Apple is doing its best to minimize the antenna problems of the iPhone 4, and there's quite a good reason why the company is going through so much hassle to keep the lid on this issue. Not only would a recall be quite damaging to Apple's reputation, it would also be a quite expensive action. Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi predicts a full recall of the iPhone 4 would cost $1.5 billion, although he believes it's much more likely, and cheaper, for Apple to issue a free rubber bumper case with each iPhone.
While a recall could be damaging to Apple's reputation, it would also be a costly endeavor, according to some calculations made by Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. In a research note on Tuesday, Sacconaghi estimated that while "a full product recall of the iPhone 4 (is) highly unlikely," it would cost Apple $1.5 billion, or 3.5 percent of its total cash on hand.
What would be more likely--and cheaper--is that Apple could issue a free rubber bumper case with each phone. That would prevent a person's hand from coming into contact with the phone's antenna, which is built into its exterior metal strip. Although Apple charges $29 at retail for the rubber cases, Bernstein estimates that giving them away to iPhone 4 customers would cost the company $1 per unit.