Apple will hold a July 16 press conference about the iPhone 4, the Wall Street Journal reported. While Apple won't offer details, it's expected to address the phone's antenna design, which has faced much criticism.
Apple has scheduled a press conference for July 16 at its Cupertino,
Calif., headquarters to talk about the iPhone 4 , according to the Wall Street Journal
No further details on the event were available, though speculation
centers on the iPhone 4's much publicized antenna woes.
Since its June 24 debut, the iPhone 4 has been a success in sales
terms, with Apple announcing that it sold 1.7 million of the
smartphones within the first three days. However, the phone has also
created a public-relations debacle for the until-now fastidiously
marketed and managed company.
The iPhone 4's attractive and unusual design-front and back glass
panels held together by a stainless-steel band that incorporates the
antenna-has caused a number of users to complain about reception
issues, particularly when, holding the phone, its bottom left corner is
Apple initially dismissed the issue-in an e-mail to an iPhone 4
owner, Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly responded, "Just avoid holding it
in that way"-and later followed up by saying that engineers in its lab had discovered that the fault lay in the formula for calculating the number of reception bars displayed.
That the antenna wasn't failing to provide reception, the phone was just misrepresenting its actual reception quality.
The antenna issue has spurred at least two class-action lawsuits-one
against Apple and the other against both Apple and AT&T. It also,
for the first time, prevented
Consumer Reports, which in all other feature areas was enormously
impressed, from being able to recommend Apple's newest offering.
While a recall is considered unlikely, Apple may use the press
conference to try to smooth over any bad feelings created by the
antenna situation and to possibly announce that it will be offering
iPhone 4 owners free bumpers-thin rubber cases that Apple currently
sells for $29 and that are said to allay the antenna issue. Whether Apple can as easily re-polish its reputation is another story.
Ken Hyers, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said the timing of the problem is particularly unlucky for Apple.
"Apple's iPhone problems couldn't come at a worse time, as other
devices, primarily those running the Android OS, are proliferating,"
Hyers told eWEEK.
Sprint recently introduced the Android-running HTC Evo 4G, the
nation's first 4G-enabled smartphone. The HTC's Droid Incredible, as
well as the Motorola Droid, have also been well received, and on July
15, Verizon Wireless is launching the Motorola Droid X, which early
reviewers have described as a solid competitor for the iPhone.
"Those phones are also getting great reviews, and consumers who are
not wedded to the Apple experience are giving them a look," Hyers
continued. "I don't think the iPhone 4's problems are severe enough to
require a recall-but couldn't Apple spring for a five-cent rubber
bumper to slip on the device and fix its reception problems?"
Maybe it will.
On July 20, Apple will also conduct a conference call to announce
the financial results of its fiscal third quarter for 2010. During its
second fiscal quarter, it posted revenue of $13.5 billion and a net
quarterly profit of $3.07 billion.