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* Surprises are good-when you're the one doing the surprising. Apple's launch of the iPod Nano caught the tech community, analysts and pretty much everyone off-guard, including Apple's wireless phone partner Motorola.

* Tackle potential PR problems quickly. Shortly after the Nano launch, complaints began appearing about the tiny device's susceptibility to scratches. said a small percentage of the devices had a screen defect that might make them crack, and offered to replace damaged Nanos.

* Downloaded video for media players actually sells. Apple sold some 1 million music video and TV show downloads in just 10 days after the launch of its video-enabled iPod.

* Make friends even when you're being sued. Eminem sued Apple over the use of a snippet of one of his songs in an iPod ad aired in 2004 and settled with the company in May. By fall , Eminem starred in the launch ad for the iPod Nano.

* Sell the hardware, but make some money on the downloads and the accessories market. hit the half-billion mark of music downloads last July, and while it has sold accessories of its own (docks, headphones) it now formally promotes partners that make accessories iPod adds on.

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