Today Apple reiterated the iPhone 4 case program was coming to an end:
We now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought. A small percentage of iPhone 4 users need a case, and we want to continue providing them a Bumper case for free. For everyone else, we are discontinuing the free case program on all iPhone 4s sold after September 30, 2010. We are also returning to our normal returns policy for all iPhone 4s sold after September 30. Users experiencing antenna issues should call AppleCare to request a free Bumper case.
The “iPhone 4 case program” which allows iPhone 4 owners, through the use of a special iPhone app, to order a free bumper or third party case is clearly coming to an end September 30th. Although the program is ending, if I’m reading that last line correctly, users that purchase an iPhone 4 after September 30th will still be able to request a free bumper to fix their antenna issues by calling AppleCare. The previous policy, posted by Boy Genius, was quite different:
We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers.
I assume Apple has changed their policy as a cheap way to keep the story from flaring up again. I admit, it seems the majority of users don’t notice the issue, but for the group of post September 30th iPhone 4 buyers that do, Apple can keep them quiet with a free bumper.
I always doubted Apple would fix the iPhone 4 antenna issue with a production line tweak. Even if they could, can you imagine the backlash from all the iPhone 4 owners that have the issue? Giving away a free case to “help general mobile phone attenuation issues” is one thing, but for Apple to fix the issue would be admitting there was one.
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