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Apple strikes out: An iPhone 4 recall is inevitable

Apple strikes out: An iPhone 4 recall is inevitable

When proud iPhone 4 owners began grumbling about waning reception, enthusiasts added accessories and scratched their heads in bewilderment.

When Steve Jobs told iPhone 4 devotees that they were "holding it wrong," they adjusted their death grips on their devices and hoped for the best.

When a class-action lawsuit was filed against Apple alleging breach of every express and implied warranty of merchantability possible, Apple fearfully issued a software fix for the glitch.

But when Consumer Reports retracted its endorsement of the storied iPhone because the reception issue was the result of a defective antenna (thus not a software issue after all), the other shoe finally dropped. Because when Consumer Reports speaks, the world of consumption listens.

Welcome to the dawning of the Age of the Apple Recall.

"Apple will be forced to do a recall of this product," Professor Matthew Seeger, a crisis communication expert, told Cult of Mac. "It's critically important. The brand image is the most important thing Apple has. This is potentially devastating."

You think?

"Consumer Reports is a well-respected publication with a long history of being impartial and fair," Dr. Barton continued. "Their advisory is a serious one."

A recall is all well and good in terms of making textbook amends with the fanboys and fangirls. But what about the hassle of returning and exchanging? The inconvenience of reconfiguring yet again, so shortly after acquiring the new device? And what about the inconceivable Round #2 of the Great Wait?

We shudder to think.

The questions an iPhone recall raises are limitless. Apple will attempt to address the swirling rumors in a press conference at its Cupertino digs on Friday.

It's hard to predict what Apple's retorts will include. But one thing's for certain — Apple is pretty far up Tech Creek without an antenna.

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A $30 bumper? A $30 Band-Aid is more like it.