Consumers have eagerly awaited the launch of the new iPhone 4, which sold 1.7 million in its first week of sales, according to Apple. The phone retails for $199.00 for the 16GB model or $299.00 for the 32GB model with a 2-year contract (or $599.00 16GB / $699.00 32GB without a contract). Users pay a $36 activation fee plus a mandatory minimum $15 monthly data plan over and above their standard monthly plan and usage fees.
After purchasing, many consumers discovered that their new phones did not provide the better reception they were promised. The new design features a metal antenna encircling the entire outside edge of the phone that, when touched with one's hand, limits the phone's ability to send and receive data and phone calls.
The only solutions that have been offered by Apple to date have been to sell rubber cases which Apple manufactures and which retail for $29 each, and to instruct users that they are holding the phone incorrectly. In other words, iPhone 4 users must either hold their phone in awkward manner or pay more money on top of the premium paid for the iPhone 4 in order to have a functional phone.
Reports from inside Apple leaked to the media may suggest that the inherent defect in the phone's design was known to Apple and AT&T before it was sold, and was not disclosed to the millions of initial purchasers.