Apple has reached a settlement over a class-action lawsuit filed over the antenna problem which dogged the 2010 launch of its iPhone 4, according to a statement published yesterday.
Apple promises to pay US$15 or give a free case to every US customer who bought one of the popular phones released in June 2010, but immediately faced problems with voice calls, the CNET tech website reported.
The problem was identified as being due to people gripping the smartphone by part of the lower left corner, strangling signal strength through the silver edging designed as part of the antenna system.
"This settlement relates to a small number of customers who indicated that they experienced antenna or reception issues with their iPhone 4, and didn't want to take advantage of a free case from Apple when it was being offered in 2010," Apple told CNET in a written statement.
But Ira Rothken, a lead attorney in the class-action case, said more than 21 million iPhone 4 owners were eligible for the payout, adding that the free case offer lasted for three months.
"We believe that the Apple iPhone 4 settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable," Rothken told CNET.
"We believe that it allows members of the class to choose, and they can get $15 of cash or a bumper, so we believe that type of choice is proportional to the circumstances."
Under the settlement, eligible customers should get an email from Apple some time in April, and will have 120 days to apply for the payout.
A website, iPhone4Settlement.com, has been set up but is not yet activated, CNET said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the settlement, or the statement given to CNET.