At Apple's hastily convened and highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, Steve Jobs tried his darndest to frame the whole "death grip" controversy as the "non-issue" he's always considered it to be. Jobs claimed that this reception problem is something that all smartphones have to deal with, and he demonstrated similar signal issues when holding iPhone 4 competitors like the BlackBerry and Droid. Out of every 100 calls, the iPhone 4 drops less than one more than the iPhone 3GS did, he said. Furthermore, iPhone 4 customers aren't nearly as upset about the reception problems as the media is making it appear: Fewer customers are returning their phones than they did for the iPhone 3GS, and only 0.55 percent of iPhone 4 buyers have called to complain about the antenna.
BUT, having laid out the reasons that this is a completely manufactured controversy, Apple has decided to give away free bumpers or cases to anyone buying an iPhone 4 through September 30, and will provide a refund for anyone who has already bought one. Apple has also released a software update that will stop your phone from lying about its signal strength. So there you have it. Now if you'll excuse Steve Jobs, he'd like to get back to his vacation in Hawaii.
Live Blogging Apple’s Discussion of iPhone 4 Problem [Bits/NYT]
Live updates from Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference [Apple Insider]