Apple's Free iPhone 4 Case Program to End September 30th

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today announced on its iPhone 4 Case Program page (via The Loop) that it will be discontinuing the program as of the previously-stated September 30th end date. The company is also ending its no-restocking-fee, 30-day return policy for the iPhone 4, returning to its standard return policy that requires a 10% restocking fee on opened merchandise and return within 14 days of purchase.

Apple is, however, leaving open the possibility of providing cases to customers who demonstrate a distinct problem with antenna issues on their devices. At the company's July press conference to address the issue, Steve Jobs had stated that Apple would re-evaluate the program as the September 30th deadline approached.
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.
An executive with Mexican iPhone carrier Telcel late last month claimed that Apple would be introducing revised iPhone 4 hardware by the end of September to address the antenna issue, but Apple has made no announcements regarding changes to its hardware or manufacturing process.

Article Link: Apple's Free iPhone 4 Case Program to End September 30th
 

kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,455
1
"We now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought."
Yeah, right! You kept denying that there was any problem then you tried to underplay it. Whatever you say about the antenna, Mr. Jobs does not matter anymore.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
8,990
2,401
Seattle
That sounds to me like the case program is "officially" ending, but if you still have issues you CAN still get a free case. However, this will be on a case-by-case (hah!) basis, rather than people getting cases for the sake of it.

So much for a new iPhone 4 revision... lol!
 

hfletcher

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2008
251
170
UK
If they did secretly update the hardware after september 30th, they are effectively screwing their customers who were willing to upgrade as soon as it came out. Completely wrong. If it was a hardware defect - they should replace ALL iPhone 4's for free. Not just give out some plastic case.
 

mr.steevo

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2004
1,294
732
If they did secretly update the hardware after september 30th, they are effectively screwing their customers who were willing to upgrade as soon as it came out. Completely wrong. If it was a hardware defect - they should replace ALL iPhone 4's for free. Not just give out some plastic case.
Hi,

Is your iPhone 4 faulty?

s.
 

Darkashnet

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2010
182
220
I reckon they will update the hardware secrelty. (if they do it will prolly get out anyway). They won't make a fuss about it and piss off people who already got one and got a case with it. *shrugs*. I can still trade my iPhone in at the buying price, so as long as that stands and I'm that bothered I'll trade it in and buy new. I don't like using the bumper, i love my iPhone nekkid. I don't have much problem with mine anyway, signal bars drop but calls dont drop etc. I know people have it a lot worse. We'll see.
 

seb-opp

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2008
398
1
London/Norwich
If they did secretly update the hardware after september 30th, they are effectively screwing their customers who were willing to upgrade as soon as it came out. Completely wrong. If it was a hardware defect - they should replace ALL iPhone 4's for free. Not just give out some plastic case.
Seconded. If there's a change to the hardware, they are acknowledging there's a problem, and this announcement is the third time they've said there is no real issue with it.

Phone signal varies by area, it also depends on the infrastructure as well as the phone itself, maybe it was blown out of proportion as all the people I know who have iP4s have no issues. But of cause others might have the opposite experience.

Ordered my iPhone 4 this morning, Im confident there won't be a hardware change - and to be fair I'd have got a case for it even if there were no signal issues just to protect it!
 

Rend It

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2003
265
5
United States
An executive with Mexican iPhone carrier Telcel late last month claimed that Apple would be introducing revised iPhone 4 hardware by the end of September to address the antenna issue, but Apple has made no announcements regarding changes to its hardware or manufacturing process.
Apple will NEVER admit to a mid-refresh hardware revision, even though they do it in their computers all of the time. This is not to say I think one is coming, just that if they do, it will be kept under wraps. That is, until iFixit gets ahold of one.

FWIW, everyone I know in Denver/Boulder area that has iPhone 4 experiences antenna issues. Can't speak for elsewhere. Then again, the max upload speed on my iPhone 3G is 65 kbps standing 20 ft from a tower. Maybe AT&T does bear some blame.
 

saving107

macrumors 603
Oct 14, 2007
6,369
14
San Jose, Ca
So does this mean we are getting the new iPhone 4BA (Better Antenna) on Oct 1st, like so many people are claiming and hoping for?


