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Weekly high-tech hot topics in the blogs: iPhone 4 antenna issues, Windows 7 Phone, slates

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending July 16 include discussion about why Consumer Reports doesn't recommend the iPhone 4, the release of iOS4, Apple's last-minute press conference, Windows 7 Phone developers' tools, and talk about forthcoming tablet and slate devices.

Consumer Reports doesn't recommend iPhone 4
Bloggers have spent the latter part of the week discussing whether Apple will or will not recall its iPhone 4. A report by respected ratings and recommendations organization, Consumer Reports, added further fuel to the fire when they announced "Consumer Reports can't recommend the iPhone 4," despite giving it the highest score in their latest smartphone ratings.

iOS 4.1
Apple released the next version of the iPhone software, an update that would, according to the company, fix the "simple and surprising" reason for the iPhone 4's antenna problems. But as many analysts and bloggers previously suspected, the software did not fix the root of the "death grip" antenna issue. iOS 4.1 did, however, fix the existing signal strength display error as well as providing an option to turn off the spell checker, new parental controls and new modem firmware.

Apple press conference
Apple announced it would hold a (last-minute) press conference on Friday July 16 to discuss the iPhone 4. The company has been tight-lipped about the nature of the press conference but many believe Apple will use it as forum to discuss the growing controversy over the iPhone 4's antenna problems. While Apple may announce a major iPhone 4 recall, most technology insiders and analysts believe the company will opt to soothe unhappy customers with a free "bumper" case, a gift voucher, or may even announce a solution that would involve coating the phones with a thin insulating coating.

Talk of forthcoming slates and tablets
During Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly told attendees to "expect new Windows 7 slates before the end of this year." According to reports, Microsoft will work alongside current partners such as Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony to develop a range of different Windows 7 slate-like devices. An industry analyst provided further details about Research In Motion's rumored BlackBerry tablet saying it would be a 7-inch device with front- and back- facing cameras and would more than likely hit stores before the end of the year.

Windows 7 Phone
Microsoft released developer tools for Windows Phone 7 this week in the lead-up to its release later this year. The company previewed many of the mobile operating system's features during its Worldwide Partner Conference highlighting services such as remote wipe, "Find My Phone," and over-the-air syncing.