Apple Begins Automatic Refunds of iPhone 4 Bumper Cases

Apple began automatically refunding iPhone 4 Bumper Case purchases Thursday, according to a report from InformationWeek. The refunds were announced Friday, July 16th, and the e-mail notification sent to InformationWeek by a reader marks the first indication those refunds have begun.

“As of today, we have automatically processed your refund,” Apple said in the note. “You have also been refunded for any Shipping or VAT charges that may have been applied to your order.”

Apple said last Friday that it would offer free bumper cases, or one of a small set of third party cases, to purchasers of the company’s new iPhone 4. The move was in response to what has been come to be known (in some quarters) as “Antennagate,” the fact that the iPhone 4 loses signal strength when held in a certain way.

A case that insulates the iPhone 4’s outer edge, which contains the antenna, from the user’s skin will prevent signal loss, which was why Apple launched this program.

In addition to new customers (through September 30th, 2010) being given bumper cases, Apple said that those millions of customers who had already purchased an Apple bumper case would also receive a refund for their purchase, and it is these refunds that have apparently started.