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Apple Ending the iPhone 4 Free Case Program

Apple's free case program was the response to the massive (and mainstream media coverage) of the antenna design weakness of the iPhone 4. Steve Jobs said at the time that the case program would run until the end of September, at which point the company will reevaluate the situation.

Well, Apple appears to have reevaluated and concluded that the antenna problem isn't much of a problem at all and will be putting an end to the free case program as it is now.

Apple posted 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.

That doesn't mean that those with reception issues who buy iPhone 4 after this month will be left out in the cold. For those people, they will have to call into AppleCare and talk with a representative to request a free Bumper case.

Apple is also tightening up again on its return policy. Previously, dissatisfied could return their undamaged iPhone 4 to any Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

At the end of this month, Apple is going back its normal returns policy – 14 days and a possible 10 percent restocking fee – for all iPhone 4s sold after September 30.

  • awood28211
    Continuing to downplay the issue. I'm curious if someone is denied a bumper and then can't place an 911 call in a low signal area because of the Apple will handle being sued.
  • HTDuro
    At the end of this month, Apple is going back its normal returns policy – 14 days and a possible 10 percent restocking fee – for all iPhone 4s sold after September 30.

    and some lawyers letters from customers ...
  • dan117
    "the case program would run until the end of September"
    because phone magically fixes itself in October
  • The first sentence is wrong. It should read:

    "Now that we've masked over our catastrophic design blunder with software updates, you needn't worry your pretty little heads anymore."
  • jfby
    In the end Apple will reap what it sows... or at least any ordinary business would. Apple is a master of brand perception, even if reality doesn't support the claims.
  • back_by_demand
    Just in time for the release of WP7 and a whole slew of new Android phones

    Bad business decision, Apple should have done the opposite and extended the program till Xmas, good will is worth ten times it's cost in bad press.
  • rantoc
    Apple seem to think the appleoids have learned to hold the product "right", doubt it as many appleoids still purchase the defective version. Conclusion - Must ne some kind of flaw in the learning department of the brain! =P
  • icepick314
    this is mostly fault of the consumers...

    they have very short memory so the Apple is taking advantage of fickle consumer awareness...

    if you want the antenna to be fixed permanently, you have to CONSTANTLY ask for it...
  • wmalinowski
    Apple is such arrogant-*** of a company. No wonder why I don't buy their products.
  • jeraldjunkmail
    I thought that after this they were going to be shipping the fixed antenna version? Not that it matters, they still lie about signal strength.