When Apple announced that it would be holding a special press conference on Friday, Twitter immediately lit up with speculation about a new product launch. Afterall, most new Apple products have been announced by CEO Steve Jobs under similar conditions. But, as one Gawker writer pointed out, Friday afternoon, right before the weekend hits, is the best time for companies to announce bad news. Without giving out any additional details, Apple Inc. acknowledged that the press conference would be about the iPhone 4, the company's latest product, which has been plagued by criticism over problems associated with its antenna design. Consumer Reports recently retracted its recommendation of the phone. "Given the intense pressure and scrutiny Apple has come under on the problem with the iPhone 4, it's going to be about some kind of fix or compensation for the owners of the phone," Ed Snyder, an analyst with Charter Equity Research, told the Wall Street Journal. Given that the antenna problem doesn't affect safety, a full recall of the iPhone is unlikely. "But financial analysts said Apple could give away its $29 rubber 'bumper' cases, which they said would solve the antenna reception problem," the Journal reported. "Analysts estimate that such action would cost Apple $1 to $5 a phone." The press conference, which was first announced on Wednesday, will be held at Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.
Addedndum: Nothing points to a recall, and Slate's just trying to get eyeballs that way. Sensationalism. - @rohanv