The iPhone 4 has taken quite a beating since it was released last month. The antenna problems have plagued the device for nearly 3 weeks now. So should Apple treat the device like Microsoft did Windows Vista? Lawrence Ratif of PC World thinks so.

The iPhone 4 is now tainted in the consumer’s eyes. It’s no longer a triumph of form and function, but rather a crippled device that requires protective headgear to work properly.

We could debate the merits of the iPhone 4’s antenna design all day, but that’s beside the point. Perception is reality here, and the public now views Apple’s latest offering as The Phone That Drops Calls.

Despite the fact that the device has sold well, I’m imagining many more people would’ve purchased an iPhone 4 had it not been for the antenna news. A free case isn’t going to be enough. When people spend hundreds of dollars on a smartphone, they want it to work with or without a case.