iPhone 4 “Antennagate” Suit Settled

When Apple released the iPhone 4 in the U.S. in June 2010, some customers quickly noticed some problems. The phone’s case, which doubled as an antenna, gave variable reception depending on how the phone was held. Apple held a press conference 3 weeks later, providing free replacement cases or the option to return the phone to users who requested it within a 2-month period.

American customers who did not take up this initial offer subsequently launched 18 separate class-action lawsuits against Apple, alleging “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.”

An agreement Friday afternoon resolved the consolidated claims, providing entitled class members either $15 cash or a phone bumper. The class size is estimated to be in the range of 25 million people, and eligible consumers should receive an e-mail from Apple before late April. The offer will then be open for 120 days.

Although Apple provided Canadian customers bumper cases in 2010 as well, Gary Ng claims that Canadian consumers did not experience the same reception problems with the iPhone 4 launch here.

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