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Apple to Replace Faulty Nano Screen 347

Sam Wil writes "Apple has acknowledged a flaw in the iPod nano screen that results in cracking, and attributes it to poor vendor quality. The defect affects less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all the nanos that have shipped so far. Apple will replace the screen of affected units for free." From the article: "However, the representative said that the screen-cracking issue is separate from reports that the slim new music player is more easily scratched than prior models. Complaints about both issues surfaced shortly after Apple introduced the flash memory-based Nano earlier this month. 'A few vocal customers are saying their Nano is more susceptible to scratching than prior iPods,' the Apple representative said. Apple said the Nano is made of the same polycarbonate plastic as the fourth-generation iPod and said it does not believe the scratching problem is widespread." You may recall we had a lively discussion about the screen-scratch flaw a short while back.
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Apple to Replace Faulty Nano Screen

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  • by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:50AM (#13675452)

    Interesting...Apple is willing to address the cracked Nano screens, but not the scratched ones.

    Apple said the Nano is made of the same polycarbonate plastic as the fourth-generation iPod and said it does not believe the scratching problem is widespread.

    Hmm...all Apple needs to do to verify the scope of this problem is open up a web browser. To say there's been a lot in the media about the iPod Nano and its butter-soft screen would be a masterpiece of understatement. Googling 'ipod nano screen scratch' yields 521,000 results.

    If you are unfortunate enough to own a Nano, here's some helpful links:

    Hope this helps.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:57AM (#13675526)
      Could it just be scale? A few small scratches on a small screen is the equivelent of larger scratches on a bigger screen.
    • Apple is willing to address the cracked Nano screens, but not the scratched ones.
      In other news, shares in "Dave's Hammer Emporium" rose 12 cents in brisk trading.
    • by Muad'Dave ( 255648 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:01AM (#13675564) Homepage

      My 60GB iPod photo screen is terribly scratch-prone. I carried it home in the fleece-lined pocket of my coat, and it got a huge round scratch from the earbud - with the fuzzy cover over the earbud!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:13AM (#13675661)
        So you're saying that the lesson is "Consumer electronics made of nice-textured semi-soft plastics can scratch easily"?

        I mean, I hate cosmetic scratches as much as the next guy, but every farking portable electronic device I own has scratches on it. My GBA has scratches, and it carry it around in a case. My iPod mini has scratches, and I keep it in a pocket, alone. My old CD player is covered in pits and scratches from living in my backpack with BOOKS (no metal, no binders, books).

        Jeez, someone call the wah-mbulance. I can understand being angry about faulty batteries, but wear and tear? *rolls eyes*
        • by aurelian ( 551052 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:02AM (#13676123)
          I'm inclined to agree. For me, a sign of quality in hardware is the ability to take a few dents and scratches and still work. If people are saying their nanos are so scratched as to be unusable then that's another thing - but all the pictures I've seen are of pretty minor stuff.

          I think the problem is that the shiny plastic aesthetic of the nano is the very thing which appeals to people who are really bothered about scratches. I'm far more likely to buy a device with an aluminium case, or which looks more functional than funky.

        • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:48AM (#13676660)
          Look, like has been mentioned by many in That Other Thread, most people buying the Nano have plenty of prior experience with plastic pocket gadgets, and the kind of wear and tear they can reasonably expect. I doubt most of these people would all of a sudden complain about the same sort of scratches on their Nano that they already have on their cell phone etc. I have a Sony Ericsson T610 phone, which has black shiny plastic around the screen almost identical to the Nano. I always keep it in my pocket without a case, rubbing against the keys and change. The silver painted parts are seriously scratched and and worn, with the white plastic underneath showing through in many places. The T-Mobile logo is completely worn off, not a trace of it is left. And yet the screen and black plastic parts have no scratches to speak of. Sure, there are some surface abrasions that make it a bit matte rather than shiny in a few areas (especially around edges and corners), but there are no prominent scratches or gouges. The screen itself has virtually no visible damage. A lot more annoying is pocket lint that makes its way through openings (around keys, through the battery compartment etc.) behind the screen. I've seen several of the posted pictures of considerably scratched Nanos. Assuming the scratches really happened through trivial use and not due to malicious actions to denigrate Apple, I must conclude that the Nano does indeed scratch a lot easier than other devices.
      • by HardCase ( 14757 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:32AM (#13675812)
        I'm not picking on you, yours was just the first post that I saw talking about the goodness of fleece-lined pockets.