/sarcasm
 

michaelsviews

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2007
1,228
232
New England
October OH MY

Well guess we'll have to see what happens and if Rumor Control has this correct that there will be a change on the hardware side. AT&T's going to crap and there networks overloaded.

Droid + Verizon's network = Maybe more happiness, than again maybe the total opposite.
 

fyrefly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2004
597
29
Phone signal varies by area, it also depends on the infrastructure as well as the phone itself, maybe it was blown out of proportion as all the people I know who have iP4s have no issues. But of cause others might have the opposite experience.
The "Antenna-Gate" problems largely seem like AT&T Problems, as Australian and French press have already said - and My experience here in Canada on Rogers confirms. I have yet to see anyone of my friends (most of whom have iPhone 4's) have any signal problems here in Canada.

to be honest, i didn't have problems but i got the free bumper anyways...saved $30
Which is probably what most people did... and it's costing Apple Money and they're gonna stop it. If you call Applecare with a problem - they'll still give you a free bumper if you whine hard enough, I'm sure.

Apple will NEVER admit to a mid-refresh hardware revision, even though they do it in their computers all of the time. This is not to say I think one is coming, just that if they do, it will be kept under wraps. That is, until iFixit gets ahold of one.
When have they replaced hardware internals "secretly" on their computers mid-cycle without announcing it? I've never heard of this before with MacBooks/iBooks/PowerBooks/etc...?

FWIW, everyone I know in Denver/Boulder area that has iPhone 4 experiences antenna issues. Can't speak for elsewhere.
This sounds like an AT&T issue - not an iPhone 4 issue.
 

adztaylor

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2009
1,723
2
Preston, UK
There won't be a hardware revision, simple as. You really think they would give away third party cases for free forever? They are only stopping it on Sept 30th because they release their financial stats so they can see just how much this has cost them.
 

dave420

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,404
96
If they did secretly update the hardware after september 30th, they are effectively screwing their customers who were willing to upgrade as soon as it came out. Completely wrong. If it was a hardware defect - they should replace ALL iPhone 4's for free. Not just give out some plastic case.
I don't think they need to inconvenience future users just for the hell of it. I personally wouldn't be upset if they made a minor hardware change and didn't give it to the original users.
They have gotten customer feedback about an issue. They have alleviated it for us with cases. If they found out they could make a minor change that would make future customers happy, then I'm all for it.
 

skiphunt

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2002
97
3
real world

I bought an iphone 4 because I knew people who said they had no problems at all.

Just after I got it, I put it down... noticed I had 4 bars... didn't move it at all or grip it in any "death grip" fashion. Just touched the metal around the rim in two places and watched the bars drop to only 1 bar. Consistently too.

However, although I'm taking mine back because I want a 32GB instead of the 16... I've been using the phone for 3 weeks and the only call I've dropped had to do with the proximity thing that's now fixed with the latest update. So, in real life usage... this phone actually gets better reception and much fewer dropped calls than my 3G did.

I'm keeping it. The camera is really nice and it's just so much nicer and faster than my 3G is.

All I know is that when I stopped looking for problems and just started using the phone... I had no problems at all to speak of.

In addition, I've got a case on it now because of the videos of people dropping and breaking theirs. But wouldn't any of the iPhones have a good chance of busting the screen if you dropped them repeatedly on asphalt without some kind of case?
 

314631

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2009
909
0
iDeaded myself
This is great news for customers. Now Apple and its partners have been monitoring "the problem" for some time they can declare there is no serious issue or glitch.

