In anticipation of Apple's iPhone 4-themed press conference tomorrow, the Wall Street Journal crunched some financial numbers to try and determine if a hoped-for (by many) product recall would be the order of the day.
Signs point to "not likely."
Some analysts feel that a full recall would only be justified if the problems with the iPhone constituted a serious hazard to the owners — like, say, the USB port caught on fire on a regular basis. One analyst pegged the cost to Apple of a full-blown i4 recall at US$1.5 beeeellion. (Then again, the House of Jobs has approximately 30 times that in cash just lying around, so Uncle Steve wouldn't have to stand on a street corner, holding a sign that says WILL DEVELOP CUTTING-EDGE TECH FOR FOOD.)
Other possibly solutions? The "free bumper for everyone" option, which would result in only a 1% hit to Apple's operating income, or some kind of insulating coating to the antenna bezel, which could be done in-store and only set earnings back by about 12% for this quarter alone.
One thing the analysts CAN agree on: the i4 has been the Publicity Boondoggle From Hell for Apple, and they need to take major steps, stat, to correct.
[Via the Wall Street Journal]