Apple Inc.’s antenna design for the iPhone 4, the newest smartphone in its lineup, may be holding back sales of the device, according to a Piper Jaffray Cos. report released today.
Apple, the largest technology company by market value, may lose up to 20 percent of its potential sales in the U.S. because customers are concerned about the antenna design’s effect on signal strength, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis, said in the report.
His analysis is based on a Piper Jaffray survey of 258 mobile-phone users in Minneapolis last month. About two-thirds of the people surveyed said they were aware of the antenna design and 20 percent of those said it affected their decision to buy the phone.
The lost sales may cost Apple as much as 11 cents a share in the quarter ending this month, Munster said.
Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California- based Apple, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs held a news conference on July 16 and promised customers free phone cases in response to criticism that the iPhone 4 loses signal strength when held a certain way. The issue caused Consumer Reports magazine to withhold its recommendation for the phone.
Apple gained $5.99, or 2.3 percent, in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 12:41 p.m. New York time. The shares had advanced 22 percent this year before today.
Apple will sell about 11 million iPhones worldwide in the quarter that ends this month, Munster said. About 4.4 million of those will be sold in the U.S.