Analyst Claims Design Fix for iPhone 4 Signal Issue Being Deployed

TheStreet reports on new research from Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar claiming that Apple has developed an internal insulator to isolate the iPhone 4's antenna connection that has been causing signal reception issues.

Apple has created "a design fix for the iPhone 4 that more adequately insulates the transceiver," said Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who spoke to the company's manufacturing partners.

Apple has told its manufacturers to alter the iPhone production process to include an internal component that will insulate the defective antenna connection that has disrupted the phone's signal reception, said Kumar. This internal bumper will give Apple a non-cosmetic solution and will presumably avoid the need to change the appearance of the phone, said Kumar.

The report notes that the implied change to Apple's manufacturing process is making its presence known in Apple's U.S. online retail store, where shipping estimates have slipped to three weeks from a 7-10 business day timeframe earlier. MacRumors has also received word that Apple has been delaying some iPhone 4 orders that had been carrying delivery estimates for the next few days, pushing them out to delivery next week while citing "an unexpected delay".

It remains to be seen if and how such an internal insulator would be distributed to existing iPhone owners, either on as-needed basis or through a complete recall. It is also unknown whether such a fix can simply be applied to existing iPhones or if units would need to be swapped out for replacement. Further details from Apple regarding the antenna issue are widely expected to be shared at the company's press conference scheduled for tomorrow.

Kumar's track record is relatively unknown, as he has only recently begun covering Apple. He has been quite vocal on the idea of a Verizon iPhone, claiming in January that Apple had settled on a CDMA-only chip from Qualcomm for the Verizon iPhone while reporting in late May that Apple had given manufacturing partner Pegatron/Asustek the go-ahead for Verizon iPhone production for as early as November of this year. Kumar has also reported that Apple has secured an 8-megapixel camera sensor from Sony for the 2011 iPhone, a claim that obviously has not been verified or disproved yet.

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