PR catastrophe makes Apple stand up and listen -

Apple is being forced to stand at the oche, corralled by increasing criticism of faults in its iPhone 4. So far it has blustered as a defence against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Earlier this week, Consumer Reports issued its stance on the problem of poor reception on the iPhone 4, contradicting Apple by saying that rather than being a "software non-issue", the phone has a hardware fault with its antenna.

That is forcing Apple to hold a press conference at its Cupertino HQ tomorrow, where it's expected to talk about the problem, or non-problem, depending on your take.

Apple doesn't care for journalists and has an internal policy where it carefully chooses the hacks and hackettes it wants to talk to. It has a long history of banning the journos it doesn't want to talk to from its events.

At an Apple event held in Soho a few years ago, a then Inquirer hack slipped into a press conference, only to be told by a spinner post event that the invitation "was a mistake".

Apple, of course, is jealous of its precious brand and the iPhone 4 continues to sell in vast quantities despite the problems with the machine.

It's unlikely to recall the iPhone 4 and some have suggested that to placate the unruly elements it might give away a case that would fix the reception problem. Mind you, if it does that, that would be a tacit admission that there is a hardware problem and it's nothing to do with software, as Apple has previously maintained.