Apple to address iPhone 4 problems Friday

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced it will hold a press conference tomorrow at 10 a.m. PST at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters to discuss complaints about the iPhone 4 antenna. The announcement comes just days after engineers at Consumer Reports tested the iPhone 4 and found that there is a problem with the gadget's reception. Although Apple has never admitted there is a problem with the iPhone 4 antenna, one media outlet reported today that a senior antenna expert told CEO Steve Jobs that the device's antenna design could lead to dropped calls.

Earlier this week, Consumer Reports engineers said they found that when a users' hand or finger touches the lower left side of the iPhone 4, it can cause the phone to lose its connection, particularly if it's already in a weak signal area. The engineers recommended that users cover the spot with duct tape or a case to alleviate the problem.

Apple has not commented on Consumer Reports' findings, nor has it acknowledged any iPhone 4 antenna problems. Instead, the company has admitted that a flawed formula it uses to calculate the number of bars available for cellular service may be causing some iPhone 4 customers to experience reception problems. Apple said it is working on a software fix to solve the issue.

However, Bloomberg reported today that Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, told Apple CEO Steve Jobs that the iPhone 4 antenna design may cause reception problems. The article cites a person close to the matter, who asked not to be identified and is not authorized to speak on Apple's behalf. In addition, the article said that a carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before the device's June 24 release.

The dust-up comes weeks after Apple and AT&T (NYSE:T) were both sued in federal court by iPhone 4 customers who claim the companies knowingly sold them a defective product. The separate suits, filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland and in San Francisco, claim the two companies violated their warranty policies. The Maryland suit alleges the companies committed a host of other offenses, including general negligence, fraud, deceptive trade practices and misrepresentation.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article

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