Apple issues $29 refunds and launches an app that gives customers a choice of 8 free cases
Apple (AAPL) on Friday made good on the promise Steve Jobs made -- with some ill humor -- a week earlier. It issued refunds to customers who had purchased its $29 Bumper and it launched a free app that gives iPhone 4 owners who have a problem with its external antenna a choice eight different cases.
If you bought a Bumper, you should have received an e-mail overnight alerting you that your account was being credited.
If you bought an iPhone but not an Apple-brand Bumper, you can download the iPhone 4 Case Program app here.
If you bought a third-party case, you are out of luck.
It has been suggested that the peevishness with which Jobs delivered the message last week -- "Why don't you give everybody a case? Okay, we'll give you a free case" -- might have something to do with the revenue he was forgoing. Estimates put the profit Apple might have made from the sale of cases in the current quarter at $100 million (5 million Bumpers times $20 profit each).
In any event, iPhone 4 owners who have been experiencing antenna attenuation issues will have to live with them a bit longer. None of the free cases Apple offers ships in less than 3 to 5 weeks.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]
Not that big a deal, is their consensus. The market, naturally, ignores them.
On Monday, Consumer Reports decided it couldn't recommend the iPhone 4. On Tuesday and Wednesday, analysts who track Apple (AAPL) offered clients their take on what it means for the company.
Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty saw it as a "PR problem that Apple needs to address to preserve the brand and loyal customer base." Kaufman Bros.' Shaw Wu MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 14, 2010 7:03 AM ET
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