Apple plans iPhone 4 announcement on Friday

By Stacy Cowley, tech editor

NEW YORK ( -- Two weeks after a "stunned" Apple announced to the world that it had found a major software glitch in the iPhone's signal-strength display, Apple plans to hold a press conference to discuss the iPhone 4.

The gathering will take place Friday at Apple's Cupertino headquarters. An Apple spokesman declined to divulge any further details of the event.

Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) on Thursday released its promised software fix to address the way iPhones display the bars used to visualize signal strength. Early tests indicate that the new software more accurately reflects network strength.

But Apple's headaches continue mounting: On Monday, Consumer Reports' product testers issued a damning report concluding that the iPhone 4 has a hardware design flaw that can cause calls to drop. There's an easy fix -- put the phone in a case or cover the gap between the phone's two antennas with a bit of duct tape -- but Consumer Reports said it would not recommend the phone until Apple released a free solution for the problem.

Apple has refused to comment on Consumer Reports' findings, and has previously denied that the iPhone 4 has any hardware flaws. CEO Steve Jobs' now-famous response to a customer complaint that holding the phone the wrong way could interrupt reception was "just avoid holding it in that way."

The iPhone 4 was Apple's most successful product launch in its history. The company sold 1.7 million phones in just the first three days, and the device remains sold out through most retailers. Even as it slapped the phone with a "not recommended" label, Consumer Reports said that the iPhone 4 was, aside from its antenna defect, the best smart phone on the market.

-CNN's Augie Martin contributed to this report. To top of page

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