Apple has revealed it will host a press conference at 6pm on Friday (BST), which is expected to cover the antenna issues plaguing the company's iPhone 4.

Apple, which has faced critisicm from both mobile phone users and industry analysts over how the problem has been handled, refused to provide details of the event but the iPhone 4 appears to be the most likely topic. Soon after the handset was launched in June, users began complaining of problems with signal strength and even cropped calls if the handset was held by its lower left side.

At the beginning on this month, Apple published an open letter saying there was a problem with how the signal bars are calculated by the handset.

However, Consumer Reports tested the phone and confirmed the antenna issues. Apple was dealt a further blow when Consumer Report said it would not recommend the smartphone.

"It seems there has been a real crisis of leadership here," Patrick Kereley, senior digital strategist for Levick Strategic Communications told the BBC.

"There are so many conflicting reports about this issue and a lot of confusion in the marketplace. They need a plan of attack. Today's companies have to react quickly before chatter on Facebook or Twitter turns into news headlines as is the case here."

There have been calls for the iPhone 4 to be recalled. However, analysts believe this would cost in the region of $1.5bn, compared to the $180m Apple would have to fork out to issue iPhone 4 owners with a rubber bumper, which Consumer Reports says will improve signal strength.

20 things Steve Jobs might say at the iPhone 4 press conference

See also: Apple iPhone 4 stocks low already