Updated from 1:08 p.m. EDT
will replace some of the iPod nanos it has sold, due to a defect with the screens on some of the new digital music players.
The defect has resulted in cracked or broken displays on the device. The problem affects less than one-tenth of 1% of the iPod nanos the company has shipped, company spokesman Steve Dowling said, blaming the issue on an unnamed vendor's quality control.
Dowling declined to say how many nanos Apple expects to replace. Apple has not said what the replacement program will cost the company or which vendor was responsible for the problem.
Investors seemed to be taking the issue seriously. In recent trading, Apple's stock was off $1.40, or 2.6%, to $52.04.
introduced the nano earlier this month. The device, which replaced the iPod mini, previously the company's most popular music player, has drawn wide acclaim for its ultra-slim design and bright color screen.
Despite the critical praise, customer complaints about the device and, specifically, the fragility of its display, have circulated online almost since it debuted. Customers have charged that the device's display is easily scratched or broken in normal usage.
For instance, CEO Steve Jobs introduced the device by pulling it out of his pants pocket at a press event. But some customers have charged that in imitating Jobs, they have damaged the device's display.
But Dowling made a distinction between screens that are scratched and those that are broken. Apple only plans to replace nanos with a broken screen, he said. Customers with a cracked nano screen should contact Apple's customer service line to get a replacement, he said.
Customers with scratched screens will find less help. Apple is using the same material for the screens that has used in the company's other iPods, Dowling said. Screens on those devices have not drawn criticism, and the company doesn't believe the screen scratching issue is a widespread problem, he said.