Apple scheduled a press conference Friday to address a growing roar of discontent with its iPhone 4, which this week was found by Consumer Reports to have serious issues with reception.
The San Jose Mercury News called the last-minute conference "unprecedented" for the normally quality obsessed company. The Los Angeles Times wondered if the gadget was jinxed following the leak earlier this year of photos of the highly-anticipated handset, Apple chief Steve Jobs' problems demonstrating it during its unveiling last month, and a reception glitch that Consumer Reports calls a deal-breaking flaw.
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The Wall Street Journal reported that Steve Jobs was told of problems with the handset's antenna before its release but ignored the warnings. The phone has been Apple's best-selling product, with 1.7 million units sold within three days of its retail debut.
Reports have indicated a recall of the gadget could cost Apple $1.5 billion. But it's not clear if that's the answer. Another possible fix: Free phone covers that could improve reception.
In exploring the latest iPhone's run of bad luck, the Times invoked the Chinese superstition regarding the number four, which in Chinese can resemble the word for death. Much in the way 13th floors are skipped in American skyscrapers, Chinese structures often forgo a forth landing.
"I would personally never say it's the number 4 causing all of this," Lydia Chen, associate director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, told the Times. "Still, maybe people should avoid iPhone 13 when it gets here."