The Fine Print For iPhone 4 Refunds
If you were hoping Apple's Friday announcement that unhappy iPhone 4 customers could return the phone for a full refund would get you out of your AT&T contract, think again. Although Apple did promise a full refund for customers who are unhappy with their iPhone 4, it appears this refund only applies for 30 days after purchase. That means you won't be able to use the announcement as a way to get out of your AT&T contract after that 30-day time period.
An AT&T spokesman confirmed the carrier's normal, 30-day return policy will still apply for the iPhone 4. In other words, after you agree to a two-year contract, you have 30 days in which you can change your mind and cancel your account without having to pay an early termination fee. During that timeframe, you could also opt to return the iPhone 4 and switch to a different AT&T handset.
At the iPhone press conference last week, Jobs offered both free bumpers for the iPhone 4 as well as full refunds in an effort to help alleviate reception issues which have plagued the phone. Users who decide to return the phone can expect a full refund and no restocking fee (provided you're within that 30-day window.)
At the press conference, Jobs was asked if the refund applied to users who wanted to get out of their AT&T contracts to which he replied "I believe so." Although that's true, it's not completely a blanket statement—you must still be within the 30-day trial period to qualify for the refund. If you want to return the iPhone 4 after the 30-day trial period, you'll have to pay the restocking fee and you'll still be under contract with AT&T.