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Apple Offers Free Cases To Solve iPhone 4 Antenna Problems 917

Apple just finished their press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna issues that have been widely reported and discussed in the past few weeks. Steve Jobs started by showing that the problem wasn't limited to iPhones, using videos of the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the HTC Droid Eris, and the Samsung Omnia 2 as examples, all of which dropped bars while being gripped in certain ways. He said, "This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren't perfect. It's a challenge for the whole industry. Every phone has weak spots." He went on to say that only 0.55% of all iPhone 4 users have called in to complain about reception problems, and that the return rate on the iPhone 4 so far is less than a third of the return rate for the 3GS. Jobs then said that according to their data, the iPhone 4 drops an average of less than one additional call per hundred than the 3GS. He continued by pointing out that because the 3GS was based on the 3G, there was already a large supply of Bumpers, which most customers left the store with. When the iPhone 4 came out, the old Bumpers didn't fit, so stock was lower and fewer customers used them (80% vs. 20%). Therefore, Apple's solution to the antenna problems is to give a free case to every iPhone 4 purchaser before September 30. Refunds will be offered for those who already purchased one. Since they can't make the Bumpers fast enough, they'll be supplying other cases from third parties. Jobs also acknowledged recently reported problems with the proximity sensor, promising a future software update to fix it. Engadget's liveblog of the conference has a ton of pictures and more direct quotes from Jobs. It's worth looking at if only for pictures of Apple's anechoic testing chambers.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.