Apple is facing legal action from an aggrieved American consumer over alleged problems with the iPod Nano.
The iPod has helped Apple report record results
The lawsuit alleges that Apple launched the music player despite knowing its design would limit its life.
The legal action follows a rash of complaints from iPod Nano users who reported cracked and scratched screens.
Apple said a bad batch of Nanos had caused those problems and denied the device was more likely to scratch than other models of the popular player.
Asked a comment on the lawsuit, Apple said: "We do not comment on pending litigation."
In the first 17 days that the iPod Nano was on sale, Apple sold more than a million of the credit card-sized music players.
But the gloss of the early September launch of the Nano was marred by reports that screens of some devices were cracking or scratching very quickly. Protests were led by Matthew Peterson who started a website to force Apple to admit the problems and replace gadgets.
Now Jason Tomczak, another disgruntled Nano customer, is at the centre of legal action over the gadget.
Represented by Seattle-based legal firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Mr Tomczak filed a lawsuit on 19 October in the San Jose District Court which alleges that the Nano is too delicate for normal use.
Paperwork supporting the filing says that iPod Nanos "scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable".
The lawsuit pins the blame for the scratching on changes Apple made to the design of the music player to make it as thin as possible.
It alleges that screen and controls in the Nano are beneath a film of resin much thinner than in other models. It alleges that other versions of the iPod do not scratch as easily because they are covered in a thicker, stronger plastic coat.
Mr Tomczak launched the legal action after a replacement iPod Nano also suffered scratching soon after he got it.
He is seeking the return of a $25 fee he had to pay to send the player back to Apple, plus the original cost of the gadget and damages.
The lawsuit was filed by Mr Tomczak and "on behalf of all others similarly situated" but will require a ruling by a judge to have it granted class action status.
Surging interest in the iPod in all its forms helped Apple report its best ever financial results in the year to 24 September when it reported profits of $430m (£246m).