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Apple starts shipping free bumper cases

Customers who ordered the free cases when Apple first made the program available on July 16 are seeing a delivery date of around August 3.

The e-mail Apple sent to those who ordered a free bumper.
The e-mail Apple sent to those who ordered a free bumper-style case.
Don Reisinger/CNET

Apple has started shipping its free bumper-style cases to iPhone 4 customers. The company started sending out e-mails revealing the release on Monday night.

"We are pleased to inform you that one or more of your items has shipped," the e-mail from the Apple Store reads. At least some customers who ordered the free bumper case on July 16 when Apple first made the program available are seeing a delivery date of August 3. Originally, Apple said users would receive their cases in three to five weeks, so this is just a little on the early side.

At a press conference a couple weeks ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the program, saying that Apple wants to makes its "customers happy." The case is meant to solve reception issues caused by the phone's exterior-antenna design. Although there was considerable debate about whether or not a free case is enough to address the iPhone 4's issues.

In order to get a free case, iPhone 4 owners must download Apple's new iPhone 4 Case Program app and follow the instructions. iPhone 4 owners who purchased the smartphone prior to July 23 can order a free case until August 22. Those who purchase the device after that date can claim a free case until September 30. After that date, Apple plans to re-evaluate the program to see if it still needs to keep it going.