Shares of Apple Inc. slid more than 4 percent yesterday after a poor review for its iPhone 4 from an influential consumer guide underpinned mounting complaints about the hot-selling device’s reception and spurred speculation about a product recall.

Analysts thought a recall unlikely but said the world’s most valuable tech company needs need to move quickly to avert longer-term damage to its widely respected brand, which allows it to charge a premium for products like the iPad and iPod. The stock should recover today, some said.

Consumer Reports said Monday it could not recommend the iPhone 4 — which sold 1.7 million units worldwide in its first three days — after its tests confirmed concerns about signal loss when the device is held in a certain way.


That report spurred widespread discussion yesterday, including on popular tech site Cnet and multiple blogs, about the possibility of an iPhone 4 recall: an unheard-of event for a company lauded by investors and tech aficionados for its marketing savvy and product quality.

Apple, which has called the iPhone 4’s June debut its most successful product launch ever, has not responded to the widely watched nonprofit organization’s report or to the recall talk.

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