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Apple Plans News Conference to Discuss iPhone 4

Apple said that it planned to hold a news conference on Friday to discuss the iPhone 4 as concerns about problems with the device’s antenna continued to mount. Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesman, would not give details of who would speak at the event, which will be held at 10 a.m. at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
The iPhone 4 has been Apple’s most successful product introduction to date, with more than 1.7 million phones sold in the first three days alone. Yet problems with the phone’s antenna, which surfaced after it went on sale, have plagued Apple for weeks.

Apple sought to address those concerns nearly two weeks ago, saying that a software bug caused the iPhone 4 and its predecessors to display signal strength incorrectly.

But Apple’s headaches mounted on Monday, after Consumer Reports called into question Apple’s response to the antenna problems. The magazine said that it had tested the iPhone 4 along with other devices and determined that the iPhone 4 suffered from a hardware design flaw. Consumer Reports said that it could not recommend the device to its readers until Apple fixed the problem.

Consumer Reports also said that despite the flaw, the iPhone 4 was the best smartphone it had tested.

In the past, Apple has caved to pressure from consumers. Six months after the first iteration of the iPhone had its debut, Apple dropped the price of the phone by $200, deeply upsetting early phone adopters. To rectify the situation, Apple offered a $100 store voucher to customers who paid full price for the iPhone.

Analysts have said in recent days that a recall of the iPhone 4 is highly unlikely. But some analysts have speculated that the company might decide to offer free bumpers, which appear to resolve most signal problems by insulating the phone’s antenna from human contact.

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