Owners of Apple iPhone 4 received a legal notice on Thursday from iPhone4Settlement.com with information about their eligibility and how to obtain a $15 cash settlement or free bumper case from the Antennagate scandal after the release of the iPhone 4, when users reported reception issues caused by the antenna.
Antennagate began in February 2010 when Apple settled a class-action lawsuit regarding the lack of reception in iPhone 4 antennas. According to the legal notice which was emailed on Thursday, Apple chose the settlement, to pay customers $15 in cash or a free iPhone bumper case worth $29, instead of a pricey lawsuit.
The lawsuit claimed that the iPhone 4's signal quality attenuates when users handle the phone and that Apple engaged in misrepresentations regarding the phone, the legal notice read. Apple denies all allegations and is entering into this settlement to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.
iPhone 4 users who are class members, defined as anyone living in the U.S. or owned an iPhone 4 as of February 17, 2012, can opt to accept $15 in cash or a bumper case worth $29 for free.
The settlement will provide a $15 cash payment if you are a United States resident who is or was the original owner of an iPhone 4, experienced antenna or reception issues, and satisfy other requirements explained below, the legal notice said. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California authorized this notice. The Court will have a hearing to consider whether to approve the settlement so that the benefits may be paid.
However, according to a statement from Apple in February, only a small number of people qualify for the settlement.
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 while it was being offered in 2010, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said in a statement to The Loop.
The settlement comes even after Apple offered the free case for users, which ended on Sept. 30, 2010 for customers who called AppleCare with reception problems.
So who is eligible for the settlement refund and how does one go about to obtain it?
In order to receive the $15 cash payment settlement or the free bumper case, iPhone 4 owners, also including those who owned an iPhone 4 at one point but currently do not, must meet the following qualifications:
1. Be a U.S. resident or have owned a iPhone 4 before Feb. 17, 2012
2. Have experienced the antenna issue or bad reception
3. Have been unable to return the phone without incurring costs
5. Didn't want case or bumper for phone
How To Obtain Free Bumper Case (Worth $29)
iPhone 4 owners can obtain the free black bumper case by visiting the Apple Support Page and contacting Apple Care or visiting an Apple retail store in person. More information and contact numbers are listed at the official website.
How To Get $15 In Cash
iPhone 4 owners who want to obtain the $15 cash payment must have a notice and claim form package. Customers can do this by calling 1-877-417-7234 or visiting www.iPhone4settlement.com to fill out the claim form on or before August 28, 2012.
Here's a full text of the Legal Notice sent from iPhone4Settlement.com:
If you are or were the original owner of an iPhone 4, you could be entitled to benefits under a class action settlement.
The settlement will provide a $15 cash payment if you are a United States resident who is or was the original owner of an iPhone 4, experienced antenna or reception issues, and satisfy other requirements explained below. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California authorized this notice. The Court will have a hearing to consider whether to approve the settlement so that the benefits may be paid.
You're a Class Member if you are a United States resident who is or was the original owner of an iPhone 4 as of February 17, 2012.
What's this About?
The lawsuit claimed that the iPhone 4's signal quality attenuates when users handle the phone and that Apple engaged in misrepresentations regarding the phone. Apple denies all allegations and is entering into this settlement to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.
What can you Get from the Settlement?
Apple will provide a $15 cash payment to Class Members who send in a valid claim form. The claim form will require you to declare that you: (a) experienced antenna or reception issues with your iPhone 4; (b) were unable to return your iPhone 4 without incurring any costs; (c) were unwilling to use a case or free bumper for your iPhone 4; and (d) completed certain troubleshooting steps or are unable to complete the troubleshooting steps because you no longer own your iPhone 4.
Since July 2010, Apple has offered a free bumper to iPhone 4 owners who have experienced antenna or reception issues. Class Members can continue to request a free bumper as described at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4389.
How do you Get a Payment?
To claim a cash payment, you must submit the claim form on or before August 28, 2012. If you do not claim a cash payment within this time period, you will lose your right to obtain this benefit.
What are your Options?
If you don't want to make a claim and you don't want to be legally bound by the settlement, you must postmark your request to exclude yourself by June 15, 2012, or you won't be able to sue, or continue to sue, Apple about the claims in this case. If you exclude yourself, you will not be eligible to receive a payment from this settlement.
If you stay in the Class, you may object to the settlement. Objections must be received by June 15, 2012. The detailed notice describes how to exclude yourself or object. The Court will hold a hearing in this case (In re Apple iPhone 4 Products Liability Litigation, Case No.5:10-md-02188-RMW) on July 13, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. to consider whether to approve (1) the settlement and (2) attorneys' fees and expenses of up to $5.9 million and stipends to Plaintiffs of up to $500 each. You may appear at the hearing, but you don't have to. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. To obtain a full notice and claim form, go to www.iPhone4settlement.com or call toll free 1-877-417-7234. For more details, go to www.iPhone4settlement.com or write to Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, Attn: Rick Nelson, Class Member Relations, 655 West Broadway, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101.