I agree with your comment, but I wonder where next for apple on this whole messy antenna issue?
I agree that giving away a bunch of free bumpers would solve the problem and as long as they had a nice apple logo impression on them the fanbois would be happy. Thing is doing that would be a tacit admission that there *IS* a problem with the hardware design and they know it! The lawyers would have a field day on that decision and that's probably behind the lack of free bumpers whether they can afford it or not. (IMO and IANAL).
But what do Apple do long term for the 4G handset? If they're not bounced into a recall to sort things out they will have to either:
i. Do a rev 2 of the handset's mechanical design (a thin film like you suggest seems to be the best option for minimal change in the manufacturing process), which will be introduced quietly until someone notices "Hey, my new iPhone 4G is slightly different to the one my mate bought 6 months ago"
ii. Include a free bumper from now on as part of the standard stuff "in the box", manual specifies it must be used at all times for "the best user experience" (a la previous PR guff statements)
iii. Or they just carry on selling something they know is causing problems and live in denial - causing potentially serious damage to Apple's brand and its reputation* for excellent customer service and support
Interesting quandry - I think Apple PR have backed themselves into a corner on this one?
Denial or tacit admission? Either way a Lawyers field say I fear :s
* I said *reputation* - as always YMMV!