Apple's hard-hearted response to a letter full of suggestions to improve iPods made a nine-year old little girl cry, prompting a change in company policy.

As a video report from CBS 5 News explains, nine-year old Shea O'Gorman was learning letter-writing at school, and chose to write a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, offering some ideas she had dreamed up which she thought would make the iPod nano she loves even better.

She suggested adding support for song lyrics to the music player so she could sing along to her songs.

She posted the letter to Jobs, and three months later attracted a terse response from senior corporate legal beagle, Mark Aaker, senior counsel of Apple's law department.

It told her that Apple doesn't accept unsolicited ideas and that she should not send them in. It told her to check Apple's policy on this.

The poor little girl threw the letter into the air and ran, weeping, to her bedroom. She felt that Apple was telling her that her ideas just weren't good enough. At just nine years old it's hard to stomach such rejection, even if the policy is designed to protect Apple from future patent lawsuits should submitted ideas ever be used.

The girl's mother described the family as feeling "stunned". "It just wasn't an appropriate kind of letter to send to a nine-year old," she said.

The CBS 5 News team agreed, and launched an inquiry, which Apple declined to comment on.

The company's general counsel has since rung O'Gorman up to apologise for the affair.

The company also held a special meeting last week during which ways to change company policy when dealing with children were discussed.