Apple to Fix Nano Screens, Not Scratches

In a statement issued late Tuesday, Apple acknowledged that a manufacturing error led to a small percentage of iPod Nanos with weak screens, which could potentially crack in a tight pocket. Apple says it will replace any Nanos with broken displays, but not those with scratches.

Quality concerns surrounding the iPod Nano surfaced shortly after the product's debut earlier this month. Some users claimed the player scratches extremely easily, enough that it makes the screen difficult to read. Others reported cracks in the Nano's color LCD screen after standard use.

The problems have even led Nano owner Matthew Peterson to set up a Web site to gather complaints of defects surrounding the diminutive player.

"This is a real but minor issue involving a vendor quality problem in a small number of units," explained Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller. "In fact, this issue has affected less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the total iPod Nano units that we've shipped. It is not a design issue."

As for the scratches, Schiller said the Nano was built using the same material found in the fourth generation iPod, which was free of complaints.

"We have received very few calls from customers reporting this problem – we do not think this is a widespread issue," said Schiller. "If customers are concerned about scratching we suggest they use one of the many iPod Nano cases to protect their iPod."

In a response on his site, Peterson said, "I am very delighted to see Apple take this issue seriously. It is sad that it took a website and a lot of publicity before they finally investigated, but at least future Nano users with the same problem I had will not be subjected to the same treatment that I was."

"I know a lot of people are going to complain that they still have to spend extra money on a case to prevent scratching," Peterson added. "I guess I can handle using an iPod sock on my Nano knowing that I can look at my screen and show someone a picture."

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