        Fleece, cotton, or almost any other natural fiber is just great at picking up all sorts of tiny, rough, abrasive objects. It feels nice and soft to your hands because those tiny objects are too small for your hands to feel, but at some point, enough of them accumulate and that soft, fleece-lined pocket starts acting like a sandpaper-lined pocket.

        Fuzzy covered earbud? It just ground the abrasive gunk into your iPod.

    • Googling 'ipod nano screen scratch' yields 521,000 results.

      Geez, have they sold that many of them already? That's amazing if they have.
    • by SPYvSPY ( 166790 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:10AM (#13675643) Homepage
      I don't have a nano, but every other iPod I've had (first and third generation and shuffle) is very scratch-prone. I doubt Nanos are any different. People are just noticing it because this one fits in your pocket, IMO. If they say it's the same plastic, it either is, or it isn't. Are you saying it isn't?
      • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:41AM (#13676577)
        Ah, we're about two-thirds of the way on the Apple Product Cycle []:

        A minor, rarely occurring flaw in the device begins to be discussed in the Apple support forums. Whiny, artistic types post lengthy diatribes about how this terrible design flaw has made the device unusable and scarred them emotionally. Electronic petitions are created demanding that Apple replace the devices for free, plus pay for counseling to help traumatized users overcome their emotional distress.
    • All iPods are equally scratchable.

      How badly they get scratched depends on how well you take care of it.

      If they're ending up terribly, horribly scratched, then you aren't taking care of it. My 3G is roughed up, but isn't horribly scratched cause I keep it in the case it came with whenever I use it.
    • > Interesting...Apple is willing to address the cracked Nano screens, but not the
      > scratched ones. the US only. In the UK we're probably as screwed as we are with the dodgy batteries on previous models (which are being replaced for free in the US).

      Still, who needs an overpriced Apple when a Creative Zen player offers better sound quality and higher storage capacity for a lower price?
    • by Darth ( 29071 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:05AM (#13676151) Homepage
      Hmm...all Apple needs to do to verify the scope of this problem is open up a web browser. To say there's been a lot in the media about the iPod Nano and its butter-soft screen would be a masterpiece of understatement. Googling 'ipod nano screen scratch' yields 521,000 results.

      Personally, i'm greatly offended with the amount of attention this is getting in light of so much more serious problems.
      Almost nobody in this country seems to care about the rampant and unchecked violence of werewolves against the U.S. population.
      The problem should be clear and obvious to the government and the population. One has merely to do a Google search on "werewolf attack 2004 u.s." to find that there were almost half a million werewolf attacks last year in this country.

      That's just ridiculous.
    • >Googling 'ipod nano screen scratch' yields 521,000 results.

      You're joking, right? Of course it does- it displays almost every webpage that has 'ipod', 'nano', 'screen' and 'scratch' in it. Is that supposed to mean anything? Googling "ipod nano screen scratch" yields nine hits, and guess what, this doesn't mean anything either.

    • by Seanasy ( 21730 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @12:07PM (#13676849)
      Googling 'ipod nano screen scratch' yields 521,000 results.

      Googling for 'baby zombie rampage []' yields 98,900 results! Run for your lives!

  • You'd think... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aschran ( 895622 )
    ...that after that whole fiasco with the G4 cube Apple would just get it right when it comes to cracking cases!
    • What do you mean? They're doing great! They've really mastered the art of making easily cracked plastic goods! ;)
    • Re:You'd think... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:29AM (#13676423)
      They didn't get anything wrong. What the article submitter didn't quote was the part where the Apple guy says the Nano is not only made of the same material as the higher-end iPods, but that they've received no complaints about those iPods.

      Some of the other posters who don't believe Apple and post a bunch of links to websites are making a logical fallacy. Just because there are websites doesn't make the problem widespread. It's not. It's been blown out of proportion by a contingent of people who just don't like iPods for various reasons, including competitors who have been astroturfing websites in a desperate attempt to discredit the Nano.

      In a couple of weeks, nobody will even remember any of this "controversy," because it's overblown and phony. The Nanos are selling like hotcakes.
  • Easily scratched... (Score:5, Informative)

    by op12 ( 830015 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:51AM (#13675466) Homepage
    Apple said the Nano is made of the same polycarbonate plastic as the fourth-generation iPod...

