Friday, March 30, 2012

iPhone 4 Antennagate site goes live, lets you collect $15

A page for iPhone 4 owners who didn't receive a bumper following the so-called "Antennagate" scandal can now collect their $15 from a class-action lawsuit.
An iPhone 4 is being tested in this image at one of Apple's anechoic chambers.

Apple iPhone 4 owners who never received a bumper case can collect a cash settlement instead. Just don't expect to be blown away by the windfall.

A Web page, aptly named, has gone live, allowing iPhone 4 customers burned by the device's antenna problems to collect their $15 settlement. According to the site, iPhone 4 owners have between now and August 28 to file their claim for the cash.

The site's claim form, which can be mailed or filed electronically, requests basic contact information. The settlement also requests that users print out their claim form, sign it, and then reupload it to the site, entering their unique claim number. The settlement is available only to original iPhone 4 owners who bought the device on or before February 17, 2012.

The trouble started back in 2010 when Apple launched the iPhone 4. Shortly after its launch, users posted videos online, showing the device experiencing reception problems when held in a certain way. Soon after, Apple held a press conference in response to what had been called "Antennagate," showing how other devices on store shelves suffered from the same issue. The company, however, offered customers a free bumper case to make it right. After two months, it no longer offered the free case.

It didn't take long for class-action lawsuits to pop up. After 18 such cases were brought to court, they were combined into one, and argued that Apple was "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4 -- particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software."

A settlement was reached last month between the parties. In a statement to CNET, Ira Rothken, co-lead counsel for the class-action suit, said that the settlement was "fair, adequate, and reasonable."

Although the $15 settlement might entice some iPhone 4 owners, not everyone might be so quick to jump on it. So, as another part of the settlement, customers can choose to receive a free bumper from Apple instead. The choice, as they say, is yours.

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