The July 2010 press conference

To our knowledge this has not happened since Steve Jobs took back the reigns in 1997: Apple has scheduled a press conference for Friday, July 16th, seemingly without a new product to announce.

The safe bet here is that Apple intends to address complaints about potential antenna problems on the new iPhone 4, however the main software “fix” the company intends to provide has already been set loose in the wild with iOS 4.0.1 released just moments ago. This new build of iOS includes a change in the way the device calculates signal strength for display, and also makes the smallest 3 display bars appear larger as you can see below.

iOS signal display change

Old display on top. Credit: Engadget

Of course, the web is boiling over with guesses about what else Apple plans to do to address the antenna issue, as well as alternate explanations for why Apple would call a press conference like this.

Many, including New York Senator Charles Schumer, have called on the company to make iPhone 4 Bumpers available for free (They retail for $29 normally) in order to insulate the antenna elements from contact with the users hands.

Others think the company will have to start a recall or warranty extension program for affected devices, in order to fix the “faulty” antenna elements or replace the entire device.

Antenna issues aside, there is also the ever present rumor that Apple is almost ready to release a Verizon iPhone, and some have claimed this Friday press conference will be exactly that, a Verizon iPhone release announcement.

So what do you think? Is Apple going to give out free Bumpers and leave it at that, or are we looking at the start of a massive recall/warranty extension program, or something in between?

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