    ...which also scratches fairly easily! Even with light use, some sort of case is a good idea. I got one of those rubber skins for my 4G and it works great.
    • Plastic cases (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordSharth ( 916531 )
      Problem with the plastic cases is that I bought my ipod because of its small form factor, then I get to make it bulkier just to keep it looking nice, but you have to remove the cover anyway just to dock the damn thing.
    • by j-cloth ( 862412 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:07AM (#13675616)
      <Conspiracy theory>
      Think the iSkin people are happy about how easily the iPod scratches? Think Apple is aware of how happy iSkin is? Think people would pay $40 for $0.25 worth of rubber to protect their iPods if they weren't scratch prone?
      Scratchy iPods are good for the economy.
      </Conspiracy theory>
    • I got one of those rubber skins for my 4G and it works great.

      Even though I really want to make a condom joke,
      I'll ask a serious question instead:
      Why doesn't Apple just include a 20 cent cover with the iPod.
      If you wan't to view the shiny cover, take it out at your own risk.
      It seems a cheap way of avoiding liability.

  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) * on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:53AM (#13675481) Homepage
    The screen does scratch very easily. A friend got one and a few hours later, the screen had fine scratches all over it. His 3G iPod had no scratches on it, so he seems to be very careful. There's something different about the Nano than other iPods that must contribute to this.

    I'll bet Apple will very quietly introduce some changes to contruction but won't admit to it. The scratches will not be heard from again.

    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      but there is no excuse for it with the price they are charging. I have a pair of glasses on my face that is made out of polycarbonate as well and they are damn hard to scratch. It's called an anti-scratch coating. I even have it on the $6.99 LCD watch on my wrist (I break watches FAST!)

      Apple could have had the scratch coating applied to the screen area only making most people very happy.
    • The screen does scratch very easily. A friend got one and a few hours later, the screen had fine scratches all over it. His 3G iPod had no scratches on it, so he seems to be very careful. There's something different about the Nano than other iPods that must contribute to this.

      I'm only hazarding a guess here but I'll bet most of the problems stem from the fact that more people are putting the nano in more confined spaces, i.e. pockets, purses, tighter/smaller pockets. The simple reason is that it's smaller

  • Thin items snap. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:53AM (#13675487)
    The thing is, the nano is thin like a cell phone. I've already snapped two non-clamshell model cell phones in half by sitting on them - taking the screens out with them and losing all my data. Fortunately the cell phone was free and I cared more for the data than the phone itself. I don't think you can say the same thing for the nano.

    Thin electronic items just snap. Period. That's why the clam-shell cell phone design became more popular IMHO. It was thicker and didn't snap in half unless you really made an effort.
    • ...taking the screens out with them and losing all my data.

      Did you try pulling out the SIM card, or do you think the data is actually stored in the screen?
    • by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:04AM (#13675587)
      I've already snapped two non-clamshell model cell phones in half by sitting on them

      Seems to be a strange way to pass the time.

    • FIXED (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Pimlott ( 16212 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:10AM (#13675636)
      I agree,

      Thin electronic items just snap ... if you SIT ON THEM! So stop carrying it in your back pocket!
    • Clamshells are so much more breakable than candybar phones. They have a hinge. Hinges break. I'm not saying that the Nano issue isn't user error, but your logic about phones seems offbase.
      • Yea, but a closed clamshell phone seems more protected than a soapbar with an exposed screen and buttons...
        • Seems like a wash, at best, to me. Let's just agree that cell phones are overpriced, underengineered crap.
        • But then you have the problem of the buttons digging into the screen and permanently scuffing them. I have had a few flip phones which ended up getting exact copies of the direction pad and number buttons scratched into the screen. I've also had a couple laptops which suffered from that, too.. designers trying to get as close as possible without physically touching while the device is at rest end up having things touch when the item is in a pants pocket or laptop bag.
      • The other day I had to slam on my breaks in my car to avoid some guy running a stop sign, and my clam shell style phone flew out of my cupholder where it was happily sitting, landing on the floor, opened up, and went under my break petal. Half the hinge was crushed, because stopping was much more important than having a working phone. Phone still works, I'll replace it once the hinge completely breaks (it's damn close now, though.) Now if I can do something about the drivers around here and the fact they
    • Sorry, but this is a textbook case of DDTT. If your devices are breaking that much there is something wrong with the way you are using or storing them.
    • Re:Thin items snap. (Score:3, Informative)

      by soft_guy ( 534437 )
      I cared more for the data than the phone itself. I don't think you can say the same thing for the nano.

