Suddenly, Everyone Is Talking About An iPhone 4 Recall!

Consumer Reports iPhone newspaper headlineThis morning’s subway paper in New York.

Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna problem is clearly not going away overnight, despite Apple’s best wishes (and best attempts to censor).Will it result in a massive product recall? (We doubt it. In fact, we think this is a non-issue that will blow over.)

Even a week ago, we may have laughed off the idea. But now that Consumer Reports has come down hard on Apple over the issue (deciding not to recommend buying the phone, despite also calling it the best smartphone on the market; figure that out) the antenna issue is front page news.

And suddenly, everyone’s talking about the possibility of an iPhone 4 recall.

  • PR experts are obviously talking about a recall. “Apple will be forced to do a recall of this product,” Professor Matthew Seeger, “an expert in crisis communication,” told “It’s critically important. The brand image is the most important thing Apple has. This is potentially devastating.”
  • “Apple needs to put this fire out now,” Dr. Larry Barton, a “leading expert in crisis management and author of Crisis Leadership Now,” also told “There has to be a military-like response to this issue. And we have not seen this kind of urgency.”
  • Even Apple’s super-fans are talking about a potential recall. Instapaper creator Marco Arment writes,  “To fix the problems, Apple will need to replace, redesign, or relocate the proximity sensor and prevent electrical conductivity between the antenna sections (possibly with an insulating coating on the steel). They can do this with a mid-cycle hardware revision, but they’d face an even more massive PR disaster (and a potential class-action suit) if they didn’t recall all iPhone 4s sold so far for replacement with the fixed models. It would need to be an unconditional (but probably optional) recall.”
  • And the mainstream tech press is flexing the R-word, too. “Apple should recall the iPhone 4 and start disseminating new phones with properly coated antennas–and I’m not talking duct tape or neon-coloured rubber bands,” CNET’s Molly Wood writes.

Your move, Steve.

Don’t miss: 10 Things We Love And Hate About The iPhone 4

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