Has Apple quietly redesigned the iPhone 4?

A report from tech site Gizmodo claims that Apple might have already made some minor tweaks to its iPhone 4 hardware in an effort to address two of the major issues that have troubled the device since its launch last month.

One user reports that a new iPhone 4 received as a replacement for a launch day model included two notable design changes seemingly designed to address both the signal loss problem and the widely reported issue with the phone’s proximity sensor:

When I got the new phone it was different. The black plastic bezel isn’t as black on the new one. I couldn’t see the proximity sensor at all on the previous iPhone 4, now I can. The stainless steel band on the new phone is less ‘steel-y’ and more matte. I’ve also tried to replicate the signal drop and failure. While I can’t say for sure that it is entirely fixed, there is certainly huge improvement. I’m guessing they coated the steel with something, took some black out of the bezel and sent them out without saying too much about it. I also think Apple is willing to warranty a phone for any reason except the signal issue.”

It’s important to note, though, that Gizmodo itself is less than convinced by the rumours and the report does for the time being appear to be isolated. But with talk of a possible hardware recall for the iPhone 4 refusing to go away, it wouldn’t be that big a surprise to see Apple make some minor tweaks to its troubled hardware.

If there is any truth to the rumour it asks a very major question – where does this leave current iPhone 4 owners?

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