      I don't know about you, but my music collection as a whole is more important to me than my iPod.

      Also, to the person who made the comment about "dodgy batteries", Newer Technology has a replacement battery kit that costs like $30. I found it very easy to do on my 2nd gen iPod (which has tiny scratches that do not interfere with my enjoyment of the device). The original batteries in my iPod lasted longer th
  • Wear and tear... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fak3r ( 917687 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:53AM (#13675489) Homepage
    I know this article is about the defective/cracked screens, but I've also read where ppl are upset that the screen is scratched easily. Hello, it's plastic, not glass, it's going to get scratched up, just like your car is going to get door dinged in the parking lot; that's life. My 20G iPod is always on, and yeah, it's 'trashed' according to some, but hey, I think it's worn nicely, it was never my goal to keep it in 'mint condition'; it's not a 1965 Mustang or anything. As for the cases, they're just silly IMO; you take a beautifully designed piece of technology, and then wrap it in some guady piece of rubber. each his own, but ppl that *need* to put cases on their iPods are the same ppl that put bras on the front of their cars. Listen to the music, that's what it's there for...
    • Re:Wear and tear... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by crass751 ( 682736 )
      I agree with what you're saying. I was really careful with my 3G iPod for about a week after I got it, and then I slid it across a not so clean table and scratched up the back a bit. After that I stopped caring. I fell on it while horsing around and crushed the white part into the alumninum part causing the sides slightly buldge out. Still works and that's all that matters to me. I'm still impressed with how tough it is.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:32AM (#13675816) Homepage
      Apple is selling the nano as a vanity item. Everyone wants one because they look so damned sexy. You can walk down the street in New York wearing wearing Prada shoes and a Dolce & Gabana outfit with a fashionably shoplifted 2nd hand jacket, and still the Nano is the hottest thing on you. If you shell out that much cash because the thing is just so bloody lickable [], you want it to stay that way for at least a little while.

      My cell-phone is a plastic candybar style that shares a pocket with a rather unwieldy set of keys and a less-cool-than-I-thought-it-would-be aluminum moneyclip. Yet, in a year of abuse it has gotten less scratches than some of the pictures I've seen of day-old nanos. My girlfriend's iRiver looks less abused after two years of use, and it's also black and also goes everywhere with her. And it's by HP for crying out loud.

      It seems like older iPod owners have this attitude that "Yeah, I put up with it, and so should you." Demand better, damn it. Also, realize that this is a different thing. The nano is half the size of your iPod, meaning the scratches are twice as large. And your iPods are white, whereas a lot of the Nanos sold are black, which make the scratches stand out more. And while the iPods get scratched, I haven't seen an iPod get scratched this quickly. Most of the pictures out there look like a 2 or 3 year old iPod, yet are only a few days out of the gate. I can only imagine how badly scratched up they will be in 2 to 3 actual years. Some people are already complaining that they're sufficiently scratched to make the song titles completely illegible. I've never heard of an iPod get that bad.

      I had been planning on buying a Nano, either for myself or my S.O., but I'm definitely waiting until they have this problem solved.

      And the bras on the front of cars absorb radar, letting you drive a bit faster and still slow down in time for the cop. They're functional.
    • by birge ( 866103 )
      Hello, it's plastic, not glass, it's going to get scratched up, just like your car is going to get door dinged in the parking lot; that's life.

      They could make it out of scratch resistant plastic if they were willing to come down on their ludicrous margins. However, given their target demographic of sycophants, it's probably not neccesary. Also, I can't resist addressing this: there are places in the country (definitely not the Northeast) where having your car dinged up by self-absorbed jerks isn't an inev

  • Trust Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nighty5 ( 615965 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:55AM (#13675506)
    Not only to ackowledge that cracked screens, but then to turn around and say that scratching is not as bad as the other models - sounds like a load of PR hogwash - no matter how good or trendy their technology is.

    I was considering a Nano, but will now wait until the 2nd or 3rd release of it. Happy with my minimal-scratched Gen 3 iPod which I havent treated pretty badly - and it still comes back for more :)
    • ...that scratching is not as bad as the other models...

      That's not what they said. They said that the Nano is made from the same polycarbonate as the 4G iPod. So I guess that you could say that scratching is as bad as the other models.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh no! I scratched my iPod! Send me a new one... and if you don't, I'll complain loudly.

    Give me a break.

