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Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 12 News List

`Defective' iPod nano screens land Apple in hot water

AFP , SAN FRANCISCO

Apple Computer customers in Mexico and the UK have joined the legal crusade to make the Silicon Valley company pay for allegedly defective screens on new iPod nano music players, lawyers said on Monday.

A class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of all iPod nano buyers in Mexico and the UK was filed in the US District Court for Northern California last Friday.

The suit mirrored one filed against Apple on behalf of US nano buyers last month.

The maker of the world's top-selling portable MP3 players ignored flawed screen design in its hurry to get nanos to market, lead attorney Steve Berman charged in the lawsuits.

The volume of international requests to be included in the US suit against Apple prompted the second filing, according to Berman.

"Apple's iPod nano has sold in record numbers around the world, just as it did in the US," Berman said. "It seems that wherever the Nano is sold, problems with the defective design soon follow."

Complaints that iPod nanos scratch and crack with irksome ease prompted Apple to offer to replace defective screens on the music players within weeks of its debut in September.

"My dog's chew toys get less scratches than using my nano for three hours in my pocket," Jarad Spatola wrote in one of many online discussion groups excoriating Apple for evidently using flimsy material in the product.

The display screen of Lee Ju-Sun's nano shipped to him from Shenzhen, China, scratched af-ter he put it in his pocket the first day he had it, he explained online.

Trouble with screens cracking or easily scratching has affected less than a tenth of a percent of the iPod nanos the company has shipped, Tom Neumayr of Apple said when the decision to replace defective screens was announced.

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