Apple to Provide Free Bumpers to iPhone 4 Buyers

Today in Cupertino, California, Apple played damage control like never before in the tech giant’s long and storied history.

Bringing focus to the so-called “Death Grip” issue, which has seemingly plagued many iPhone 4 owners with dropped calls when the device is held improperly, Apple chief Steve Jobs made it known that his product isn’t alone in the world of smartphone antenna problems.

“You know, we’re not perfect. We know that, you know that. And phones aren’t perfect either,” Jobs said. “But we want to make all of our users happy. If you don’t know that about Apple, you don’t know Apple. We love making our users happy.”

“We’ve been working on this for just 22 days,” Jobs said of the “Antennagate” phenomenon. But “this doesn’t just happen to the iPhone,” he said, later illustrating with demonstrations. “Nokia, Motorola and other phones have this issue.” “This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren’t perfect. It’s a challenge for the whole industry. Every phone has weak spots.”

While there was widespread talk of an elaborate and potentially expensive iPhone 4 recall, Apple unveiled a different solution at this morning’s press event.

“We think this has been so blown out of proportion,” Jobs said. “It’s fun to have a story, but it’s not fun on the other side. So here’s what we’re going to do to make our users happy. The first part is the software update, that fixes the way the bars report and other bugs, that’s out now. Second, people said the bumper fixes everything… ‘why don’t you give everybody a case’? Okay — we’ll give you a free case.”

Jobs added: “If you got one, we’ll give you a refund.”

“We’re going to send you a free case. We can’t make enough bumpers. No way we can make enough in the quarter. So we’re going to source some cases and give you a choice. And if you’re not happy, you can bring the phone back. We’ll give you a full refund within 30 days. No restocking fee. We want to make everyone happy, and if we can’t make you happy we’ll give you a full refund.”

As it stands, iPhone 4 owners will be able to register for their free or refunded iPhone 4 bumper online as early as next week.