    My 4G iPod has scratches too... Suck it up and buy a freakin case.
    • I paid 200 dollars for my nano. Maybe to you that isn't a lot of money, but to me it is. I wanted the nano because of its size, so I could stick it in my pocket and not think about it, just enjoy my music. Buying a case for it would not only make it bulkier, but take away from the beauty of its appearance. I now spend more time thinking about if my nano is getting scratched from the way that I am carrying it, rather than listening to and enjoyinh my music, like I should be.
  • by billsoxs ( 637329 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:56AM (#13675516) Journal
    It used to be that any thing you bought from Apple was almost bullet proof. (ca 1995) I still have computers from that time that are running just fine. Since then they have gone to less expensive and hence cheaper parts, and this is no longer true. My five newer computers from Apple have ALL had problems. Apple fixed those problems but i'd rather have the old bullet proof ones. Still 0.1% is not a lot of defects but it will be expensive to Apple to repair.
  • Apple Appears (Score:5, Insightful)

    by duerra ( 684053 ) * on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:58AM (#13675532) Homepage
    Such gadgets are that are clearly intended for everyday use should be designed with at least reasonable quality expectations in mind. For a product that is undeniably going to be rolling around in people's pockets, you would expect that a company would make sure that their product would not be easily abused.

    From what I have read, the Nano is quite sturdy as far as the amount of physical abuse it can take, but the scratching is still a problem. It is not unreasonable for people to expect such products to be at least reasonably scratch-resistant. PDA's, cell phones, and other similar devices don't really tend to have the scratching problems that Nano adopters have expressed frustration over. The fact that there *are* so many people that have voiced on the issue (even though Apple doesn't really admit it) should give an indication to non-owners that maybe there really is a problem. There does appear to be a lot of non-owners that have come down on those that have complained about the issue, but from my analysis over the past few days, other Nano owners tend to sympathize with those people even if they haven't been bothered by it.

    I definitely expect Apple to address the scratching issue internally, even if they don't publically recall the Nanos that have been easily scratched (though it does sound like most retailers are giving refunds without much hassle).
    • It's not really fair to compare the Nano to cell phones -- I haven't seen many cell phones with shiny surfaces all over them, and the ones that do exibit much of the same "swirlies" that the Nano gets. Problem with the Nano is that the entire front of the unit is shiny, and (especially the black one) that makes the swirlies extremely visible. I knew my Nano was going to get beat up and scratched easily, that info was available before the launch, and I still opted to buy one. I care more about functionali
    • Re:Apple Appears (Score:5, Informative)

      by Reverberant ( 303566 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:56AM (#13676073) Homepage
      PDA's, cell phones, and other similar devices don't really tend to have the scratching problems that Nano adopters have expressed frustration over.

      I don't believe this: my last three cell phones (Nokia 6100, Nokia 8260, Sony-Ericsson T610) as well as my Handspring PDA all became horribly scratched after a few weeks of use. I even bought a case for the T610 to prevent scratching, and it hasn't helped a whole lot (WriteRIGHT screen protectors have helped for my PDA). Even my free-with-Comcast-cable-modem 128M Creative MP3 players has a few scratches, and it's been out of the house exactly twice.

      Bases on a quick examination of friend's/relatives cell phones, I'm guessing that most PDAs/MP3 Players/Cell phones have similar issues, but the Nano issue is getting a lot of attention because 1) the Nano looks so aesthetically pleasing, and/or 2) some people like to take Apple town a peg or two, especially those that think Apple values form over function. But I just don't see that most other products are more scratch-resistant, I think we just don't care as much.

  • heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by apexdawn ( 915478 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:00AM (#13675549)
    Apple Product Life Cycle []
    Rarely occuring flaw causes uproar(scratches/cracks whatever): check
    Link to previous slashdot post lead to comment section where first comment was "wait for next revision": check

  • ...between the casing of the Nano/4th Gen iPod and the mini? Based on the god-knows-how-many iPods I've seen, most of the mini's I've come across still look failry new, while just about every full sized iPod is fairly scuffed/scratched up. IMHO, the casing of the mini is a lot nicer looking too.

    Also, any chance that Apple would replace the faceplate of my iPod if/when I send it off for a new battery? I can't imagine it would be expensive or difficult to do so, I just don't know if they would.
  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:02AM (#13675577)
    ..... regardless of how many iPods are affected. The mere mention of this issue caused it's stock value to nosedive 4.4% yesterday. (Surf to HERE [] for more on this)

    Part of the problem is that Apple has become a MP3 player company, and not a computer company. According to most people in the know, they don't turn a profit from their music store and the so-called halo effect of the iPod is of limited value to them. And then there's the Merrill Lynch downgrade to neutral from buy that they got this morning (Click HERE [] for more) because "although Apple's recent performance has been extraordinary, there are question marks over the effect of the imminent transition to Intel-based hardware."

