iPod nano ‘scratches’ lawsuit really only benefits attorneys

“The only real beneficiaries of a class action over scratched screens on Apple’s tiny music player may be the attorneys,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek. “I have no insight into any legal strategies Apple may pursue with this latest lawsuit concerning the nano, and Apple had no comment on the matter. A spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation. But if you bought a nano and find you’re unhappy with it, why not just take it back for refund?”

While Hesseldahl messes up the details (see “Take” below), he gets the idea right when he writes, “It seems to me that Apple could have saved itself a lot of “expense, hassle, and frustration” of its own if it just offered full refunds on unwanted nanos and lengthened the return period to 30 or 60 days. But it also seems to me it’s far too easy to hassle a big company like Apple with stupid lawsuits, to the measurable benefit of no one but trial lawyers.”

Full article here.

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Hesseldahl writes, “While Apple has offered to replace nanos with cracked screens, it has said less than one-tenth of 1% of units shipped have a proclivity for scratches.” That’s incorrect. Apple really said that they would replace iPod nanos with cracked screens due to a manufacturing defect in a batch of nano units that comprised less than one-tenth of 1% of nano units shipped at the time of Apple’s statement on September 27, 2005. At the same time, Apple also recommended that iPod nano owners who wished to avoid scratches should get a protective case for their nanos.

Two separate issues:
• Cracked screens (less than one-tenth of 1%) get replaced.
• Scratched screens and exterior plastics do not get replaced; buy a case if you don’t want a scratched iPod, nano or otherwise.

An AppleInsider report yesterday stated that Apple is “expected to include a standard protective casing with future revisions to the iPod nano.”

Related articles:
Related articles:
Report: Apple relaxes 5G iPod return policy; to include protective cases with future iPod nano units – October 26, 2005
Class-action lawsuit filed against Apple over iPod nano scratches – October 21, 2005
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

31 Comments

  1. Only in America are there people who are pathetic enough to sue for something like this- it is probably also because the people suing dont have to cough up the legal fees like they would do in the UK, Australia or NZ for the same sort of thing.

  2. All lawsuits benefit lawyers, that’s their purpose.

    You heard the one about the lawyer who moved to a small town where he was the only lawyer and he almost starved to death?

    Another lawyer moved to town later and they both became millionaires.

    ~M

  3. Also, it may be worth noting that Apple probably welcomes the class action law suit.

    It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Some big companies who recognize some sort of liability actually request a class action be brought against them and trial lawyers are always happy to oblige. (I’m not saying Apple did this, or would. Only that it happens.)

    Companies with in-house legal departments love class action suits because it consolidates their efforts. It is far easier to handle 2 million people with one lawsuit than it is to handle the individual suits of even 200 people.

    ~M

    PS- I bought my wife a black 4GB nano for our 5th anniversary and she loves it. She has been reasonably careful with it (pending the purchase of a case) and has had no scratches show up. Personally, I think the whole business was blown out of proportion by an anti-iPod group.

  4. The UK has its share of slime lawyers touting and tempting on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.

    Watch daytime TV or visit a hospital and you can see the vampires, ready and waiting.

    On Nano: if you have a prob just return it to the store for a refund!

  5. this law suit is nonsense.

    but you know what? get injured because of a defective product. get charged with a crime, and it maybe an unintentional one like vehicular homicide, facing jail time.

    these sleazy lawyers you’re villifying will start looking a lot better.

  6. “get injured because of a defective product. get charged with a crime, and it maybe an unintentional one like vehicular homicide, facing jail time.

    these sleazy lawyers you’re villifying will start looking a lot better.”

    Here in the states there are different lawyers who handle tort vs criminal law vs civil law. No matter how much trouble I get in, tort lawyers are always slime in my book!

  7. Maybe joell is right.

    Maybe we are being a little hard on lawyers.

    I mean let’s be fair. It’s not all lawyers that are bad, it’s just that 99% making the other 1% look bad.

    Just wondering, does anyone know a lawyer joke?

    ~M

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