3 Replies Latest reply: Jan 19, 2009 3:19 PM by Chris CA
n1driver Level 1 (0 points)

I have wanted an iPod for a while, and I thought I'd get my feet wet by buying a used one before I jumped in and bought a new one. I went out to eBay and purchased a 3rd generation iPod Nano (8GB). There were some problems with the auction that made me suspicious of the seller (I won't go into those here) but ultimately I received the iPod. It looked like it was brand new, coming in a little plastic case with everything enclosed (USB cable, earplugs, and the Nano itself). It even had the protective plastic stickers on the front and back.

The outer packaging looked fine. My first alarm bells rang when I started looking at the little 'Quick Start' booklet. The words in the booklet are English, but the grammar is terrible - it looks like it was translated from another language using a computer program that wasn't too good. For instance, the 'Play/Pause' button is documented on the first page as 'Broadcast/Pause'. The first actual sentence in the guide is "Return can from the CD CD ducting music." - (Judging by the graphic above I would guess that this means "You can copy music from a CD.").

Then I thought, OK, what the heck, maybe the little Quick Start guide is just terrible. I downloaded iTunes and installed it (worked just fine), but iTunes wouldn't recognize the device (which shows up as a USB mass storage device 'Removable drive' under My Computer). I then registered the iPod using the serial number on the back of device (that worked, my only ray of hope so far). I ran through a bunch of diagnostics, etc. Did as much of the 5 R's as I could (since iTunes never shows the device as a source I couldn't do some steps, like restore, but 'Reset' seemed to reset the device, but not to make it show up in iTunes). I restarted the iPod service, etc. Still nothing. Then I tried to get some more detailed help from apple support. I notice that I could do support by serial number, so I entered the serial number from the back of the device again and I got a support screen for 1st/2nd generation iPod Nanos! 3rd generation is physically pretty distinct from 1st/2nd generation, so I know that's not what I have. Then I got my next bad feeling when I noticed that the wording under the serial number on the back of the device (engraved into the metallooked a little weird. It reads: "Designed by Appls in Callfomia. Assemblsd in China". Finally, I entered my serial number in one other place on the support pages (I forget where) and it said that this item had been replaced, and I should enter the serial number for the replacement item instead. Obviously now I'm pretty concerned. Since all of this I've noticed that the serial number printed on the iPod Nano packaging does not match the serial number printed on the back of the iPod Nano itself, and the model numbers don't match either. (The model number on the packaging is A1236 and the model number on the iPod is A1137). Also, the packaging is for a silver version, and I have a black version. I guess it's obvious that the packaging is for a different iPod.

I apologize for the long note - my main questions are these:
1) In your iPod Nano quick start guides, is the english understandable?
2) On the back of your iPod Nano, does it say "Designed by Apple in California" or does it say "Designed by Appls in Callfomia"?
3) If this is a counterfeit, is there someone in Apple that I should contact to help them track this kind of problem?

If this is a counterfeit it's pretty visually convincing (iPod/Apple logos look good, you have to read the fine print to notice something a little off).

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

iPod Nano 3rd Gen. 8GB, Windows XP Pro