The iPhone 4 was released in June 2010, with a brand new design and a re-designed antenna system which was incorporated in a stainless steel band which wrapped around the edge of the phone. However the phone, designed Jonathan Ive, lead to many complaints about the antenna signal when users held the lower left edge of the phone. This resulted in many dropped calls and poor signal strength for users globally. The only real solution available to help fix the problem was to use a bumper. Many customers sent complaints in and a few lawsuits started to develop.
Apple then responded to the situation, firstly advising all iPhone 4 users to “avoid gripping [the phone] in the lower left corner” and then later, Steve Jobs announced that all iPhone owners would be entitled to a free iPhone bumper or a refund to users who had already purchased one.
20 months later, one of the lawsuits is finally seeing a settlement.
The settlement comes from 18 separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one. All share the claim that Apple was “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.”
From the settlement from Apple, it seems that original iPhone 4 buyers will be offered $15.00 or a free bumper to help resolve the issue, once and for all. An additional website will be set up, www.iPhone4Settlement.com, in the next few weeks where owners can find out what they are entitled to. At the moment, it is unsure that Apple will offer the re-numeration to those who previously were given free bumpers over 20 months ago. Included in terms of the settlement is that Apple is obliged to email all iPhone 4 owner and the customers will have 120 days to claim.
In the latest model of the iPhone, these issues seemed to have been cleared up despite the phone sharing the same form factor as it predecessor. This has also been confirmed by a Consumer Reports study.