Apple Likely to Spin, Not Fix iPhone 4 Problem

Apple's got something to say Friday about the iPhone 4 antenna problem, but don't expect much.
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) --With a mushrooming iPhone antenna problem threatening to stain


(AAPL) - Get Report

spotless image, the company has decided to hold a press conference Friday.

Thanks to

Consumer Reports'


call for action

, a little slip in the stock price and a bit of

Top Ten mockery

from David Letterman this week, Apple has arrived at the so-called fork in the road.

Now Apple faces two choices: Fix the problem, or try to talk its way out of it.

Hilariously, a press conference suggests the later -- more talk, no action.

A press conference means there's a lot of explaining to do. A press conference doesn't say, "we are wrong, you are right." A press conference says it's


stage and we'll tell you when there's a problem. A press conference says you don't even know a fraction of what we know about antennas.

Apple has a history of dodging this problem. "It's not a problem." "It's


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." "It's the signal strength meter." "It's your hand." "It's common with all phones." Friday's conference should be an elegant continuation of this trend.

Apple shares are only down 2% since

Consumer Reports

called out Apple on the problem and raised the issue of a recall. Meanwhile, Apple can't keep the iPhones in stock.

There's a right way to handle this, but Apple's right way might not be the right way you were looking for.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.