Apple Sued Over Nano Scratching

Unhappy iPod Nano customers are taking Apple to court over scratching issues they have experienced with their players. The suit, filed in a U.S. District Court in San Jose, alleges the screens scratch even during normal usage, "causing Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary damages."

The plaintiffs have asked for class action status in the suit.

The suit is the latest in a string of headaches for Apple over the device. Scratching problems have been the most common complaint from users, although several had screen breakage issues that Apple dismissed as a "quality control issue."

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Nonetheless, the company says demand for the players has been "staggering." "We ended the quarter with an enormous backlog," Apple COO Tim Cook said. The supply issues may have been to blame for keeping iPod sales relatively flat, briefly spooking Wall Street and causing a sell off of Apple stock last week.

Nano owner Jason Tomczak brought the suit to court along with several other recent Nano buyers, according to the Red Herring. Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP will represent them in the case.

The lawsuit asks for damages including the retail price of the iPod Nano, statutory and punitive damages, and attorney's fees. Furthermore, the class action members want a portion of the Nano's profits.

Apple has repeatedly dismissed the scratching issue. "A few vocal customers are saying that their iPod nano is more susceptible to scratching than prior iPods," the company said previously. "The iPod nano is made with the same high-quality polycarbonate plastic as the fourth-generation iPod."

The suit disagrees with this assessment, and suggests that Apple was attempting to profit off of the issue.

"Rather than admit the design flaw when consumers began to express widespread complaints about the screen's propensity to scratch easily and excessively, Apple concealed the defect and advised class members that they would need to purchase additional equipment to prevent the screen from scratching excessively," the complaint alleges.

iPod Nano owners can join the class action by filling out a form on the Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP Web site.

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