And they say lawsuits drag on forever...?!
A mere three years have passed (yes, that's irony) since fed up customers took Apple to court over its easily scratched first generation iPod nano and now we at last got a result: $25. Big whoop.
Now as with any legal issue the documentation and caveats are extensive but I've tracked this down from the FAQs which should help put it in a nutshell:
"The settlement covers uncoated First Generation iPod nanos. These iPod nanos were first sold beginning in September 2005, and have a black or white plastic front and a stainless steel back. To determine if your First Generation iPod nano is uncoated and is covered by the settlement, click here to enter the full Serial Number of your iPod nano and Control #, if you have it. The Serial Number appears on the stainless steel backplate of your iPod nano. You will receive a response informing you whether your iPod nano is covered by the settlement. To be entitled to a payment under the settlement, you must have experienced scratching of your iPod nano that impaired your use or enjoyment of your iPod nano."
For those with long memories, you may recall Apple actually tried to slide out of this one by bundling covers with these nanos shortly after release but ultimately this hasn't cut it any slack. That said, how many of you can be bothered to go through the claim process is another matter entirely because 1. There's a lengthy form involved and 2. The small print confirms the settlement hasn't even been formally approved yet (!). This will take place on 28 April 2009 so I suggest you hold off on any hefty paperwork until then as the deadline for submissions is 10 June.
For the record, Apple is paying the $4.5m in litigation expenses it has cost the opposition so far and the named plaintiffs will get a larger $2,500 each. Still, for three years of court hearings and the trouble of raising the $4.5m in the first place I have to admit I'd have probably let the scratches go - the bad publicity was enough.
At least justice has been served... of a sort.
iPod nano Settlement Page Dedicated website