Apple comes forward with antenna fix: Free rubber bumper

Darren Allan

July 17, 2010

Apple’s much awaited emergency press conference regarding the iPhone 4 antenna issue – or “Antennagate”, as Steve Jobs described it – took place yesterday evening our time.

Headed by the Apple CEO in full damage control mode, Jobs essentially said that no smartphone was perfect, and that was true of the iPhone 4 too (a line he’s used in the past regarding this furore).

He acknowledged that some iPhone 4s, a small number of them, have issues with reception but for those affected, a recall and replacement wasn’t offered.

As anticipated by many, Apple’s solution is to offer a free rubber bumper, essentially a strip of rubber which fits around the outside of the phone, and prevents contact between the skin and antenna in the sensitive bottom left hand corner trouble spot.

Those who have already bought a bumper due to the problem can get a refund on it, too.

However, this isn’t so much a solution as a band-aid, and it does mean that you’ll have to make your shiny new iPhone 4 look a bit less high-tech and cutting edge with what’s effectively a rubber band wrapped around it. Which won’t be to everyone’s taste, doubtless.

Jobs flatly denied the Bloomberg report which suggested he had knowledge of the antenna issue prior to the handset going on sale. He also pointed out if folks weren’t happy with their new iPhone 4, they could return it within the first 30 days, as per the company’s standard iPhone return policy (providing it’s undamaged and comes in all the original packaging).

The free bumper offer will be available via the Apple website, and will run until the end of September.

Jobs also stated that a software update is planned to fix another issue, a fault with the proximity sensor. That should be arriving within the next few weeks, though whether it’ll be as effective as iOS 4.0.1 was at solving the antenna issue, we shall have to see…


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