As 9to5Mac reports, those cheques are just starting to roll in, with a deadline of 16 July to cash them.
The settlement brings to a close the iPhone 4 ‘antennagate’ issue that created a frenzy in 2010. Due to the iPhone 4’s antenna design, users were able to to dampen the phone’s signal strength by holding it in a certain way.
In most cases, the reduced signal didn’t make much difference, but it could cause dropped calls in areas where signal strength was already low. Using a case for the phone eliminated the problem completely.
Although Apple tried to address the issue in 2010 by offering free bumper cases or full refunds, some purchasers filed a class-action lawsuit. Apple settled the case last year, offering every US iPhone 4 purchaser a US$15 cheque or a free case. As Engadget notes, users who took the original free bumper offer were still eligible for the settlement, as long as they said they weren’t actually using their cases.
Don’t spend it all in one place
Unfortunately, if you’re just finding out about the settlement, it’s too late to get on the money train. The deadline to file a claim was 28 August 2012, according to the settlement website.
But if you did manage to score a cheque, the possibilities are only limited by the paltry amount of money you’re actually getting. You could, perhaps, buy an iTunes gift card, or bank the money in an interest-bearing account for the inevitable iPhone 5S. You and a friend could even put your cheques together and splurge on a shared Lightning to 30-pin Adapter. Or maybe you could just buy a nice lunch.
Whatever you choose, just try not to think about how much lawyers are getting – up to US$16 million of the US$53 million settlement – by comparison.
By Jared Newman, Macworld