AppleCare memo emphasizes no free bumpers for iPhone 4 reception

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A purported internal memo to AppleCare representatives explicitly tells employees that the company is not "appeasing customers with free bumpers," and instructs them to advise customers to avoid grasping the lower left corner of the handset.

The document, allegedly obtained by Boy Genius Report, covers the same territory as a statement from the company last week. Apple has advised its customers to avoid gripping the iPhone 4 in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band.

But it also uses strong language to inform AppleCare representatives that Apple is not giving away free protective "bumpers," which the company has said help to alleviate the reception issues.

"We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers — DON'T promise a free bumper to customers," the memo reads.

The information follows speculation that Apple could opt to give away its protective bumpers for free, in order to address issues for users who have experienced reception issues with the iPhone 4. Analyst Shaw Wu has said he sees the prospect of Apple giving out free bumper cases as the "worst case" scenario for the company.

Last week, Apple said that any mobile phone experiences connectivity issues when held int he wrong way. In fact, the alleged AppleCare support document advises representatives that users should avoid holding the iPhone 3GS — last year's handset — on the bottom right side.

"Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain areas will reduce its reception," the document reads. "This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world."

It also states that the wireless performance of the iPhone 4 is the best of any handset Apple has ever shipped, and testing shows that the overall performance is better than with the iPhone 3GS. However, the documentation makes no mention of a possible software fix.