Apple’s Premature Brainchild

Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently released the iPod Nano, a minuscule reconstruction of the iPod. The feather-light mp3 player weighs 1.5 ounces and measures less than 0.3 inches thin. Apple has once again proved that big things come in small packages though, because the Nano can hold up to 1,000 songs depending on the model. Some other modifications include a standard color 1.5 inch LCD screen which can display pictures while you jam to the latest song on Apple’s silhouetted dancing commercials. The Nano also features an appointment calendar and an address book-attributes that will, at the very least, encroach on the market that personal digital assistants such as Blackberry and Palm have created. The Nano is meant to make obsolete the iPod Mini while accompanying the classic iPod on the market. Since its release, the iPod’s headphones have been problematic. The white chord that stretches from your pocket to the ear buds has proven to be an irresistible billboard for muggers, especially in America’s metropolises. One young man was even murdered by a group of teenagers in New York because he was sporting his friend’s iPod on the street. In lieu of such events it is surprising that Apple has not changed the palpable nature of the headphones. In effect, owning an iPod is not only trendy, but a status symbol as well-an apparently dangerous one. But while the headphones have remained the same, a thief might have trouble locating the minute machine, which rests weightlessly in your jeans, insignificant as the pocket lint next to your car keys. The smaller, sleeker digital music player is the next level in what is a seemingly unfair game of controlling the portable audio industry. Apple already controls a lopsided 80 percent of the market and Nano is expected to outsell both the original iPod and the iPod Mini, the latter of which Jobs has decided to discontinue. The Nano is not the virtuous brainchild you may envision though, as it has produced premature problems for Apple. Soon after its release many people began to complain about the fragility of the LCD screen. “I got my Nano a week and a half ago, and it was scratched within 30 minutes,” says Tyler Hall, creator of nanoscratch.com, a platform where Nano consumers can moan about the screen’s vulnerability. Some complaints even contain expletive remarks in Apple’s direction-these are some sour Apple customers. Apple has played down the screen issue, one which could prove problematic for the company’s sales goals. Steve Dowling, spokesman for Apple, told the Gannett News Service, “We do not believe it’s a widespread issue.” The numerous complaints from around the country depict a contrary situation. Regardless, the Nano is expected to sell five million units in the fourth quarter and Apple has taken action to protect that goal. To maintain the proactive relationship with its consumers, Apple says that the fragility of the Nano screens stem from vendor issues. Furthermore, Apple has recognized the issue, agreeing to replace any damaged Nanos for free. Steve Jobs’ progressive computer company has always preserved a positive rapport with their customers, offering better-than-average customer service to keep their shoppers happy, and they have addressed the current situation accordingly. Next year, when the Nano is replaced by an even smaller, more problematic machine, Apple will defend their image again.