Shortly after the first-generation iPod Nano launched, it became apparent that they scratched far too easily. That inspired one disgruntled customer to blog about his complaints, leading some enterprising lawyers to contacted him. A lawsuit was born, and four years on, a $22 million settlement has been reached.
Apple tacitly acknowledged the problem when it began to ship Nanos with protective slipcovers. Customers that bought their Nanos before protective covers were included with the product are entitled to recover $25 in restitution; customers that received covers will be eligible for $15, according to CNBC. The lawyers that sued Apple stand to gain $4 million–a very lucrative payout.
The suit alleged that the Nanos’ screens were not coated to protect against scratches. Jason Tomczak, the gentleman whose blogging inspired the lawsuit, said that his nano had become unreadable after a relatively short period of time.
I highly doubt that many of those first generation Nano owners still use their devices–including Mr. Tomczak (his is probably sequestered in an evidence bag). I’ll postulate that Apple understood its customers upgrade frequently, and decided that scratch resistance was not worth the expense.
Apple should not have shipped the Nano with such a defect. There is no way that Apple could not know that the devices would be passing in and out of people’s pockets, colliding with coins and keys. It would have been simpler and more cost effective to issue $25 checks four years ago, when its customers were unhappy in the first place.