Last month we reported that Apple had settled a class-action lawsuit over the "Antennagate" controversy surrounding the launch of the iPhone 4. Under the terms of the settlement, Apple agreed to pay each iPhone 4 owner $15 or give them a free black bumper case. According to the settlement, payments were to start going out sometime in April.
Now it looks like things have gotten underway a little early. According to Ira Rothken, an attorney who took part in the lawsuit, the settlement website, iPhone4Settlement.com went live today. Rothken made the announcement via Twitter:
Those who qualify can fill out the appropriate forms via the settlement website to claim their $15. Those who want an iPhone bumper instead of the money have to go through AppleCare and describe their reception problems to an AppleCare representative.
Not everyone qualifies for either the money or the bumper, though. Those who got a free case when Apple was giving them away after the iPhone 4 launch are not eligible. There are also a few other eligibility requirements detailed on the website:
To be eligible for the cash payment, you must have: (a) experienced antenna or reception issues; (b) been unable to return your iPhone 4 without incurring any costs; (c) been unwilling to use a case or free bumper for your iPhone 4; and (d) completed certain troubleshooting steps or are unable to complete the troubleshooting steps because you no longer own your iPhone.
The iPhone 4 launched in June of 2010 its new form factor raised a few eyebrows. Hesitance over the squared-off design didn't stop it from having the most successful product launch in Apple's history, though. Even so, users started to notice a problem early on: the antenna, which had been moved to the outside of the device for reasons that were, apparently, largely aesthetic, had reception problems when people held their phone a certain way. The complaints turned into a full-blown scandal that prompted the departure of the executive who had overseen the antenna's design, a great big thumbs-down from Consumer Reports, and several lawsuits. Apple's offer of a free bumper case for those who were having difficulties placated some, but the lawsuit continued, ultimately being settled in February. The antenna problem was fixed in both the Verizon iPhone 4 (which came out later in 2010) and the iPhone 4S, which launched last year.
What do you think? Did you have reception problems with your iPhone 4? Will you claim your $15, or will you go with a bumper? Let us know in the comments.