iPhone4 technical fears grow as Apple calls conference

Fears about technical problems with the new Apple iPhone4 intensified today when the technology giant unexpectedly announced it will hold a press conference tomorrow.

Shares in Apple tumbled more than 3% this week after US publication Consumer Reports — similar to the UK's Which? — said it could not recommend iPhone4.

Some consumers have complained about reception and problems with signal strength when the new smartphone is held in a certain way.

Mike Gikas, senior electronics editor for Consumer Reports, said: “The problem seems to be a design flaw, and it is significant.”

Apple declined to reveal advance details about the news conference, which will be held at its headquarters in California.
Analysts said that a recall of the iPhone4 was unlikely as there appeared to be only sporadic problems. There has been speculation that Apple could offer free protective “bumper” phone cases, which can improve signal strength.

The launch of iPhone4 on June 24 was a marketing success as American consumers snapped up 1.7 million devices in three days.

Apple has faced criticism about the way it handled subsequent complaints. Several consumers have reportedly begun legal action.

Consumer Reports carried out several tests on iPhone4 and reported: “When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side the signal can degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection if you're in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4.”

Apple's decision to hold a news conference appeared to be an acknowledgement it has failed to allay concerns. The technology giant responded to initial criticism last week by saying: “We have retested everything, and the results are the same — the iPhone 4's wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped.”

But Apple did apologise “for any anxiety we may have caused” and conceded that there was a glitch which meant some handsets displayed a higher signal-strength than was actually available.
Apple offered a free software update to make the display “more accurate”.[source]


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