Now get back to enjoying your iPhone 4 because it's the best phone on the market until next summer.
 

dave420

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,404
96
didn't move it at all or grip it in any "death grip" fashion. Just touched the metal around the rim in two places and watched the bars drop to only 1 bar. Consistently too.
That is the death grip. Some people think it is badly named, and should be called the death touch.
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,763
5
I reckon they will update the hardware secrelty.
I reckon not. I reckon it is just like they said, the problem is much smaller than people were claiming it to be (I have seen a slew of iPhone 4's and can't get any of them to demonstrate this.) My personal iPhone 4 does not have a case on it, and I can hold my hand over its g-spot all day long with no problem.

They will likely require some demonstration of failure on the part of the phone and deal with it on a case-by-case basis (haha I crack myself up).

Anyone thinking this means they have secretly updated the hardware or are going to do so are just going to be disappointed.
 

Rend It

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2003
265
5
United States
When have they replaced hardware internals "secretly" on their computers mid-cycle without announcing it? I've never heard of this before with MacBooks/iBooks/PowerBooks/etc...?
Anyone who has had to replace a logic board or similar internal will find that the revision numbers are rarely the same (and often the board looks different in other more obvious ways). This may involve simple PCB rerouting or the use of slightly different peripheral chips. This is not unique to Apple, it happens in the auto industry, as well as many other consumer electronics manufacturers.

Issues come up, engineers re-design, and a revision is pushed to manufacturing. But, the iP4 antenna problem is such a hot-button issue that much more is being made of the supposed HW revision than any other time in recent memory.

This sounds like an AT&T issue - not an iPhone 4 issue.
Yeah, sucks for the customer when the carrier and manufacturer can just shift the blame, huh? :rolleyes:
 

HacKage

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
415
707
That is the death grip. Some people think it is badly named, and should be called the death touch.
Too true. With the iPhone, you just need to bridge the 2 connections on some of the phones and it makes a massive difference. Those who wish to ignore this, including Apple point to other phones that do it, only when holding it on a what can be called a white knuckle clench, hardly the light touch that the iPhone needs. Death Grip it is not.

I think if Apple haven't done a hardware refresh secretly, then they are just opening themselves up for more grief that they just don't need. Letting people buy brand new phones for a year, only for them to have faults, potentially putting those customers off upgrading to another Apple phone is too much of a risk.
 

dave420

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,404
96
I think if Apple haven't done a hardware refresh secretly, then they are just opening themselves up for more grief that they just don't need. Letting people buy brand new phones for a year, only for them to have faults, potentially putting those customers off upgrading to another Apple phone is too much of a risk.
That's what I'm saying. The phone has been out for 3 months so far. Why not fix it for people who buy it over the next 9 months if they can?
 

neonmd

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2010
32
0
I bought an iphone 4 because I knew people who said they had no problems at all.

Just after I got it, I put it down... noticed I had 4 bars... didn't move it at all or grip it in any "death grip" fashion. Just touched the metal around the rim in two places and watched the bars drop to only 1 bar. Consistently too.

However, although I'm taking mine back because I want a 32GB instead of the 16... I've been using the phone for 3 weeks and the only call I've dropped had to do with the proximity thing that's now fixed with the latest update. So, in real life usage... this phone actually gets better reception and much fewer dropped calls than my 3G did.

I'm keeping it. The camera is really nice and it's just so much nicer and faster than my 3G is.

All I know is that when I stopped looking for problems and just started using the phone... I had no problems at all to speak of.

In addition, I've got a case on it now because of the videos of people dropping and breaking theirs. But wouldn't any of the iPhones have a good chance of busting the screen if you dropped them repeatedly on asphalt without some kind of case?
My experience exactly.
I can create the attenuation when in a weak signal area and the proximity issue.
It is still the best phone/mobile device I have ever used and in real life I haven't dropped a call.
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,393
0
If they did secretly update the hardware after september 30th, they are effectively screwing their customers who were willing to upgrade as soon as it came out. Completely wrong. If it was a hardware defect - they should replace ALL iPhone 4's for free. Not just give out some plastic case.
They probably would replace most if not all of them if it weren't a cell phone with a contract tied to AT&T.