A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit targeting the iPhone 4’s antenna and reception problems, reports CNET. U.S. residents who bought the handset will be offered either $15 or a free bumper case, however the offer is only valid for those individuals who did not take advantage of Apple’s previous offer. The settlement comes from 18 separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one, all claiming 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.” Original buyers will be notified via email before April 30th, or they can visit http://www.iPhone4Settlement.com, although the site is not yet live. After the notifications are sent, the claims period will last for 120 days. More →
With near field communication technology shaping up to be the number one new feature on handsets and mobile devices starting next year, a Japanese carrier is already planning on releasing limited NFC functionality to the iPhone 4. Softbank is set to debut a NFC sticker or “seal” which will cover almost the entire rear of the device without preventing the use of Apple’s Bumper cases. While the NFC sticker doesn’t appear to interact with the iPhone in any way, it will reportedly allow iPhone 4 users in Japan to interact with some of the most common mobile payment solutions. The NFC sticker is made of polyurethane, is 0.5 ounces in weight, and should be available for $36 starting in February from Softbank in Japan.
This afternoon, on Apple’s official iPhone 4 Case Program website, the company released the following statement:
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.
There has been no official word on whether or not the Cupertino company has made any internal adjustments to the iPhone 4’s antenna design. More →
As soon as we saw the page go up on ElementCASE’s site, we knew we had to have one. The Vapor case for the iPhone 4 is perhaps the meanest, most bad ass-looking bumper / case we’ve seen so far. It’s made from a solid block of “aircraft grade aluminum” and features a non-conductive coating on the inside to do away with that pesky antenna issue. We’ve been playing with two different Vapor cases for a couple days and here are our thoughts:
The construction of the case is top notch — really solid, though we would have liked a better system of taking the case on and off. To get your iPhone situated nicely, you have to bend the large frame a bit to fit your iPhone, then carefully insert the phone making sure the sharp edges of the frame don’t scratch the handset, then you have to attach the second piece and get it nailed down with 4 screws. Once the phone is in the case, it all comes down to personal preference. The case is manufactured well, fits snuggly on the iPhone 4, but does have a couple draw backs. Since the aluminum is so thick, the headset jack gets recessed, the vibrate switch and volume buttons can be a little hard to press, and the on / off button, while accessible through an integrated button, loses a bit of tactility.
All in all, the ElementCASE Vapor case for the iPhone 4 is the most aggressive-looking and lust-worthy case we’ve seen so far. While we love the concept of the Vapor case, the execution misses the mark in a couple ways. Some people might not like the added thickness and weight it adds to the handset, and the case makes the phone’s buttons pretty recessed. Plus, at a starting price of $79, it’s up there on the expensive scale.
Advertising wars are so much fun! Late yesterday, Motorola took another swipe at smartphone rival Apple, capitalizing on the free-case fiasco of the iPhone 4. In a Facebook post, the company displayed a poster that read:
At Motorola, we believe a customer shouldn’t have to dress up their phone for it to work properly. That’s why the DROID X comes with a dual antenna design. The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like to make crystal clear calls without a bulky phone jacket. For us it’s just one of those things that comes as a given when you’ve been making mobile phones for over 30 years.
Burn. The first ad Motorola put out was a little tongue and cheek, however this one is a sharp stick to the eye… a very funny sharp stick to the eye. We’ve got the full-sized image after the bounce.
We’re not kidding, there is actually an app for that. Apple’s iPhone 4 Case Program page is now live. Those who already purchased an iPhone 4 and Apple bumper can hit up the new site to check the status of their rebate, users waiting for their free case can “Download the iPhone 4 Case Program app from the App Store” and select a case at no charge. Have a look for yourself. More →
The antenna issues plaguing the iPhone 4 have infuriated many iPhone users (and rightfully so), but have you ever wondered how Apple is training its employees to deal with the fiasco? Well thanks to one of our Apple connects, we now know the exact procedures AppleCare reps must follow when dealing with any reception complaints regarding the iPhone 4. Hit the jump to check them out. More →