Apple is under increasing pressure to recall or offer a fix for the iPhone 4 public relations experts said today, if it wants to keep the iPhone brand name strong and sentiment towards the Cupertino-based giant positive.
In light of the reception issues, which Apple says is a software bug -- whereas users say it is caused by touching the antenna on the side of the device -- market share has fallen and people are turning away from one of Apple's most popular devices yet, as bad consumer sentiment towards the iPhone 4 as word of its reception woes continues to spread.
Cult of Mac recieved comments today on the issue by some of America's leading public relations experts, many of whom believe a full hardware recall is "inevitable" and will have "potentially devastating" effects if not announced soon.
"Apple will be forced to do a recall of this product,” Professor Matthew Seeger, an expert in crisis communication told Cult of Mac today. “It’s critically important. The brand image is the most important thing Apple has. This is potentially devastating.”
Dr. Larry Barton, author of Crisis Leadership Now and a leading expert in crisis management, told Cult of Mac that Apple needs to have a "military-like response" to the issue, which so far has not been evident.
Echoing these statements, Consumer Reports spoke out today about the issues -- which have seen them make reccomendations against purchasing the iPhone 4 -- in a post on their blog, urging Apple to provide a resolution for the problem at "no extra cost to consumers" and saying that aside from the antenna grievance, the device sits at the top of the list of best available smartphones.
"Apple suggested owners mitigate the problem by holding the phone differently or purchasing a case. But those solutions put the onus on consumers and skirt Apple's obligation to offer a product that works consistently and reliably out of the box," they wrote.
"We think it's the company's responsibility to provide the fix—at no extra cost to consumers."
Some have begun speculation that Apple, which continues to push the idea that an iOS bug is responsible for the woes, may offer their bumper cases --which fix the issue by stopping skin contact with the antenna -- for free to iPhone 4 users, removing the current $29 fee and alleviating the need for every iPhone 4 to be recalled.