Apple's iPhone 4 Case Program cases arrive early

If you took part in Apple’s iPhone 4 case program in its first few days, you might want to keep an eye on your mailbox: we’ve received several reports of early case deliveries.

Several Macworld contributors and staffers have received their cases over the past week. One order, placed July 23rd (the first day of Apple’s Case Program), had a tentative ship date in Apple’s system for August 27, with an arrival date of September 1. Yet the case arrived last Friday, August 13—almost three weeks ahead of its projected arrival date.

Another case order, placed a week later on July 30, had a projected ship date of September 3 and a delivery date of September 13, but the package ended up arriving on August 16, exactly four weeks ahead of schedule.

Early-arriving cases do not seem to be limited to one brand or style; both Apple’s Bumper and the clear Incase Snap Case have made their way from warehouses to doorsteps. (Macworld.com has reviews of all the iPhone 4 cases available from the program.) However, several Macworld readers report in the comments that they received their cases as early as late July or the first week of August. Among those reports, Apple's Bumper dominates, though one reader received a Belkin Shield Micra early. Still, others who ordered Apple's Bumper on the first day of program availability have yet to receive it.

For those of you who may have stopped reading the Internet this summer, Apple’s free iPhone 4 Case program began on July 23 in response to customer issues with signal attenuation when holding an iPhone 4 in a certain way. To apply for a free case, users must own an iPhone 4 and download Apple’s iPhone 4 Case Program app, available for free through the App Store.

Although the case program is currently running until September 30, iPhone 4 owners who purchased the device after July 23 must apply to the case program within 30 days of purchase. Early adopters take heed: if you bought your iPhone 4 before July 23, you have until August 22—this Sunday—to apply for your free case.

To those who applied for cases in the first few days of the program, have you received any early packages from Apple? Let us know in the comments.

Updated at 2:00pm PT to reflect that some cases, especially Apple's Bumper, arrived even earlier than originally stated.

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