Hmm… Apple posted jobs for “Antenna Engineers” just ahead of iPhone 4 launch

Apple, whose handling of the iPhone-southpaw-antenna debacle has been less than stellar, has been the subject of louder backlash today for having posted on tech recruiting sites seeking “Antenna Engineers” for the iPhone just ahead of the device’s launch on June 24th.

On June 23rd, Apple posted eight listings seeking people who will, according to Techi, be required to “(take) performance radiation performance measurements, create test plans, execute them, publish test reports, provide feedback to the other design engineers, and lead some of the manufacturing of antenna.” While in and of itself, the postings aren’t that interesting, in light of widespread complaints about the phone’s signal issues, it bolsters the idea that Apple knowingly sold consumers a dodgy phone with a large price tag. (You also have to imagine that at least some of the people who stood in line in the sweltering, disgusting NYC heat were lefties.)

Yesterday, Boy Genius Report leaked a document instructing AppleCare reps on how to handle customers who are a tad cheesed off that they cannot use their expensive phones to make phone calls, and it seems that they are continuing to not acknowledge the problem properly even though there’s now corporate protocol for it. Those $30 bumpers? You’re not getting a free one for your magical non-phone-call making phone:

1. Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy – your tone when delivering this information is important.

a. The iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4’s overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS.

b. Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world.

c. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand.

d. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band.

e. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.

2. Do not perform warranty service. Use the positioning above for any customer questions or concerns.

3. Don’t forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band.

4. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it.

5. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers.