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Concerns mount over iPod nano LCD durability

A significant number of early iPod nano adopters are waging concerns and complaints about the durability of new players, claiming the LCD screens are easily scratched or broken with minimal abuse.

The issue has spurred a flurry of first-hand reports from disgruntled customers on Apple\'s support forums and also fueled the creation of websites like www.flawedmusicplayer.com, which urge Apple recall the product.

In an email to the website, one iPod nano owner wrote: \"On Monday morning, I dropped it in my pocket on the way to work, and when I took it out to show it to all my friends, the LCD was cracked.\"

Another customer said: \"Last night I broke my 2GB black iPod while it was simply sitting in my pocket. I was destroyed over it considering I sacrificed my whole paycheck for it.\"

Over on Apple\'s support forums, the company appears to be deleting comments concerning broken iPod nano LCD screens as they appear. Still, one thread dedicated to the iPod nano includes nearly 500 posts chronicling the ease in which the LCD can become severely scratched or damaged.

\"I received my black 4GB nano on the 23rd (of Sept.) and already it looks like it\'s been through a sandpaper factory,\" said one customer. \"Like many other users I have been very careful with it and it has not been in any pockets with anything else.\"

Says another customer, \"I bought the black 2GB at Best Buy four days ago and have used it once. I held it in my hand and the thing looks awful. It was my first iPod and I am bummed.\"

The iPod nano\'s screen is arguably its most critical component, as it provides a means to navigate playlists and display full-color photos.

\"The nano screen is just as vulnerable as any other iPod LCD, however I feel that the public impression is that you can carry these in your back pocket or just toss them inside of a book bag and not worry — this is far from the truth,\" said Ryan Arter, president of iPodResQ, a company which offers LCD replacement services for the nano.

Already iPodResQ is receiving more nano LCD repair requests than it had initially expected. As of last Thursday the company said it was dealing with hundreds of LCD damages, with demand steadily increasing from day to day.

\"We replaced the first [iPod nano LCD] the day after they were released, and frankly I never anticipated that,\" Arter said. Demand for nano LCD repairs through iPodResQ has since escalated, causing a shortage of the replacement LCDs and forcing the company to raise the cost of its repair service from $99 to $145.

So far Apple has made no official comment on the issue and its retail store and phone support employees have told iPod nano owners that their LCD damage is not covered under warranty. Some customers are having a tough time digesting this response because they feel Apple had implied that the player was durable enough for everyday use and storage \"in your pocket\".

During the Sept. 7th unveiling of the iPod nano in San Francisco, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs pulled the player from his front pocket and declared: \"1,000 songs in your pocket and impossibly small.\"