Anonymous reports filtering out of Cupertino are now claiming that Apple may have known in advance that the iPhone 4's antenna-bezel design was a disaster waiting to happen.
Early in the i4's development phase, senior engineer and antenna expert Ruben Caballero allegedly expressed concerns about the proposed design and its potential to sap signal strength and/or drop calls if a user held the phone the wrong way. Additionally, a cellphone carrier partner (possibly AT&T, possibly a European or Asian carrier) had their doubts about the design.
Since its record-shattering release this past June, the i4's myriad design woes have provided Apple with one publicity black eye after another — most recently, Consumer Reports' decision to revoke their original recommendation to buy the handset after their own lab tests confirmed the "death grip" issue.
Apple has scheduled an invite-only press conference for tomorrow (July 16) to discuss the iPhone 4, but has offered no other information regarding the conference at this time.
Not surprisingly, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling wouldn't comment on this story, and also made it clear that he would not make Caballero available for interviews. Caballero himself is not responding to phone and email requests for comments.