During the whole ‘antennagate’ debacle back in 2010, Apple attempted to appease iPhone 4 adopters by offering them one of its bumpers, or another case from a third-party manufacturer for free. Those who didn’t think a free $30 bumper was good enough can now claim $15 compensation.
Apple has settled a class action lawsuit over the ‘antennagate’ debacle that surfaced shortly after the launch of the iPhone 4 in 2010. Around 25 million customers in the U.S. will be entitled to $15 in cash or a free bumper case.
Having been forgotten at Apple’s ‘Let’s talk iPhone’ event back in October, the completely redesigned iPhone 5 is now on track for a Fall 2012 launch, according to a “close source” who is familiar with Apple’s plans. And like the iPad, the sixth-generation device will reportedly sport an aluminum rear casing, with a rubberized bezel much like Apple’s iPhone 4 bumper cases.
That awesome MacBook Pro prototype with built-in 3G that we reported on yesterday was removed from eBay at the request of Apple last night, after bidding reached a whopping $70,000. However, its seller has been posting further details of the device on the MacRumors forums, revealing its magnetic MagSafe-like antenna setup.
Over the weekend, Apple announced that they were ending their free iPhone 4 case program come September 30th, blithely quipping that “we now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought.”
Apparently, Consumer Reports remains unconvinced, though, because they are continuing to not recommend the iPhone 4 to customers, according to a recent update on their blog.
Our tests found the Bumper successfully mitigates the iPhone 4’s reception issue, which was a weak point in the phone’s otherwise-stellar performance in our tests. And we agree with Apple that not all iPhone 4 owners will experience reception difficulties with the device.
But putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us. We therefore continue not to recommend the iPhone 4, and to call on Apple to provide a permanent fix for the phone’s reception issues.
It is arguably Consumer Reports’ scathing denunciation of the iPhone 4’s antenna problems that caused “Antennagate” to become as much of a public relations disaster for Apple as it was. Will Consumer Reports’ withheld blessing continue to plague Apple and re-open the issue once the bumper case program ends, or is the fire effectively put out? While I agree the iPhone 4’s external antenna makes it more susceptible to attenuation than other phones — no matter how much finger pointing and bar-fiddling Apple does — I think the fire’s largely been put out: even dropping one call more out of a hundred than the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone you can buy. At this point, Consumer Reports just looks petulant.