    Not good if you're an Apple investor.
    • by MacGod ( 320762 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:14AM (#13675677)

      I think if you're an Apple investor, you're probably happy enough about the near-quintupling in the last 2 years [] that a 4% drop isn't the end of the world.

    • by SPYvSPY ( 166790 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:33AM (#13675823) Homepage
      I totally disagree.

      Since this bitch session about the Nano is just a typical part of the Apple product life cycle (i.e., happens every time a new model is released), the smart investor increased his position at the end of the day yesterday and watches the profits roll in over the next few weeks as this blows over. I threw an extra 5K on before the bell, and I'm already up 2% on the morning trading.

      On this topic, watch what happens during the buildup to Intel Macs next year. The stock will build as news outlets figure out the implications of OS X on Intel. Then some flaw will be found in the first gen Intel Macs. Then it will blow over. You have to know when to buy Apple to make money as an Apple investor. Personally, I'm up over 30% average across all my shares, and more than 150% on certain individual purchases. Those are real estate numbers, my friend. Bring on the complainers!
    • Not good if you're an Apple investor.

      On the contrary - buy low, sell high!
  • Scratching is bound to happen to such a product. It actually adds a kins of used look to my iPod that I appreciate. I never understood people that put covers on their floors, couches, cellphones, iPods etc: what use is a mint-condition iPod in an ugly case? Like a high school friend of mine who never wore his good shoes - when he tried them the first time he had grown to large for them.
  • and attribute it to poor and/or cheap vendor choice by Apple.
  • by Frobozz0 ( 247160 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:13AM (#13675659)
    I love my Nano. I have a black 4GB Nano, customized. The screen is fine. I have abused it just as much as any other reasonable person. I can assure you that the Nano is no more scratchable than any other 4G iPod. The Mini, which I also own, was impervious to costmetic destruction, though.

    It boils down to this: minor scratches and imperfections are likely with any daily-use product. That's why there's an industry for iPod protectors. HOWEVER, I'd rather have a slighly scuffed Nano with it's nice sheen and sleek profile than to have a Nano with a huge clunky protector that makes it look like crap.

    So if you want a Nano, perhaps you should consider that your expectations have been set too high if you think a scuff or scratch is unacceptible. You'r probably the kind of person who gets minor dents and dings on your car fixed the day they happen. Or better yet, are you the lamer that has a car bra? Let it go. Damage happens. The Nano is not at fault-- look in the mirror.

    I'm not discrediting the people who had actual CRACKED screens-- that's B.S. It should be fixed. Scratches ... get a life.
    • by asv108 ( 141455 ) <> on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:05AM (#13676150) Homepage Journal
      I'm not discrediting the people who had actual CRACKED screens-- that's B.S. It should be fixed. Scratches ... get a life.

      I'm sorry, but I think its a reasonable request to be able to put an ipod nano in your pocket, unprotected, and expect not to look like crap after a few days of use. My 3g ipod is a year old. While the battery life is down to about 2-3 hours of use, the case and screen look fine after keeping it in my pocket daily, for over a year. While you may not have an issue, there are obviously thousands of people who dissatisfied.

      I see a lot of Apple apologists saying "use a case" buy a "screen protector" but any of those solutions are simply compensating for a design flaw.

  • The defect affects less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all the nanos that have shipped so far

    I would like to see those numbers. Are they sure thats not reported issues. So if they shipped 5 million, and only 100,000 were bought, and of those 100,000 only 100 people REPORTED a problem well yea. If the defect is in the material, and it is the same material (and processing) for all of the products - then all of the products should have the defect; none of this 1/10 of 1% crap.

    Really they just want y
  • by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:14AM (#13675671) Homepage Journal
    These [] are not only good for PDAs, but they make them for digital camera screens, too. Its clear, its plastic, it'll take the dings, and its cheap.

