Now that the whole Antennagate fiasco for the iPhone 4 has simmered down, it’s time to revisit the case program. As a result of all the bickering and banter about the iPhone 4’s fickle antenna, Apple decided to give free cases to users who purchased, and will purchase, its latest smartphone before September 30. For those who decide to purchase a handset after that date, cases and bumpers will no longer be free.
Here’s what Apple says on its web page:
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.
Curiously, Apple states that a “small percentage of iPhone users need a case.” I’m not sure who those users are, and how Apple plans on diagnosing their problem, but they will continue to get free bumper cases from Apple after the case program ends.
If it is only a small percentage of users being affected by this issue, could it have been a manufacturing problem with the latest Apple smartphone? Are new batches of smartphones coming out with the antenna issue resolved? Or is Apple just downplaying the numbers here in order to avoid further uproar?
In any case, if you did buy the new iOS smartphone, or you intend to purchase one before September 30, don’t forget to take advantage of this offer by downloading the Case Program application and getting your free case or bumper shipped to you. Otherwise, you’ll end up forking over about $20-30 for a new bumper or case.