On the eve of Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference, a report has surfaced that a top Apple engineer had given an early warning to CEO Steve Jobs that the phone’s antenna design could lead to dropped calls.
According to Bloomberg,
Last year, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple’s management the device’s design may cause reception problems, said the person, who is not authorized to speak on Apple’s behalf and asked not to be identified. A carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before the device’s June 24 release, according to another person familiar with the situation.
If true, this story would undermine Apple’s assertions that the iPhone 4’s signal problems stem from a software, and not design, defect. Apple’s brand and reputation could be severely damaged, as consumers lose confidence in Apple’s design, marketing, and honesty.
“The stock is being impacted by general concerns about the impact this is having to the brand, and the financial impact, and the uncertainty about what Apple will do about this,” said Andy Hargreaves, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Oregon.
Apple spokesmen have refused to comment on the story and will not make Caballero available for questions.
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