    Isn't it obvious?
  • I doubt that the same materials are used. I have a 4G sitting right here and it barely has any scratches on it at all. It's had very similar use to those who have a nano. Goes in a seperate pocket and if it shares room, it's only with a pencil. Something is fishy about the same materials being used statement.
  • by el_womble ( 779715 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:20AM (#13675725) Homepage
    iPod 3G - Scratched to hell
    Nokia Phone - Scratched to hell, but ugly so scratches don't notice
    Key Fob - Scratched to hell
    Gameboy - Scratched to hell

    My leather wallet is scratched. My keys have scratches.

    If you put something in you pocket it will scratch. Now break? Thats a different story. If the screen on my phone, iPod or Gameboy had broken through what I would concider fair use - putting it in my pocket, I'd be kicking up a fuss.

    Apple are doing the right thing by replacing the parts that have broken. If you don't want something to scratch, don't put it in your pocket, or let it touch anything else.
  • Plastic care... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SPYvSPY ( 166790 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:21AM (#13675729) Homepage
    Any plastic item needs care. I bought a 35 thousand dollar Honda S2000 back in the days when the rear window was plastic. That thing got scratched every single time you lowered or raised the convertible top. If you think Nano owners are bent out of shape, you should have seen the Honda message boards. After a while, people figured out that if you cared for the plastic window with Plexus or a similar product, and treated it with appropriate caution, it was fine. It really seems to me that every iPod release is accompanied by a chorus of complainers--first the battery life (a problem I never had with any of my four iPods), then clicking noises between tracks (a software issue addressed by Apple), then HD noise on the output (easily fixed--get a non-HD device!), and now the screen is scratching up. Excuse me if I don't have much sympathy. My half-decade of iPod ownership tells me that this is a bunch of sour grapes and buyer's remorse.
  • More evidence for the "never buy the first revision of an Apple product" maxim? Didn't early versions of iBooks, powerbooks G4, iMac G5 and iPod Mini all have some reliability problems?
  • This guy has a pictoral on how he fixed up his nano screen with Brasso. Pretty amazing stuff, if it's legit.

    - - - - - - - - -
    Want a nano? [] Find 5 others that want a nano too, and you're all set.
    • re: correction! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nerftoe ( 74385 )
      OOPS - Link included below:

      This guy [] has a pictoral on how he fixed up his nano screen with Brasso. Pretty amazing stuff, if it's legit.

      - - - - - - - - -
      Want a nano? [] Find 5 others that want a nano too, and you're all set.
  • Plastic cases get scratched, it's unavoidable but easily fixable. Go to the auto parts store and get sandpaper of various grits starting at 600 and finishing at 1500 and get a bottle of rubbing compound like 3M Perfect-It 3000. Wet sand the screen with the lowest grit until the largest scratches come out, then work up to the highest grit paper and finish off with the rubbing compound to make it shine like new again. There's plenty of thickness to work with so the procedure can be done many times.
  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:34AM (#13675834)
    Because of the way the Nano is designed, emitting light in from the sides as well as the front, the black model will show scratches much more vividly than the white model.

    See here [] for more info.

  • If you have a scratched screen, Apple won't replace it.

    If you have a cracked screen, Apple will replace it.

    Ergo, If you have a scratched screen, crack the screen and exchange it.

    I suspect part of the problem with so many scratched screens is the way Jobs introduced the Nano. He pulled it out of his Levis. Denim is pretty harsh material but there was Jobs saying that the watch pocket on a pair of Levis was a perfectly appropriate place to store the ultra-thin Nano.

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:47AM (#13675990) Homepage
    I am very suspicious that the broken screens and the scratched screens are due to the same problem. And as such are merely polar ends of the real issue.

    Could it be, that the manufacturer's "hardener" levels were off. Certain polycarbonate batches receiving too much "hardeners" (resulting in cracked screens) and other batches receiving too little "hardener" resulting is extremely easy scratched screens.

    I find it interesting from a chemical engineering stand point that both problems could be directly related to a fluctuation of hardener levels but not a single article or post I've read has mentioned the possibility of such?

    - The Saj
    • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @12:28PM (#13677075)
      The screens that are cracking in this case are the LCD module inside the iPod nano, not the polycarbonate plastic sheet over it. I know this because it is when the glass (yes, glass) inside the LCD breaks is when you hear people describe that simultaneous with the display cracking also the pixels stopped responding on one side of the crack (or both). Also, people are saying the LCD cracked on them, with "no external damage". This they are referring to a crack inside the unit, not on the polycarbonate cover.

      Honestly, it's by far the most common problem I've had with LCDs. I've broken LCDs in both pagers and cellphones in this same fashion (LCD glass broken, not outside plastic). And I'm sure most people have has similar experiences.

