Updated: Apple’s free iPhone 4 cases

Dan Frakes
29 September, 2010
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Update: There’s not long to go if you’re hoping to claim your free iPhone 4 case through Apple’s program – as it finishes Thursday, 30 September. We’ve had a review of most of the cases available since early August, but were missing two of them. They finally came in, and we now present the whole lineup. If you’ve been waiting til the last minute before ordering a case, now’s the time to make a decision.

If you’ve bought an iPhone 4 over the last few days, you’re probably aware that Apple is providing a free case to resolve any potential reception issues arising due to the device’s external-antenna design. To get the free case, you simply need to install an app entitled iPhone 4 Case Program on your iPhone 4 (it won’t work on any other model), select which of the cases you want, and Apple will send it to you. (Note that there currently is a lengthy wait of 3+ weeks for all cases.)

All the cases offered adequately cover the spot in the lower-left corner of the phone where two of its external antennas meet. If you’ve experienced reception problems due to your hand bridging those antennas, they should all alleviate that specific reception issue.

There are currently ten different cases available – though this may change as stock levels fluctuate – and all are essentially variations on the same basic design: a shell that covers the sides and back of the iPhone, but leaves the screen exposed (except the Bumper, which leaves the back exposed too). It’s worth noting, too, that all of the cases are bulky enough to stop the iPhone fitting Apple’s standard iPhone 4 dock without a third-party adapter such as SendStation’s Dock Extender.

So which one do you choose? We’re here to help. Below you’ll find a review each of the ten models available. The Incase Snap Case (available through the app in Smoke or Clear colours) and Griffin Perforated Silicone case (in Black or White colours) are currently unavailable, so you would need to order them sight unseen. We’ll add them to the review once we can get some to test.


  • Apple Bumper (Black)
  • Belkin Shield Micra (Clear)
  • Griffin Motif (Smoke)
  • Griffin Reveal Etch (Black)
  • Speck Fitted Case (Black tartan)
  • Speck PixelSkin HD (Black)
  • Incase Snap Case (Smoke/Clear)
  • Griffin Perforated Silicone


5 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Steve says:

    Will any of these cases work with the Tomtom cradle?

  2. Bela lai says:

    Recently I bought an I phone 4, trying to download your case program to apply for the free case,however, the place I got into your website for doing it does not allow or access to download that program. What can I do to get your free bumper or case for my new I phone 4?

  3. Paul says:

    The only down side of this program for free cases is they are shipped via DHL Global Mail and they are very very slow. I had one of my cases turn up 5 days after Apple said it would and I’m still waiting for my second case (for my second iPhone 4) which Apple said would be delivered by 23/9/2010 and it’s now 30/9/2010. It’s bad enough you have to wait almost two months for your case to ship without it not getting to you by the date Apple says it would. So I’m hoping the second case will get here before this Christmas, but I’m not holding my breath. DHL Global Mail is not a service I would tell others to use. Very poor in my books.

  4. Louis says:

    Can’t believe nobody mentioned any of the leather Case Buddy models?

  5. Ian Case says:

    Paul said “The only down side of this program for free cases is they are shipped via DHL Global Mail and they are very very slow.”

    I did not find this to be the case, DHL delivered mine quickly. having said that i have since moved on to using a completed different case for my iphone. (so many to choose from these days)

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