Two main themes arose out of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) launch of the iPhone 4 this week: concerns about the smartphone's cellular reception and surging sales of the device. Guess which one the company likely was more pleased with?
Shortly after the gadget's release, reports began filtering in from users seeing degradations in their cellular signal strength when they held the phone in a certain way--specifically when their fingers touched the stainless steel band that houses the phone's antenna.
Apple yesterday acknowledged the problem, but explained the issue is common to all wireless phones.
"Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas," Apple said in the statement. "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs again deployed his taciturn tone to one customer's query on the topic: "Just avoid holding it in that way," he reportedly responded via email.
Despite the issue, sales of the the smartphone appear brisk. Apple took more than 600,000 pre-orders for the phone, Best Buy sold out of the device, RadioShack is looking to re-fill its inventory and Wal-Mart also reported strong sales. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicts sales of 1 million to 1.5 million iPhones by Saturday, while Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner said in a research note he thinks Apple sold 1.5 million phones on Thursday alone.
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