Free iPhone Cases Will Cost Apple $175 Million

Green iPhone Bumper

Since the antenna debacle is kind of calming down, I thought I would revive it by throwing some big numbers at you.

During today’s Q3 earnings conference call, Apple revealed that it predicts that the free iPhone 4 cases and bumpers will result in $175 million in deferred revenue. It hits Apple’s books as a liability — essentially a debt or a negative balance on the bottom line. Apple says that it will expense the cost of the cases, which will help mitigate the overall cost on the bottom line.

In other words, Apple is accounting for $175 million in lost revenue on its Q4 balance sheet, all due to free bumpers and cases.

It sure sounds like a lot of money but when you think about it, it’s actually not much compared to what the antenna issue could have really cost Apple if they had kept being silent about it.