Class-action lawsuit filed against Apple over iPod nano scratches

“Consumers angry about what they say is the iPod nano screen’s tendency to scratch easily have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple Computer, saying they want their money back plus a share of the company’s profits on the music player’s sales,” Red Herring reports. “The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Jose on Wednesday, essentially brings complaints about the ultra-slim device that have been festering on blogs and message boards into the courts.”

“The lawsuit was filed on behalf of nano owner Jason Tomczak and others who have purchased the device. The lawsuit alleges Mr. Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on his nano’s face and ‘that alone left significant scratches.’ The lawsuit charges screens on the tiny flash-based digital audio players ‘scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos [sic] unreadable, and violating state consumer protection statutes… and causing Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary damages,'” Red Herring reports.

Full article here.

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There is no substitute for common sense. Unfortunately, America faces a dramatic shortage of common sense which they’ve dubiously attempted to replace with lawyers. We’re just not seeing nanos that scratch any more easily than any other iPod model. Black plastic shows scratches more than white. That’s not to say there aren’t any hyper-sensitive-to-scratching iPod nanos in existence. If there was a defective batch of nano units that scratch by being rubbed with nothing more than a paper towel, then, by all means, Apple should replace those defective units immediately.

Related articles:
PC Mag’s Ulanoff on iPod nano scratches: ‘I could see a jealous competitor planting the story’ – October 06, 2005
Mossberg: Apple iPod nano scratches easily, get a case to protect it – October 06, 2005
Apple iPods have always been far too scratchable, protective cases required to keep iPods pristine – September 30, 2005
invisibleSHIELD offers rugged, clear protection for Apple iPod nano and other iPod models – September 30, 2005
Got some nano scratches? Restore your iPod nano to new condition with a $4 can of Brasso – September 29, 2005
The Motley Fool: Apple did the right thing in quickly addressing cracked iPod nano screens – September 28, 2005
iPod nano ‘screen issues’ really just FUD? – September 26, 2005
Apple responds to iPod nano screen issues – September 27, 2005


  1. Excuse my ignorance of US consumer law (or law in general for that matter), but what possible grounds could the plaintiffs have for seeking a portion of Apple’s profits from sales of the nano?

  2. the point is, the iPod DOES get pretty easily scratched when compared to almost any other consumer-electronic device. I can live with it (I’ve got 3 cases for mine) but the NEW user is probably going to be a little turned off. It probably is something Apple should address.

  3. Whats the point? If it you take it back to Apple they will replace it. If you care about scratches, get a case. Last time I checked at my optometrist if you try to clean plastic lens from your glasses with a PAPER towel it will scratch it. Clean it will a soft cloth.

  4. I agree with R and Mac-Daddy, what makes these people think they are owed Apple’s profits on other people’s purchases? I can understand wanting your own money back, but to demand someone else’s money is just BS.

    As far as dumb-ass Jason: who the hell in their right mind wipes their iPod with a Paper towel?!?! You’re supposed to use a soft-lint cloth, not an coarse piece of paper.

    Direct from Apple’s support site:
    “How to clean iPod
    To clean iPod, unplug all cables and cords and set the Hold switch to Hold. Then use a soft, damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings.

    Don’t use aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, or abrasives to clean iPod.

    Jason deserves what he got.

  5. I’m being sued by Steve Ballmer because I got scratched when he rubbed me with a paper towel. But it’s his own fault. If he hadn’t made me so fat from eating all those donuts he wouldn’t have to wipe 100 times after every fart just to get me clean again. And he’d be able to use Charmin instead of Extra Strength Bounty.

  6. Now I wonder if Mr. Tomczak happens to work for, say, Real or Creative Labs. Seriously, if he can show up in court with a brand-new-in-the-box nano and scratch it in front of the judge by rubbing a paper towel on it, then he should be awarded with the Magician of the Year title. Unless that “paper towel” has a “60 grit” label on it, that is. But then again, McDonalds managed to lose a “common sense” suit to a woman who thought it’s safe to drive with a HOT cup of coffee between her legs. So you never know. Our court system has no shortage of driveling idiots.

    MW: group. If this is such a big issue, how come no words from the consumer groups?

  7. rendering the screen on the Nanos [sic] unreadable

    you have to be kidding me…. i had a 1st gen 5gb ipod that i had forever, and had TONS of scratches, but NEVER made the screen “unreadable”

    it’s sad that Apple will have to pay attorney’s to get this frivolous lawsuit thrown out….

  8. This is the stupidest thing I have heard in a while. I have friends in other countries that say that in the US we have some of the most absurd law suits. Hard to argue against that when you read this

  9. Gotta love lawyers. Its what makes this country great. Whether they are Apple’s lawyers or lawyers going after Apple.

    Its one thing to file a class action suit against the scratching. Its another to ask for profits. But hey, all these lawyers need to do something.

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