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Apple: A FREE Case for All iPhone 4 Until October

Before the whole thing kicked off, Steve and the guys at Apple played the following YouTube clip, which was posted yesterday by Jonathon Mann. Titled 'The iPhone 4 Antenna Song,' the chorus goes like this:

"If you want the iPhone 4, don't buy it. If you don't like the iPhone 4, bring it back."

With that little piece of YouTubery out of the way, Steve got on with things, stating that phones aren't perfect, nor is Apple perfect. However, they do like making their customers happy and, "if you don't know that about Apple, you don't know Apple.

Before getting into the issue at heart, Jobs buttered up the crowd with some positive statistics: They've sold three million iPhone 4s to date, and it's the number one rated smartphone according to several publications. He added that it's probably the best product Apple has ever made and later says that just half a percent of iPhone 4 users have complained about the antenna. What's more, Jobs adds that the return rate is only 1.7 percent, compared to 6 percent with the 3GS. Putting things into perspective for the people who think this iPhone is much worse than the last, Jobs said the dropped call rate for iPhone 4 is less than one more per 100 than the 3GS. So, while it is worse than the 3GS, it's worse by less than one call per hundred. Steve's theory is that when the 3GS was launched, there were no design changes, so a lot of people either already had cases, or left the store with one. With the iPhone 4, we got a whole new design, but we also got one that didn't fit in the old cases. Steve says Apple can't make bumpers fast enough.

Though it's been three weeks of relative silence from Apple, Steve said the engineers haven't been ignoring the issue. Despite all this data suggesting that only a small number of users are affect and a demonstration highlighting certain RIM, Motorola and Nokia devices all react the same way to being gripped "in a not unusual way," the folks at Apple have been working for three weeks to come up with a solution. And, in response to all those people who said, "Why don't they just give everyone a free bumper, if that'll fix it?" Apple is giving everyone a free case. Though they can't give everyone a bumper (because they can't make 'em fast enough), they will be giving everyone who purchases an iPhone 4 between now and September 30, a free case of some kind. After September 30, they'll be re-examining the issue, whatever that means. Anyone who's already paid for a bumper will get a refund.

Jobs went on to make several more announcements:

  • On July 30 the iPhone will hit 17 more countries.
  • White iPhone is coming at the end of the month.
  • In addition to the free cases, there's an iOS update out that should help fix how the iPhone communicates how much signal it has.

Basically, the TL;DR version of this story is: "This happens to a lot of phones, but is only affecting a few iPhone users. We've been working on this for three weeks. Here, have a free case."