Apple has called a news conference for tomorrow (July 16) at 6pm BST to discuss the iPhone 4, as speculation heightens the device will be recalled globally following widespread issues with signal dropping on the handset
The company hasn’t made clear whether the event will discuss the problems encountered on the device, which launched three weeks ago on June 24.
The announcement comes following a four per cent dip in Apple’s shares and bookmaker Paddy Power slashing odds on the iPhone 4 being recalled.
A critical review from independent US testing organisation Consumer Reports saw $9.9 billion (£6.5 billion) cut off Apple’s $230 billion value.
Paddy Power slashed the odds of the iPhone being recalled from 2/1 to 4/6 yesterday. This is despite Apple claiming that a software update to fix the issue will be made available in the coming weeks.
Consumer Reports claimed there were significant issues with the loss of signal on the iPhone 4 when it tested the device. It said it couldn’t recommend the phone because of this problem.
It claimed it had tested three iPhone 4 handsets, purchased from separate retailers on the AT&T network, in a ‘radio frequency isolation chamber’, a room claimed to be impervious to outside radio signals. Test engineers connected the phones to a base station emulator, to simulate network cell towers. It tested other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and Palm Pre, which did not feature the same signal loss as the iPhone 4.
The report said: “When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side – an easy thing, especially for lefties – the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with weak signal. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.”
Apple has yet to comment on the report, nor speculation the iPhone 4 will be recalled.
Apple reported it had sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s within three days of its release. Users have claimed signal on the handset drops when the metal band around the device is held in two opposite places. The metal band interferes with the signal when it is pressed against the internal antennas, it is claimed.
Apple released a statement on June 25 that said the signal issue was a “fact of life for every wireless phone”, advising users to avoid gripping the handset in a certain way.
Apple released a second statement on July 2 suggesting the error is in fact with the formula it uses to calculate signal strength, and said it had inadvertently misled users into believing their handset signals are stronger than they are, suggesting by default its network partners are responsible ultimately for the coverage experience.