Apple offers free cases to fix iPhone 4 'death grip' issue

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You asked for it, and you got it. In a press conference today Apple said it would give iPhone 4 owners a free case to help resolve the now infamous "death grip" fiasco. Cupertino plans to offer several cases including those made by third parties, because the company can't make enough of its own-branded $29 "Bumper." Additionally, Apple will refund the money of anyone who has purchased its case, but not those from other manufacturers.

The company acknowledged that the iPhone 4's reception degrades when touching a spot on the left edge, but it defended its latest creation with a series of statistics, saying the matter has been blown out of proportion. Apple noted that while many other smartphones have a similar issue, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700, Droid Eris and Omnia II, the problem is more recognizable on the iPhone 4 because the black seam "marks" the problematic area.

Despite the fuss iPhone 4 owners have made, only about 0.55% have actually called Apple support to complain about antenna or reception problems, and return rates for the new handset are currently about a third of the iPhone 3GS (1.7% against 6%). Apple said it couldn't reveal the number of dropped calls because AT&T refuses to give out exact figures, but the iPhone 4 is claimed to have "less than one additional call per 100 dropped" compared to the 3GS.

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