As expected, Apple has announced it is winding down its iPhone 4 free bumper program at the end of the month, although it appears a bumper would still be available to those who file a complaint with AppleCare. According to a statement on its website,
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.
Although Apple claims the antenna attenuation issue is insignificant, we reported last week that customers can now see for themselves precisely how the signal strength of the phone is affected by the manner in which the device is gripped. It is unclear what has changed since July to cause Apple to discontinue this program. As PC World asks,
Without knowing the real numbers behind how many users are impacted, though, it seems that it is in Apple’s best interests to simply continue the free case program. If the number of affected users is truly so small, what is the harm in extending the free case offer?
If you own an iPhone 4, and are interested in participating in our lawsuit against Apple and AT&T, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.