Apple has agreed to settle a lawsuit related to a fault in the design of its smartphone that debuted back in 2010. The company is going to have to give a small sum of money or a bumper case to many of those who bought an iPhone 4.
When this model was released, users discovered that by holding it in just the right way, it could cause phone calls to drop. This earned the name the “Death Grip”. The problem is a result of a flaw in the hardware design.
This device uses the outer rim as a collection of antennas. While in most cases this improves the phone’s wireless performance, touching a specific spot on the iPhone 4’s lower left side can short out the cellular antenna enough to cause the device to lose its connection completely in areas with low signal strength.
A class action lawsuit accused Apple of “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.”
To settle this suit, the company has agreed to give affected customers $15 or a bumper case. A few weeks after the flaw first became public, Apple offered bumper cases to those who bought this model without being aware of the flaw — the recent settlement extends this offer to more people. Putting this smartphone into a case prevents the antenna from being shorted out.
Those who bought this model will be receiving an email with instructions on how to make a claim. A website, www.iPhone4Settlement.com, will be available soon with the same information.
The current iPhone 4S does not suffer from this problem, as Apple completely re-designed the way its antennas are designed. The person responsible for the design of the 2010 model abruptly left Apple shortly after the flaw was found.