Apple (AAPL) will hold a press conference at 10 AM Pacific time on Friday. It is presumed that the event will address reports of problems with weak signals and dropped calls from its new iPhone 4.
Consumer Reports set off a firestorm of criticism when the consumer products ratings magazine said it would not recommend the handset because of signal problems. The issue had previously been reported by iPhone customers and in the press. In a statement yesterday, after its first evaluation, Consumer Reports said a "bumper case," a rubber case for the iPhone, would fix the problem. The case costs about $30.
Apple has continued to defend the phone. The latest press release from Apple, posted on July 2, says regarding the dropped-call issue, "We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same -- the iPhone4's wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped." Many reviewers and iPhone 4 users disagree.
There will be a great deal of speculation about who will represent Apple at the conference and what they will say. The company could say that the Consumer Reports evaluation was overblown. Apple could also announce a simple fix if it acknowledges the problem. There is even a remote chance that the computer giant could issue a recall, which one Wall Street analyst estimated could cost the company as much as $1.5 billion.
The press conference is an unprecedented event in Apple's history -- a sign of the serious nature of the issues surrounding the iPhone 4.
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