The iPhone 4 antenna issue is becoming a big problem for Apple. Not that it wasn’t before, but at least until then, this wasn’t an “advertised” issue. With Consumer Reports saying yesterday they do not recommend the iPhone 4, the antenna problem has been brought to the mainstream.

Until today, Apple’s stance had been pretty clear: “YOU create the antenna issue. The hardware is fine, you just don’t know how to hold your iPhone.” But can they maintain this? While fanboys easily drink the Apple Kool Aid, I doubt the average person will…

Crisis Communication expert Pr. Matthew Seeger tells Cult Of Mac:

Apple will be forced to do a recall of this product. It’s critically important. The brand image is the most important thing Apple has. This is potentially devastating.

A recall on several millions iPhone? Ouch! It’s going to cost them a lot… Seeing how Apple lost 9 billion dollars in market capitalization today on the stock market in the wake of what TechCrunch call the “Antennagate”, a recall might reveal more “cost effective”. Doing the right thing might prevent Apple from losing more money and stain their brand forever.

At this point, I think Apple only has 3 options.

I doubt Apple will do a recall of the iPhone 4. A recall means they will fix the issue and so far, they don’t know how to. So let’s assume they recall your iPhone. What are they going to do with it? Put some tape around it? No. There is no fix but removing the antenna and sticking it back inside the device, but we know this isn’t an option as there is no room for it inside.

The other thing Apple can do is to offer a free Bumper to every iPhone 4 owner. This will cost them a couple dollars per iPhone, which I assume is the production cost of one Bumper. Even if Apple has to give away 100 million Bumpers, it’s still much better than what it’s losing right now on the stock market… Sure the Bumper won’t fix the antenna death grip, but at least it will appease angry or frustrated customers.

Finally, Apple’s last option is to keep silent as it usually does, hoping people will be tired of trashing the iPhone 4, and see it as what it really is: the best communication device out there.

What do you think Apple will do? Will they acknowledge their mistakes and come clean? Or will they stay mute?