Public relations experts are in unison when they say Apple will be forced to recall the dodgy iPhone 4 following bad press, customer unrest, and the recent, damning Consumer Reports test.

For those living under a rock, many iPhone 4 users find their wi-fi connection and mobile phone signal severely deteriorating when the bottom-left corner of the device is covered by the user’s hand.

‘Fixes’ include using a case, slapping on one of Apple’s bumpers or even sticking a piece of duct tape over the problem area, to avoid contact between the antenna and hand.

Cult of Mac has assembled a collection of quotes from PR and crisis management experts, all signalling an inevitable recall of the device by Apple.

Crisis communications expert Professor Matthew Seeger said “Apple will be forced to do a recall of this product, the brand image is the most important thing Apple has. This is potentially devastating.”

“You acknowledge it; you address it; you deal with it,” said former Clinton White House ‘Master of Disaster’ Chris Lehane. “Apple must protect its brand image, its crown jewels, at all cost. Apple has enormous consumer loyalty but it depends on whether people believe it’s credible.”

Apple was forthcoming and chatty when the problem first appeared, immediately after the phone launched. Recently, however, Steve Jobs has kept his trap shut.

The company’s next move is critical, be it as drastic as a full product recall or something akin to Nintendo’s handling of the broken TV Wii debacle (Nintendo issued all customers with free wrist straps and rubber remote housings) by offering free bumpers to all.