Sept. 28, 2005 -- When Apple introduced the iPod Nano four weeks ago, the "impossibly thin" digital music player took enthusiasts, industry analysts and the Internet by storm. But not in an entirely positive way.
Some early purchasers complained loudly, mostly on the Internet, that their sleekly designed portable music players suffered from several annoying shortcomings: namely, color display screens and cases that were easily damaged.
One iPod Nano owner, Matthew Peterson, even set up a Web site -- flawedmusicplayer.com -- to highlight the problems he and some other owners were experiencing with their new players, and what they said was Apple's slow response to their concerns.
Today, the computer maker responded to the complaints, saying it has tracked down the source of the problem.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, told MacWorld magazine that the screen problems could be traced to a "vendor quality problem" that affects "less than one-10th of 1 percent" of the players that have been shipped so far.
"It is not a design issue," says Schiller in the magazine's online article.
Still, the company says it will offer iPod Nano owners with broken screens a complete replacement unit free of charge.
Apple, however, isn't being so generous in terms of players that are merely scratched.
Stating that the company has received very few complaints about nicked Nanos, Schiller suggested that customers should consider using an additional protective case to preserve their stylish players.
"I am very delighted to see Apple take this issue seriously," says Nano owner Peterson on his Web site. "This was a real issue and most people tried to ignore it."