New York senator asks Jobs for iPhone 4 answers

Senator Schumer asks Apple's CEO to explain the cause of the reception problem and offer a free fix

Complaints and theories about the iPhone 4 reception problems are coming from what seems like every pundit and consumer in the country, and now a senator is getting in on the action.

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On Thursday, New York Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat, sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking him to offer iPhone 4 customers a clearly written explanation of the problem and make a commitment to fix it at no charge to users.

Shortly after the iPhone 4 launched, some users began complaining of poor reception, particularly when holding the phone in a certain manner.

"I am concerned that the nearly two million purchasers of the iPhone 4 may not have complete information about the quality of the product they have purchased," Schumer wrote. "The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device."

The solutions Apple has offered so far, including advising that users hold the device in a certain way or buy a cover for it, "seem to be insufficient," he wrote.

A spokesman for Schumer did not immediately return a request for comment about whether the senator uses the iPhone 4 or if he's received many complaints from constituents about it.

In the letter, Schumer also cited the discrepancy between Apple's explanation that the problem was a software issue and a Consumer Reports study that concluded the issue is based in a hardware flaw.

Apple has scheduled a press conference for Friday without disclosing the subject. Analysts are speculating that the company may reveal more information about the antenna issue and potentially offer users a fix, such as giving away a case for the phone that resolves the problem.

Tags steve jobsAppleapple iphoneconsumer electronicsiphone 4PhonesiPhonesmartphones

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service

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