iPhone 4: The Big Announcement

Apple held an invite-only press conference in Cupertino, California at 9am Pacific Time to discuss the iPhone 4 and issues with the phone’s reception.  Since the phone was launched three weeks ago, it has sold over 3 million units. In the last few weeks, the iPhone 4’s reported antenna problems have spurred rumblings of dissatisfaction and even class-action lawsuit threats. The frenzy spread through social media networks as users shared their experiences with the iPhone 4 on Twitter and Facebook as well as bringing their opinions to YouTube videos.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs spoke to the press to announce how Apple will handle the matter in an effort for reputation management.  Steve Jobs told his audience, “We’re not perfect. We know that and you know that. Phones aren’t perfect either… We want to make our users happy. That’s what Apple is all about.”

The antenna issues, in which Jobs dubs “Antennagate” is an antenna design challenge for the entire industry – and not unique to iPhone 4.  “We think we’ve gotten to the heart of the problem: smartphones have weak spots,” says Jobs. He theorizes that using bumper cases on iPhones will help prevent users’ grip from weakening the signals.

So what is Apple doing for its customers? They are offering a free bumper case for every iPhone 4. If you’ve already purchased one, you may receive a refund through September 30th.  Users can apply for a free case on the Apple website starting next week.

After that, if customers are still unhappy with their iPhone 4, they may return their phone for a full refund within 30 days and the restocking fee will be waved. AT&T is reportedly giving full refunds to unhappy iPhone 4 users and allowing them to break their contracts associated with their new phone.

There has been no announcement of a recall. The white iPhone 4 will still be shipping later this month. On July 30th, Apple will begin shipping iPhone 4 to seventeen new countries.