Apple blames iPod nano screen defects on obese Americans/tight pants
Apple today officially acknowledged that a small number of iPod nano owners have reported problems with the hot-selling music player. Customers are reporting instances where after removing the iPod nano from their front pockets (much as Steve Jobs did during the iPod nano’s famous unveiling) finding that the nano’s LCD screen is cracked, and in some instances, no longer works at all.
Apple’s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller said today in a press release “…this issue has affected less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the total iPod nano units that we’ve shipped. It is not a design issue. It has more to do with obese Americans in tight pants putting the nano in their front jeans pocket, and then sitting for extended periods of time.”
Blaming the nano’s screen issues on fat people is not the first time Apple has come under fire for attacking its super-sized customers. In 1998 the American Obesity Association filed a complaint against Apple charging the company’s hot-selling iMac computer shipped with a miniature keyboard and mouse that could not accommodate the enlarged fingers of obese Americans. In the complaint, the AOA alleges the keyboard made correct spelling all but impossible for large fingers that would sometimes accidentally press up to 3 keys at a time. The “hockey puck” mouse that shipped with the unit was also criticized for not being able to support the increased weight of a 7 pound hand. During extended use the track ball would often become oval-shaped, causing the mouse to stop functioning corectly.
The AOA’s Gabrielle Vargas says Apple computers have always been a favorite of husky Americans, due in large part to Apple’s insistance on using the 1-button mouse. The 1 button mouse is perfectly designed for fat fingers which often find multi-button mice unwieldy. Apple has also designed its operating systems to be navigated with a single-click mouse, eliminating the need for right-clicking. “It is this loyalty from our members” says Vargas, “that has helped Apple capture over 3% of the personal computer market. For Apple to now blame manufacturing defects in its newest iPod on ‘fat people wearing tight pants’ is just plain wrong.”
According to the AOA, Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. If Apple worked harder to actively cater (no pun intended) to the obese, it could mean a huge (no pun intended) increase in market share.
Apple, for its part, seems to realize this. It has offered to replace the “defective” nanos. However, they are insisting that all customers weighing over 230 Pounds also agree to sign a form stating they will carry their nano in an altoids case for protection.