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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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --With a mushrooming iPhone antenna problem threatening to stain

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

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

Thanks to

Consumer Reports'

earnest

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

our

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

AT&T's

(T) - Get Report

." "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.