By Jason Theodorou

Apple may need to recall their iPhone 4 smartphone product, after the independent American testing organisation Consumer Reports said that it could not recommend the device due to reception problems. Apple shares fell by 4%, cutting £6.5 billion from it's value after it became clear that the company would need to either recall the device, or release hardware fixes for the latest model iPhone 4.

Consumer Reports said that holding the iPhone at the bottom left hand corner had an adverse effect on the signal. The consumer watchdog otherwise gave the smartphone high ratings, as it did with the previous model, the iPhone 3GS. They found that if the user covered the lower left hand side of the device, there was a loss of signal strength which could lead to dropped calls.

Apple has rarely recalled products with design imperfections - a full recall in this case could cost up to $900 million, assuming that all iPhone 4 models already sold were fixed by the company. As the world's biggest technology company, Apple is likely to be able to afford the recall and repair bill, but consumer confidence may be damaged.

Apple have denied that there is a problem with the phone, but customer support staff at its warranty service AppleCare have been instructing customers to hold the phone in a different way, or buy a protective case or 'bumper', which retails in the UK at £25.

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