Antennagate lawsuit settled

Well, it’s taken a long time, so let’s hope it’s worth it: Apple’s reached agreement in a class-action lawsuit over the poor performance of the iPhone 4’s antenna.

Lawyer Ira Rothken has confirmed that users are now to be offered $15 or an Apple bumper case. The promise forms part of a deal settling more than a dozen different lawsuits, which was heard on Friday by Judge Ronald Whyte of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Jose.

The fun started back in 2010, when buyers of the new phone started complaining that the phone had poor reception and a high number of dropped calls. In addition, the signal strength display appeared to be inaccurate.

After some dithering – and the suggestion that users should just hold their phone differently – Apple offered users a free bumper case or a full refund. However, by then the lawsuits had been launched.

They accused Apple of unfair competition, false and misleading advertising, breach of warranty and acting deceptively to sell a product, as well as violating an act compelling manufacturers to replace defective devices or refund cutsomers’ money,

More than 21 million users were potentially affected by the reception issues. As it seems likely that most users have already got themselves a bumper, the settlement could cost the company over $400 million.

The company’s setting up a website where users can put in their claim, and will also email users over the coming weeks.