In a budget concious decision, Apple are to offer owners of the troubled iPhone 4 a free rubber “bumper” as a fix for the reception problems.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the problem had affected only a small batch of phones, stating that it was caused by an inherent problem with smart-phones. At least he admitted that Apple were not perfect.
All iPhone owners will be offered the free dumpers, with those who have already purchased being offered a cash refund. Apple have said that it cannot make enough free iPhone 4 bumpers to satisfy demand, but will keep the offer open until September.
It was also revealed that Apple has sold 3m iPhone 4 units since launch. That figure indicates that the rate of sales has slowed dramatically as 1.7m were sold in the first three days, possible caused by the widespread reports of reception problems. He also insisted that customer satisfaction was higher than with previous versions with a return rate of just 1.7% compared to 6% for the previous model, the iPhone 3GS which was released last summer.
Jobs admitted that there had been complaints about the phone losing signal when held by the left and bottom sides, but claimed that such issues were natural for any phone, especially smart-phones. The issue surrounds the body’s tendency to absorb the signal from the antena.
Apple’s share price fell by 4% on Tuesday night, knocking $9.9bn (£6.5bn) off the company’s value of $230bn as speculation grew that the iPhone 4 might have to be the subject of a recall. Apple’s stock rebounded as Jobs began speaking and it became clear that a recall wouldn’t re required.
In an earlier response to the issue, Apple said that it had made a “simple and surprising” error in the software that displayed the strength of the signal, and issued a software update on Thursday which changes how many bars are displayed when the signal becomes weaker. Clearly the issue has gotten too big and too widely reported for the software “fix” alone to rectify the problem.