      So, you're way off. They cannot be the same issue.

      As to perhaps the scratches problem itself is due to hardener, I agree it is possible. But having scratched a few iPods in my day also (including a nano), I have to believe Apple's story here. It's no different than the others except perhaps that since the screen is so small and the pixel density so high, scratches matter more than they have in the past.
  • by Nice2Cats ( 557310 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:09AM (#13676182)
    If you think the scratches on the nano are bad, you should see my iPod Shuffle -- I can't even see the damn screen anymore.

    Oh, wait...

  • by Yeechang Lee ( 3429 ) * on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:27AM (#13676389) Homepage
    Here's what I sent to some other people on easily-scratchable nanos. Note that this does *not* discuss the cracking/breaking-screen problem that Apple is promising to fix. The two are completely-separate issues.


    Note that Apple is promising to deal with actual defects to the LCD screen itself. Not mere scratches, for which Apple is simply advising people to buy cases to avoid. (I've heard of people using clear packing tape and badge holders.) I believe I've solved the mystery of the scratches.

    After our Monday conversation I paid a visit to both a Apple and a CompUSA retail store here in San Francisco. The displayed nanos at both locations indeed had scratches all over the shell, while the minis' screens did not. The breakthrough occurred when I realized that the displayed iPod classic was scratched up in an identical way.

    Both the classic and nano iPods' front outer shells are made of clear polycarbonate plastic that completely covers the colored (white or black) plastic and the LCD screen. Remember that the various iPod classic models were, and are, always too big for a pants pocket. In addition, by the time they became popular, plenty of cases were available. When the minis--the first pants-pocketable iPods--came out, Apple decided to go with a scratch-resistant, brushed-aluminum case that left the LCD screen's glass outer layer bare. As anyone who's worn eyeglasses knows, glass is much, much more scratch-resistant than any plastic. (In retrospect I shouldn't have been surprised to hear that a tissue scratched up your nano; the pulp that tissues and paper towels are made out of is very rough. That's why the best thing to clean eyeglasses with is a lint-free lens cloth/tissue or a clean cotton t-shirt. Take it from someone who's been wearing lenses since the age of six.)

    Due to Apple's decision to revert to a classic-like outer shell with the nano, for the first time this clear plastic is being exposed to a much tougher environment than before. It doesn't help that a) nano-sized cases won't be in stock for another two weeks, b) scratches are more meaningful compared to the small size of the nano screen (although anyone who says that the scratches make their screens unusuable is lying; they are simply not visible from most angles), and c) the nanos are the first iPods--with the minor exception of the special U2 units--that are available in black, a color that scratches are much more visible on than white.

    Bottom line: iPod classics scratch easily. iPod nanos scratch easily. iPod minis don't.

  • by pyro_peter_911 ( 447333 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:32AM (#13676467) Homepage Journal
    I bought an iPod Shuffle and it is so scratched up that I can't see the screen at all!

  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:45AM (#13676631) Homepage
    Who cares if the screen scratches, get a case or one of the plastic polishes.

    The greater concern with devices of this type is the drop on pavement, gym floor test. The ipod acording to the ars-digita review is super durable and very hard to break, a much more important metric than how scratchable it is.
  • by Warlock7 ( 531656 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:52AM (#13676701)
    The tests done at ArsTechnica [] were pretty extreme and the scratching they caused wasn't nearly as bad as some people here are describing their own experiences to be.

    There have been, as always on /., some extreme claims made by people here.
  • Use Brasso (Score:4, Informative)

    by Twid ( 67847 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @11:57AM (#13676754) Homepage
    I completely removed all scratches from my black nano using Brasso. (Which I got the idea for from the previous Slashdot thread on this.)

    Full story here []. Check out the before and after pictures, I was really surprised by the great results.

    And yes, my nano is now sitting in a baggie, waiting for my case to arrive. :) I think that's the main issue with the nano, you (mostly) can't get cases right now either through Apple or third-parties. I imagine by the end of the month this won't be the case and this issue will blow over just in time for the Christmas buying season.
  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @12:59PM (#13677397) Homepage
    The annoyance is: There ARE nice scratch-resistant coats for polycarbonate lenses. They are SOP on polycarbonate glasses (very light and strong, quite common for sports-goggles).

    Fortunatly, polycarbonate can be polished well. So I'm planning on just polishing mine out once the cases are available.