by Bill Snyder

iPhone 4 Owners, Apple Has $15 for You

Opinion
Apr 02, 20122 mins
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

Apple never did admit it was wrong about iPhone 4 antenna problems, but it will give iPhone 4 owners $15 as Antennagate finally comes to an end. Be sure you apply by August 28. rnrn

Remember “Antennagate,” the kerfuffle that followed the release of iPhone 4, a somewhat flawed product that seemed to drop calls if it weren’t held just right?  

A bevy of lawsuits filed after the launch in 2010 has finally come to an end, and owners of an iPhone 4 are eligible for a bit of compensation: $15 or a free bumper to put around your smartphone.

If you’re interested, go to this Web site, fill out the forms, send them in electronically or via snail mail, and you’re done. You’ve got to get your claim in by August 28, and your phone must have been purchased no later than February 17, 2012.

It’s not a lot of money, obviously, but I think it’s important that those who are eligible to receive the compensation apply for it because it sends a message to Apple, which cavalierly ignored the iPhone’s antenna problems until they became a public relations mess; then it acted. Apple shouldn’t treat its customers that way (and usually doesn’t), so a slap on the wrist is in order.

According to the settlement site, to be eligible for the cash payment, Class Members must have:

  • Experienced antenna or reception issues with their iPhone 4;
  • Been unable to return their iPhone 4 without incurring any costs;
  • Been unwilling to use a case or free bumper for their iPhone 4;
  • Completed the troubleshooting steps on http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/assistant/calls/ or be unable to complete the troubleshooting steps because they no longer own their iPhone.

When customers complained that the iPhone 4 was dropping calls, Apple pretty much ignored them, and then held an obnoxious press conference saying nothing was the matter. But then the respected Consumer Reports dropped a bombshell, reporting that its hardware tests had “confirmed” a problem with the iPhone 4’s reception.

Apple then offered to give people a bumper to put around the iPhone to shield the antenna and alleviate the problem. If you’d rather have the bumper instead of the money, just say so. If you have already received a free bumper from Apple, not to worry. You can still get the cash.