Apple Nano Settlement Reached, Lawyers Make a Windfall

By  |  Friday, January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Steve Jobs With Original NanoShortly 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.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. mark mantaro Says:

    No wonder people make jokes about lawyers. (e.g., what do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?……a start) What an absurd lawsuit. All ipods scratch as do cell phones, blackberries, and anything else you throw in a pocket or purse. My first generation nano is no more scratched than the other models my family owns. Apple has to pay $22 million for scratches? It isn’t like they are leaking nuclear material.

  2. Eric Says:

    I have a first generation Nano that I still use daily. I did make the mistake of putting it in my empty pocket for about 2 minutes when I first got it and ended up with a small scratch across the face (I suspect it was from sand, as I lived near the ocean at the time). Since then it has always been in its protective cover and I’ve never had another issue with it.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Harry, While I will admit that we’ve gotten a few more iPods since first purchasing the 1G Nano, that unit is still kicking pretty strong. It’s also pretty scratched, and was very early on in our enjoyment of it. While all devices scratch, eventually, the 1G Nano seemed to be a bit too easily defaced in comparison.

    $25 isn’t going to go too far in rectifying the situation either.

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