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Apple's $15 settlement checks for iPhone 4 'antennagate' begin arriving

iPhone 4 owners who filed claims in a class-action lawsuit against Apple over the device's antenna have begun receiving $15 settlement checks in the mail.

The checks began arriving to iPhone 4 owners this week, according to TUAW. One reader who received their check said it took so long to arrive that they had forgotten what it was for.

The iPhone 4S antenna was tweaked to address signal issues that affected some iPhone 4 owners.

Apple reached the settlement more than a year ago, in February of 2012. Members of the lawsuit had the option of receiving either a $15 check, or a free Apple Bumper case.

The class-action complaint drew together 18 separate lawsuits that accused Apple of "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4 — particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software."

The ensuing controversy that erupted after the launch of the iPhone 4 was dubbed "antennagate." Apple quickly responded by offering extended returns or free protective phone cases for a limited window of time.

Apple's fix for the issue was cases because the accessories cover the outer metal band of the iPhone 4, a part that also doubled as the device's wireless antennas. Users discovered that holding the iPhone 4 in a certain way, covering the bottom left corner of the device with their hand.

Last year, Apple issued a statement on the iPhone 4 "antennagate" lawsuit settlement, and revealed that the $15 payments would apply to a "small number" of people. Those who held out for the lawsuit gained essentially nothing, as Apple's original offer to users in 2010 was to give away free Bumper cases worth $29, or nearly twice that of the settlement checks.