Saturday, July 17, 2010

Singapore launch date for iPhone 4 is July 30, free bumpers for everyone

Singapore will be one of 17 countries where the iPhone 4 will be launched on July 30, according to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. He also announced that Apple will also be giving out free Apple bumpers or free cases from case manufacturers between now and September 30 to all iPhone 4 purchases, both in the US and around the world. Those who have already bought Apple bumpers would get a free refund.

Jobs was speaking at a press conference that Apple called in an attempt to deal with antennagate, the swirling controversy around the antenna of the iPhone 4.

During the press conference, Jobs downplayed the extent of the problem, saying that 0.55 percent of iPhone 4 users had called AppleCare about reception problems and that the return rate on the iPhone 4 was 1.7 per cent, lower than that of the 3GS at 6 percent.

“The data leads you to the conclusion that it’s been so blown out of proportion, it’s incredible,” Jobs said. He did note that according to AT&T data, the iPhone 4 dropped one more call per 100 than the 3GS.

During the presentation, Jobs took pains to point out that all smartphones were liable to have their reception affected if gripped in a particular way and ran videos showing bars dropping on a Blackberry Bold 9700, an HTC Droid Eris and the Samsung Omnia II.

To appease customers for whom the free bumper was not enough, Apple said existing customers could return their units within 30 days for a full refund.

Taking questions after the presentation, Jobs denied the Bloomberg report that a senior Apple antenna engineer had warned that the iPhone 4's antenna design could lead to dropped calls. In addition, Scott Forstall, vice-president of iOS software, called "patently false" a New York Times story that a software fix would be possible for the antenna issue of the iPhone 4.

Apple has posted a video of Jobs' presentation on its website. MacRumors has a transcript of the Q&A session that followed. Apple also has a page on antennas up as well.

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