By Leena Rao
As consumers and journalists begin to wonder if the iPhone 4 is a lemon due to the ongoing antenna issues with the phone, Apple’s stock has taken a hit this morning. The stock started trading this morning at $255.84 and dropped by nearly ten points to $246.55 in mid-morning trading, losing as much as $9 billion in market cap. Shares seem to be recovering now at $249 per share.
Clearly, this issue is spiraling beyond just tech blogs into mainstream media. In fact, our own MG Siegler spoke to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann last night about the issue with the iPhone’s signal strength (see video below). And as the antenna issue gains momentum, the markets are reflecting the concerns over this flawed device.
New iPhone 4 users have been complaining of problems with dropped calls and connectivity due to the Antenna issues. Apple (AAPL) tried to sweep this under the rug with a software update, but yesterday Consumer Reports slammed the new device. Consumer Reports concluded that the signal degradation from the antenna is real when you put your finger over the gap on the lower left-hand side of the phone, calling it a design flaw. And already there are lawsuits brewing.
For a company that seems to be very meticulous about its marketing strategy, Apple’s brand may be suffering damage from ‘Antennagate.’ The iPhone 4, which was touted as the marquis of iPhones, will now be partly remembered for this flaw unless Apple takes serious action on fixing the problem. Could there be an iPhone 4 recall in the near future?