San Francisco – Apple (NASD: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs addressed growing
concerns over iPhone 4 antenna reception issues at an hastily arranged press
conference on Friday, pledging to provide any upset consumers a free $29
"bumper" case that’s said to alleviate reception woes. "We would
love to answer your questions today," Jobs told reporters at the outset of
the event, which was live blogged by CNET News.com and came at the end of a
week where Consumer Reports said after testing the iPhone 4 it couldn’t
recommend purchasing the device — due to what it called a hardware glitch with
the exterior antenna.
Jobs went to lengths to put the antenna reception issue
in context, saying that all phone experience similar issues.
perfect. Phones aren’t perfect," read a slide from Jobs’ presentation; a later slide would read, "’Antennagate’: Not unique to
Jobs also noted that just 0.55% of iPhone 4 users have called
to complain about the antenna, or reception issues, while the "return
rate" for the iPhone 4 has been 1.7% for early shipments, compared to 6%
for the iPhone 3GS.
The company said that it cannot make enough bumper cases to
supply all affected customers, so it is working to source bumpers from
Customers who had already purchased a $29 bumper for
their iPhone 4 will receive a full refund.
Apple said it will be handling the free bumper case giveaway for iPhone 4 customers online, starting late next week, according to CNET’s coverage.