Apple is facing a consumer class-action lawsuit alleging it knowingly manufactured, marketed, and distributed its new iPod Nano with a defectively designed screen that is vulnerable to scratching during ordinary use.
From the beginning, Apple touted the Nano as being incredibly small and sturdy. In order to make the device as compact as possible and get it to market quickly, however, Apple is alleged to have compromised the quality of the device.
The complaint claims that, when a major design flaw was encountered, the company ignored it. It seems that once on the market, reports began coming in that the LCD display became blotched and unusable. The iPod would still play, but the user had no controls.
There was no physical damage to the iPod and Apple took the position that the LCD screen is not covered under warranty. Thus, users were “basically…out of luck. What a rip-off," said one of the customers who complained to ConsumerAffairs.com
According to the attorneys for the class, plaintiffs intend to prove that:
- in an effort to rush the iPod Nano to the market, Apple ignored obvious defects in the design;
- Apple later tried to cover up negative responses received from consumers;
- in designing the Nano, Apple reconstructed the housing into a seamless front where the screen and controls reside directly under a less durable film of resin allowing irreparable damage to occur;
- Apple knew the Nano was defective, but chose to market it anyway and simply pass the cost of replacing the defective device on to its customers;
- Apple concealed the defect and advised class members to purchase additional equipment to prevent the screen from scratching excessively
The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for both the cost of the Nano and a $25 fee Apple charged to consumers who returned a damage product.