company – it is a religion

“In space, no one can hear you scream. In cyberspace it is a different matter. After weeks of tussle, one little website has forced the mighty Apple to acknowledge a problem with its iPod Nanos, the rinky-dink music player thinner than a pencil that can hold 1000 songs,” Alison Rowat reports for The Herald. “[Buyers of the iPod nano, which] has been flying off the shelves… had complained about cracked screens and scratches. Apple says the problem only affects a tiny proportion of the stock and has offered free replacements.”

MacDailyNews Note: In the U.S., at least, “rinky-dink” means “old-fashioned, amateurish, or shoddy.” By reading Rowat’s entire piece, it is clear that she didn’t mean that definition to apply to iPod nano. We’re pretty sure that she meant “tiny.” Also, we’re not so sure that one tiny website forced Apple to do anything they weren’t already planning to do. A manufacturing defect in a batch of products is a quality control issue that any reputable company would take care of sans online hysteria. Apple is different, as Rowan attempts to explain.

Rowat writes, “Just an everyday story of a manufacturing blip. It would be, if Apple was an everyday company with everyday customers. That, however, is like saying the Beatles were a fairly popular beat combo. To many of its followers, Apple is not a company: it is a religion… Not that the followers of Apple should be tarred with the same brush as the members of such cults, or “new religious movements” as they, and their lawyers, like to call them. But Apple-heads (and I confess to being one) do have some things in common with cult members.”

Rowan writes, “The promise of free [iPod nano] replacements has restored peace in Mac paradise… Elsewhere in the blogosphere, some unhappiness remains, particularly over Apple’s advice that anyone worried about scratches on their [iPod nano] should buy a special case. It looks as though the apple of innocence about Apple might have been eaten. Still, when a religion acquires its doubters, it truly has arrived.”

Full article here.

Advertisement: Apple iPod nano. 1,000 songs. Impossibly small. From $199. Free shipping.

Related articles:
Apple iPods have always been far too scratchable, protective cases required to keep iPods pristine – September 30, 2005
The Motley Fool: Apple did the right thing in quickly addressing cracked iPod nano screens – September 28, 2005
Apple shares continue slide on iPod nano screen issues – September 28, 2005
Ars Technica: ‘Matthew Peterson, public avenger’ – September 28, 2005
Apple shares fall on iPod nano screen issues – September 28, 2005
Much-ballyhooed iPod nano screen concerns ‘a real but minor issue’ – 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
flawedmusicplayer.com website alleging iPod nano ‘screen flaws’ hosted on Apple’s .Mac – September 26, 2005
SiliconValley.com 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
Hands on with Apple iPod nano – September 09, 2005
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. You mean, like the warranty?

    Once Apple found a manufacturing defect, the “promise” was just empty words. They’d cover it under warranty anyway, no special treatment required.

    And I’m with MDN–that “little web site” (which was half about abusing one single Apple employee and trying to get them fired and being a jerk about doing so) did not push Apple into addressing this. They were starting to already–otherwise they wouldn’t have been ABLE to respond this soon.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS, username! Man, I wasn’t sure you could pull it off, but you really stuck to your guns. What an accomplishment! Your parents must be proud. I mean, I’m sure hey had high hopes for you, but a first post on MDN? They must be beside themselves with glee.

    Don’t let this opportunity slip by! This isn’t just another line on your resume–it could be your big break if you play your cards right. I have a little bit of experience with publicity, so if you need any advice about where to send press releases, I’d be happy–make that honored–to help. Wow.

  3. The iPod Nano is “tiny” and the nano whiners web site is “rinky dinky”

    She wants a nice little nano bikini so the guys can touch her button. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  4. I confess and proclaim to the world that I am a Macist and am willing to engage in Macological discussions with anyone interested in Macism, or The Way of the Mac, as it is called in some circles.

    Throw off your shackles and enter the light, oh ye poor windozers! Climb up from the virus infested pits of mediocrity and let the clean clear wind of the Macintosh Experience scour the taint of corrupt registries and illogical actions such as stopping with the start button from your soul. No longer shall you be missing dlls and illegal actions will cease to haunt you.

    Come! A new level of computing enjoyment awaits you. You have only to say the word and the Macintosh Community will welcome you with open (and very helpful) arms. Come! OS X awaits!

    MW: light

  5. Religion? Oh come on. Religious fanatics more like it. Here I take a chance and see what result transpires…

    Apple sucks at times coz they produce shoddy equipment – iPod batteries which last 18 months, iPod screens which break, laptop screens which break, laptop hinges which break, laptop DVD drives which break, some models are subject to overheating, some even pop capacitors. Some models have bugs in their firmware such that they’re starved for data from the hard discs. Plus, their computers run at half the speed of the competition! I could go on.

    They gouge their customers to help afford Steve’s nice jet, yet also have billions in the bank which is not returned to shareholders. They basically act as arrogant as they possibly can with anyone and everyone. Elitist is quite possibly their mantra, I don’t know.

    Now, that’s just a taste of what could be said, and probably has been said many times before. However, if Apple users weren’t fanatical, you’d all say, “Yea, he’s got a point on many of these”, but I suspect this will get flamed, thus proving many of you are indeed total fanatics.

    Good day to you all.

    ps this is of course just a joke, intended to enrage the masses of fanatics out there… we’ll see.

    pps i’m such a kidder.

  6. There is one HUGE glaring error to this article, she is confusing the “Cult of the iPod” with the “Cult of Mac”. There are many iPod users who have never experienced a Mac and in many cases probably never will.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.