Apple plans on launching the iPhone 4 in 17 countries July 30, including Australia, Italy, New Zealand and Switzerland. The device, which is already available in major international markets such as Japan and Germany, has experienced both massive sales and a fair bit of controversy over its hardware.
The full list of 17 countries can be found in a July 26 press release on Apple’s corporate Website.
Although the iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units within three days of its June 24 release, a subset of customers soon complained that touching the device’s exterior antenna rim resulted in dampened reception. After weeks of downplaying the issue, Apple hosted a press conference on July 16 to announce a free giveaway of rubber bumpers that cover the antenna rim.
“If you purchase an iPhone 4 before Sept. 30, 2010, you are eligible to receive an iPhone 4 bumper or a select third-party case from Apple at no charge,” reads a dedicated page on Apple’s Website. “For iPhone 4 purchases made before July 23, 2010, you must apply no later than Aug. 22, 2010; otherwise, you must apply within 30 days of your iPhone 4 purchase.”
To actually apply, users need to download a special iPhone 4 Case Program application from the App Store, launch the app on the iPhone 4 and then select their bumper or case of choice.
Those who have already purchased a bumper from an Apple Retail Store using a credit card will apparently receive an automatic refund; Apple has a Web page for checking the status of that refund. Those who purchased the bumper from an AT&T store will need to fill out a rebate coupon and mail it to Apple by Sept. 30. Only iPhone 4 bumpers with specific Apple Part Numbers qualify for the rebate, a list of which can be found here.
On July 23, Apple announced that its white iPhone 4 was proving “more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected” and would likely not be available until later in 2010.
Despite those issues, the company insists that sales of the iPhone 4 have not been affected.
“My phone is ringing off the hook [from] people that want more supply,” Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer, insisted during a July 20 earnings call. “We’re selling everything we can make.”
In addition to a slimmer design-which squeezes the exterior antenna rim between two panes of glass-the iPhone 4 features the new iOS4, which includes features such as multitasking and iAd, an in-app advertising platform that Apple hopes will attract developers looking to further monetize their products.