The free bumper case that Apple was forced to give away in order to tackle the iPhone 4 reception issues is reportedly causing damage to the very system it is designed to protect, namely the antenna.
The Apple Support Discussion Forums have been used by a number of iPhone 4 owners to highlight scrapes and scuffs delivered to the antenna band that encircles the iPhone 4.
These have, apparently, been accumulating even while using the bumper case, which users conclude must point to this supposedly protective device as being the culprit.
"I received my black bumper about a week ago now. Took off the bumper tonight to clean my phone down and there are scratch marks on the steel band from the bumper (this is caused from the pieces of hard plastic on the underside of the bumper," explained forum poster and iPhone 4 owner Dayvidpriddy.
The conclusion that the plastic within the bumper itself was causing the abrasions was quickly dismissed, as other users suggested that it was likely to be the result of debris finding its way into the space between the bumper case and the surface of the antenna, with any movement causing lesions which build over time.
However, in some cases, users were right to criticise the bumper for being excessively sharp on the inside and one user reported that Apple had acknowledged this fact and has replaced not only the scratchy bumper but also the iPhone 4 itself.
Images posted on Razorianfly.com that there are some very real scuff marks that can be attributed to bumper usage.
This is not the first time that an iPhone case has been linked to scratching the device. When the original 2G model launched back in 2007, one of the most popular cases sold by Apple caused a similar controversy.