Today, Steve Jobs headed a press conference initiated by Apple earlier this week to deliver a much-needed response to the controversy surrounding the iPhone 4’s hardware.
In short, Jobs stated that everyone who has bought or buys an iPhone 4 through September of this year is entitled to a free Bumper case from Apple. Those who have purchased one already can receive a full refund for their Bumper, and those who have will also be able to apply for a case or refund on Apple’s website next week. During a Q&A session held at the event, he proclaimed that third-party cases will not be free or eligible for refunds.
Jobs’s rhetoric revolved around the fact that they at Apple are “just human”… He went on to say that Apple is an engineering company, and that making the best products possible [and making them better] is what they do. Jobs claims that Apple has been working non-stop the last 22 days trying to figure out the problem. He also went on to say that this problem was not revealed to him ahead of release, and that media outlets that claimed that it was are wrong.
I think this is probably what Apple needed to do. The fact that Apple went out of their way to make a big deal of this (calling press, holding a full press conference) just to announce free bumpers may be a little over the top. Apple could have just as easily sent emails to all buyers of iPhone 4’s and posted it on Apple.com that they were willing to shell out free Bumper cases to anyone who wanted them. However, Apple needed some positive publicity granted everything that’s been going on over the past week or so. The antenna problem doesn’t make the iPhone 4 unusable, and most people (including myself) wouldn’t use this extravagant piece of technology without a case. And guess what… using a case solves the enter problem.
Jobs suggested that the issue have been far “overblown” by the media, and Apple is suggesting that a recall isn’t necessary. When asked during the Q&A session if the though of a recall was tossed around, Jobs shrugged that off.
Jobs also stated that the proximity sensor bug would be the next major issue to be fixed via an upcoming update.
Lastly, Jobs, during the Q&A also alluded to the fact that users can return their iPhone 4’s for a full refund, and that At&T contracts can also be refunded in the event the antenna issue proves to be too much a problem.
Apple might actually be utilizing third-party bumpers. Steve Jobs mentioned the fact that production of Bumper cases will ramp up, although there will likely be shortages.