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Apple automatically refunding bumper purchases

Customers who purchased an iPhone 4 and an official bumper case online are reporting that Apple has begun automatically refunding the cost of the case.

AppleInsider readers on Thursday began receiving emails from Apple Online Support that confirm automatic processing of their bumper refund.

"Apple recently announced that iPhone 4 customers who purchased an iPhone 4 Bumper are eligible for a full refund," the emails said. "As of today, we have automatically processed your refund."

The refunds were announced by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs during a press conference last Friday. One free bumper case is available to any customer who purchases an iPhone 4 through Sept 30. Customers who purchased an official Apple bumper case prior to the press conference are also eligible for a refund.

"We want to take care of everyone. We want every user to be happy," Jobs said at the conference. Apple's automatic processing of bumper case refunds could be taken as a sign of this goodwill.

The cases, which are a combination of plastic and rubber, prevent the iPhone 4's antenna band from coming in contact with the user's conductive skin. Although some users object to the inelegance of covering up the iPhone 4's design, bumper cases are touted by many as a simple and low cost solution to the "death grip."

In its Q3 2010 financial conference call, Apple estimated $175 million in deferred revenue for bumper case refunds.