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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.

Antenna 3

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.