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Apple offers all iPhone 4 users free cases to solve antenna issue

Apple has offered all iPhone 4 users free cases to mitigate the drop-off in signal experienced by some who touch the handset inappropriately.In a hastily-convened press conference on Friday, Steve Jobs theorised that the antenna problem had been exacerbated by the fact that, because those upgrading from the iPhone 3G or 3GS to the iPhone were buying a phone with a new physical design (the 3G and 3GS could use the same case), not enough people were using the phone with cases.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Apple has offered all iPhone 4 users free cases to mitigate the drop-off in signal experienced by some who touch the handset inappropriately.

In a hastily-convened press conference on Friday, Steve Jobs theorised that the antenna problem had been exacerbated by the fact that, because those upgrading from the iPhone 3G or 3GS to the iPhone were buying a phone with a new physical design (the 3G and 3GS could use the same case), not enough people were using the phone with cases.

Therefore, he said, the company would stop charging $29 for the iPhone 4 'bumper', and give cases away instead — he noted that Apple would not be able to produce enough cases itself this quarter, so it would source a choice of cases from elsewhere.

According to the Apple chief, iPhone 4 users were seeing less than one per hundred more calls dropped than iPhone 3GS users. He also claimed again that many other smartphones suffer from decreased signal strength when held incorrectly.

"So the heart of the problem is, smartphones have issues, and we made it easy to exploit the issue by showing people where to hold the phone to cover the antenna," Jobs said. "But the data supports the fact that the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone in the world, and there is no Antennagate. There is a challenge for the entire smartphone industry to improve its antenna technology so there are no weak spots."

Jobs also said the company was "working on" problems with the iPhone 4's proximity sensor.

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