Consumer Reports stepped up its call for Apple to address the iPhone 4 antenna issue by saying in a new blog post the iPhone maker is obligated to "offer a product that works consistently and reliably out of the box." The nonprofit consumer rights organization issued the blog post on Tuesday to explain why CR believed it was the responsibility of Apple, and not its customers, to fix the iPhone 4's signal reception problems. Previously, Apple recommended that iPhone 4 users experiencing signal reception problems should buy a $30 bumper case to solve the issue.
As the fallout continues over the iPhone 4's problems, the company's stock value slid on Tuesday and some wonder whether Apple should issue a product recall.
iPhone 4 Antenna Problem
Almost from the moment the iPhone 4 hit the streets in June, iPhone fans started complaining of signal reception issues with the device when you cover the lower part of the device with your palm. Apple initially responded to these complaints by encouraging people to buy $30 rubber cases that would keep your hand away from the problem area. Then in early July, Apple issued a letter blaming the problem on a software issue that caused the phone to incorrectly display the phone's current signal reception strength. The company promised a software update would fix the problem.
The response from Apple was largely unsatisfactory for iPhone 4 users who had experienced the iPhone 4's signal loss first-hand, and it didn't take long for several class action lawsuits to be filed against Apple. On Monday, Consumer Reports added its voice to criticism against the iPhone 4 calling the signal loss issues a "design flaw." CR said that while the iPhone 4 was a top-rate phone in most areas, the signal loss issues compelled CR to say it couldn't recommend that people purchase the iPhone 4.
The complaints against Apple have delivered a major blow to a brand that is, for the most part, known for making high quality products. Apple's stock price dropped by 2 percent on Tuesday to end the day at $251.80. During Tuesday trading, Apple's stock lost almost $10 dropping as low as $246.43 per share after opening the day at $256.40.
It's unclear whether Apple will need to do more to ally concerns and stop the blowback against the company over the antenna issue. The company hasn't issued any public statements since announcing the impending iPhone 4 software fix to change the signal reception display, and there is some debate about whether the fix will truly solve the problem. "It remains to be seen if fixing metering inaccuracies will address the problem of dropped calls," Consumer Reports said in its recent blog post.
One option for Apple could be a full product recall for the iPhone 4; however, calling back millions of new iPhones is unlikely as it could cost the company as much $1.5 billion, Barron's recently reported referring to a research note by Bernstein Research analyst Tony Sacconaghi. Another possibility, and one that would likely allay many customer complaints, would be to issue free bumper cases to any iPhone 4 user that wanted one.
For now, Apple hasn't issue further public comments about the iPhone 4, and is likely to continue to remain silent until it issues the promised software fix. If that doesn't solve the iPhone 4's reception issue, however, Apple will have a lot of explaining to do.
If you're experiencing receptions issues and looking for a case for your iPhone 4, check out PCWorld's run down of the latest iPhone 4 cases.
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