Apple announces iPhone 4 press conference

Around three weeks after the handset launched, Apple's iPhone 4 is still beset by reception issues which threatens to damage both the phone and the company's reputation permanently. Which is perhaps why Apple has called a press conference about the iPhone 4 tomorrow, Friday 16th July.

We know that much, but like everyone else, we don't know much more - not even the people who will be hosting the event. Will it be Steve Jobs himself? That's likely to depend on Apple's view of the seriousness of the situation.

The issue certainly shows no sign of going away, despite various solutions to the 'death grip' problem being floated, including the incoming iOS 4.1, which is said to deal with issues relating to the phone signal bars. Apple claims this, rather than the antenna, is the main issue. The press conference just might be an outline of how this does indeed deal with the problem.

Or it could be something much more significant. If the problem is hardware rather than software, there is the prospect of Apple doing a recall for its first batch of stock. How that would work isn't clear - after all, would you be willing to give back your iPhone 4 without a working one in return? Thought not. As a halfway gesture, Apple could give away free bumpers. But that would also be an issue, an admission that there is a problem without fully dealing with it.

Until tomorrow at 6pm, we can only speculate. But whatever Apple decides to do, you can be sure it's not going to please everyone.

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