The uproar over the iPhone 4's call reception, and Apple's suggestion that users slap cases around their new phones, has delayed shipments of the company's own "bumper" casings and driven up prices on eBay.

Reports of problems with call and data signal strength in the new iPhone 4 first surfaced last week, and they continued to gather momentum Wednesday as the technology site AnandTech published test results that quantified the signal loss, or attenuation, when the iPhone 4 is held in certain ways.

Last week, Apple acknowledged that holding the iPhone 4 might result in a diminished signal that could make it difficult to place and maintain calls or retain a data connection. Among the company's suggestions: Buy a case.

"Avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases," Apple said in a statement last Thursday.

Apple's recommendation may have resulted in the delivery delays the company itself is now reporting for its own "bumpers" -- strips of rubber and plastic that fit around the edges of the new iPhone.

According to Apple's online store, the basic black bumper ships in five to seven business days from the time it's ordered. Other colors -- Apple also sells iPhone bumpers in white, blue, green, orange and pink -- won't ship until July 16.

Savvy entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the bumper shortage to jack up prices on eBay, with some asking several times more than the $29.99 Apple charges.

Full story: Computerworld