How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

Summary: Thanks to a positive experience, I would now pay the original $29 asking price for the iPhone 4 bumper.

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When I first got my hands on the iPhone 4, I didn't hook it up because of all of the known issues. Then Apple offered a free bumper or other case, and a new release (4.0.1), and all was forgiven.

I was pretty reluctant to put my iPhone 4 in a bumper, but I was more concerned about not dropping calls then the prettiness of my iPhone. As a result, when the bumper arrived I threw the iPhone 4 into it and dealt with the consequences.

The first day that I used the bumper I noticed a lot less dropped calls. As a matter of fact, I now only drop a call when my face accidentally hangs up the call--proximity sensor fix coming soon? So, it's clear that the bumper is needed, but how does it work as a protector of the iPhone itself? I had my doubts, given its construction and even mentioned many times to friends that the bumper probably cost about $1 to make. Well, even if it does cost a dollar, the other day it saved me about $300. Here's what happened:

After completing a call, I put the iPhone 4 back into my pocket. Later, the phone rang and without thinking about it, I pulled the phone out of my pocket and the force of the pull also caused it to go flying in the air. In super slow motion the iPhone 4 was headed towards my dog's water dish. With only seconds to spare, I found myself instinctively kicking it out of the way. You would have thought that I had just kicked the winning field goal because the iPhone 4 soared high and far. Long story short, it landed with a muffled thud, without any issues. No scratches, no dents, just a safe and secure iPhone 4 in a bumper.

Unfortunately, while the bumper did save my phone, it does provide daily aggravation. First off, I can't seem to get some of my iPhone / iPad sync cables to fit. Second, pretty much none of my third party cables will fit the iPhone while it's in the bumper. Of course, I could get my dremel--next on my list--and widen the hole, but why did Apple make it so narrow to begin with? Third, it's just ugly.

At any rate, this whole experience has me re-thinking the PR nightmare that fell on Apple when the iPhone 4 was released. For example, if Apple had shipped the bumper with the iPhone 4 to begin with, would people have come down so hard about the dropped calls? I'm sure they would have, but Apple's silly statement of "you're not holding it right", if that was indeed Apple--we still don't know--would have been replaced with, "how about using that case to protect your iPhone 4?" then Gizmodo, Engadget, and others would have said, "better calls with bumper" instead of "iPhone 4 has flawed antenna". I guess it's all in how you look at it. In my case, I now look at the bumper in a whole new way.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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13 comments
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  • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

    Lucky for apple because there's a lot like you. Now apple can just take their sweet time if ever to fix the issues because they know that the followers will forgive them over and over again just to get the "call-less" shiny phone.
    epgomez@...
  • Thats still no excuse to charge $29 for a $1 bumper, especially that doesnt

    fit the apple sync cables. And I bet $1 is a huge stretch, it's probably closer to 6 cents or something. only an itard could pay so much for so little and be so happy about it. Lucky for you their known prior to ship but still not disclosed to you prior to purchase antenna problem caused such bad PR that you got it for free. enjoy it now, im sure they'll change the form factor in order to bend you over for $29 more when they bend you over for an iphone5 in a few months...
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

      @Johnny Vegas - Actually I believe it to be a clever ploy by Apple to sell "new and improved" cables for the iPhone 4 with bumper. I'm just waiting for the announcement to come out advertising them.
      PollyProteus
      • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

        @PollyProteus Current cables work fine. I've had trouble only with my older ones (the ones with buttons on the side to release the cable from the docking connector).
        vulcan666
    • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

      @Johnny Vegas [b]known prior to ship but still not disclosed to you prior to purchase antenna problem[/b] And you know Apple knew this prior to shipment how exactly?
      athynz
      • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

        @athynz<br><br>Well if they didn't know it proves that Apple don't test their products properly, possibly because secrecy is more important than quality..<br><br>I'm sure they knew, but only when they were so far down the development/manufacturing process that it was too late to change without taking a serious financial hit (and maybe delay launch). Instead they chose to rely on their customers being convinced that even the most crappy product is the best in the world because it is shiny....<br><br>I've had an iPhone 3G for a couple of years, and I love it. It's the best phone I've ever had, but I think I'll pass on the iFlop 4..
        thorkild.thorkildsen
  • $29 for a piece of rubber?

    Was there a typo? it's $0.29 right? If it's really $29 then I think the iPhone antenna issue is a coup of genius. The next iPhone must be designed like a cactus. When people buy, some will probably realize that it stings a little bit. Then they will buy some BS trademarked pads to cover the sharp spines. At $5 a piece, they would be happy to spend another $200 to buy 40 pads so they can use their beloved phone. Marketing is really simple with a certain category of customers.
    RelaxWalk
    • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

      @RelaxWalk
      And what category would that be? You don't even have the courage to place your ignorant ad hominem out in the open.
      DeusXMachina
  • Phone in breast pocket

    I always carry my phone in my shirt's breast pocket with a chord around my neck.
    Daniel Breslauer
    • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

      @Daniel575
      "I always carry my phone in my shirt's breast pocket with a chord around my neck"

      And I was worried about how to spot geeks now that pocket protectors are extinct.
      johnnylumber
  • Shame on you, Joel Evans !!!

    Joel Evans, you are such a sucker! Are you President of the Apple Fan Boys club?<br>A more principled journalist would take Apple to task for (yet another) such blatantly greedy and disgraceful business practices, but you ......... well, we LOVE our iPhones, no matter what; and must pay homage to the Apple gods by sticking up for the company and not being too critical.<br>Shame on you!
    You are a disgrace to the profession, Joel Evans.
    bigmutt
    • RE: How the bumper saved my iPhone 4 from a crash and splashdown

      @bigmutt
      You might try KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT yourself before you start disparaging others. Your previous post a case in point.
      DeusXMachina
  • I laughed, I cried...

    ROTFLMAO at the mental picture of kicking a field goal with an iPhone 4 (with a bumper of course)!
    njwjt684