Apple iPhone 4 Bumper Bummer: 5 DIY Workarounds For The Bumper Blackout Blues

Bumper Bust

After all the hullaballoo around antenna-gate, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs swallowed his pride -- if that's what you want to call it -- and offered Apple iPhone 4 users upset over dropped calls a free bumper case in hopes of extinguishing the firestorm of criticism around the Apple iPhone 4 and its poor reception.

Jobs stopped short of admitting that dropped calls actually are happening. Essentially, he blamed iPhone 4 users for the issue and said the iPhone 4 is no more prone to reception and signal struggles than any other comparable smartphone.

All the "he said, she said" aside, the bumper is supposed to thwart dropped calls keeping iPhone 4 users' hands away from the antenna area, which Jobs said is the cause of all of the connectivity issues.

But guess what? The bumpers are gone. Sold out. There's a bumper blackout. So what to do?

Here, we suggest five do-it-yourself (DIY) workarounds (that Apple doesn't want you to know) that will keep Apple iPhone 4 calls from dropping without the Apple-sanctioned bumper.

Rubber Bracelet

Rubber bracelets or wristbands like the wildly popular LiveStrong bracelets are good in a pinch. They essentially perform the same function as the Apple-offered bumper, but also let you show support for various causes while you carry on uninterrupted conversations comfortably from your Apple iPhone 4.

The iPhone Guru did it with a green rubber wristband and an Exacto knife, and had great results.

Duct Tape

Yup. Duct Tape. Is there anything it can't do? Apple probably could have used some before Jobs took the stage last week to claim there was no antenna-gate, if you catch our drift. But in a pinch Duct Tape is an awesome bumper alternative. Just cover the bottom left corner of the Apple iPhone 4 with a layer of Duct Tape and voila! Heck, even Consumer Reports found that an adequate fix for iPhone antenna woes.

Rabbit Ears

For decades, we watched television with them, so they must be able to boost Apple iPhone 4 signal strength, right? We're not engineers, so we can't tell you how the heck to install them, but if you couldn't get your mitts on a bumper, grab a soldering iron and a set of rabbit ear antenna and go to town. Before you know it, dropped calls will be a thing of the past. And you can probably catch an episode of "Welcome Back, Kotter" from your iPhone when you're done with that call.

Don't Use The iPhone 4 As A Phone, Dummy

Some people will have you believe the iPhone was never supposed to be a phone anyway (don't let anything like the name "iPhone" fool you). So, it's only fitting to assume that the iPhone 4 is most certainly not to be used to make calls. Heck, it has FaceTime to talk over video, who needs to make – ahem – an actually voice phone call. Okay, now that we've established that the iPhone 4 is a mobile computer first and a phone second, then why bother trying to make calls anyway? With e-mail and text messages, voice calls are obsolete. Plus, you can't drop any calls if you don't use your iPhone as a phone. And you don't need a bumper either. Problem solved.

Carry Another Smartphone As A Backup

Couldn't snag a bumper in time to make your Apple iPhone 4 actually keep calls connected? Well, if you carry a backup smartphone, preferably one on a network other than AT&T, say Verizon or Sprint, dropped calls will be a thing of the past. Once you're iPhone drops the call, you have a second smartphone on standby. Just grab your backup smartphone and call back whoever it is you hung up on. We hear the HTC EVO 4G (shown here) is nice. And we haven't heard too many complaints about reception issues or signal strength.

Go Ahead, Make Some Calls

Well, there you go. Who needs a pesky bumper on their iPhone 4 to make voice calls that actually stay connected? Not you, that's who. With these workarounds you call grandma and be assured you won't accidentally hang up on her. Plus, when you take the DIY approach, you'll be sticking it to the man (aka, Steve Jobs and Apple)!