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