Apple will stop giving away free cases for the iPhone 4 on 30 September 30, stating that the highly publicised antenna death grip problem was "even smaller than we originally thought". But it will still provide a bumper to anybody who needs it.
The company has skilfully turned a potential PR disaster into a 'get a free bumper or case with an iPhone 4' promotional tool, with the suggestion that most of the people getting a free case didn't need it. But Apple did promise that anybody still experiencing issues after the 30 September cut-off date could still request a free bumper or case by calling AppleCare.
If you want a free bumper or case, whether or not you're suffering issues, download and launch the free case programme app (iTunes link) on your iPhone and select a bumper or other case of your choice. If you bought a case from Apple before 30 September, you should have received a refund.
The original antenna problem was due to a problem with the design of the iPhone 4 which meant holding the device in a certain way -- in your left hand, essentially -- caused it to lose signal. There were rumours that it could be bad enough for a recall, but instead the design was kept and cases offered to solve the problem.
It's not the only issue to hit the iPhone 4. We're still awaiting a white version of the device months after it was first released, and if Orange is right we might not see it before Christmas.
But despite all these problems, the iPhone 4 has been a huge success for Apple, just like previous versions. And we love it, awarding a five-star rating (though you disagreed, only giving it three stars on average), feeling it's still a step ahead of its rivals. And it had to, with new devices from the likes of HTC, Nokia and RIM expected very soon, and the launch of Windows Phone 7 to come.
So has Apple got out of jail with the free case giveaway? Is the iPhone 4 an inherently flawed device? Or was it all a storm in a Cupertino?