Suit demands Apple to give Free iPod nanos in exchange of scratched ones

Scratched iPod nano A lawsuit has asked Apple Computer to provide free replacements for the scratched screens on its ultra-popular, pocket sized Nano music players.

Instead of replacing scratched nanos at no cost to buyers, Apple charges a fee of 25 dollars (US), according to attorney Bruce Simon, who authored the suit.

The Silicon Valley company will be served with a copy of the suit this week, and then have 30 days to file a response with the court, Simon’s law firm said on Monday.

An April date has been set for rival lawyers to discuss the case with a judge.

The suit, filed in San Mateo County Superior Court a short distance south of San Francisco, is the latest of about a dozen condemning Apple of selling nanos that don’t fulfill the promise of “gorgeous colour screens.”

In an aspiring class-action suit filed on behalf of a California man Simon wrote, “Contrary to Apple’s representations, the iPod nano is defective.”

When introducing the nano in September of 2005, Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs proudly plucked one from the coin pocket of his jeans, Simon noted.

“Selling ‘cool’ stuff isn’t ‘cool’ if the stuff doesn’t work as advertised and Apple fails to comply with its obligations under its warranty and California laws,” said Harvey Rosenfield, a lawyer for the Foundation of Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which is involved in the suit.

“Like every other industry, Apple must fix products that are defective for free, and refund the costs incurred by its customers.”

Apple representatives said it was company policy not to comment on pending litigation.

The suit charged, “Normal and reasonable use of the product, including the use specified by Apple, results in severe scratches, streaks, scuffing and cracking on the device’s screen.”

According to Apple only a tiny fraction of nano customers had reported problems.

Apple has sold more than 42 million iPods, the most popular MP3 music player on the market, according to the suit.

In the final quarter of 2005, ending with the Christmas holiday, iPod sales averaged about 100 per minute, the suit reported.

The suit called on the court to order Apple, to also reimburse legal fees and damages.