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  • Consumer Reports Pulls iPhone 4 Recommendation

    On Monday, Consumer Reports astonished many with a public announcement effectively withdrawing their recommendation of the iPhone 4 to potential Apple smartphone buyers. The reason given for the yanked support is the lingering reception problems and so-called death grip that continues to frustrate and confound as Apple purportedly readies a software update to attack what appears to many to be a hardware problem.

    Commenting on its official electronics blog, Consumer Reports indicates that it tested three iPhone 4s that were acquired at three different Apple retail outlets in the New York area. Tests were performed inside a controlled environment of a radio frequency isolation chamber. "In this room," the publication notes, "which is impervious to outside radio signals, our test engineers connected the phones to our base-station emulator, a device that simulates carrier cell towers. We also tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre. None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4."

    Taking a further (and deeper) jab at Apple:

    Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4's signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that 'mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.' The tests also indicate that AT&T's network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4's much-reported signal woes.
    Previously, Consumer Reports had offered glowing reviews and support for the iPhone 4. Claiming that there were no signal loss issues during the first round of testing, Consumer Reports simply stated that there is no good reason not to buy an iPhone 4. Now, that message has changed in dramatic fashion. "Apple needs to come up with a permanent -- and free -- fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4."

    Ever the resourceful consumer advocate, Consumer Reports did, however, propose one possible way of mitigating the epic reception trouble by using a wad of duct tape to fill the antenna gap located on the bottom of the device. "It works," observes the publication... although "it may not be pretty."

    Consumer Reports
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Consumer Reports Pulls iPhone 4 Recommendation started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 130 Comments
    1. tamaysz's Avatar
      tamaysz -
      I'm glad I never bought an iPhone 4 and that I'm sticking with my 3GS right now.

      Anytime something new comes out, it's always better to wait so any problems can get ironed out, instead of jumping the gun and chancing the possibility of being stuck with any issues.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Let me guess....... Consumer Reports testers were ALSO holding the phone wrong Mr. Jobs?

      Can't skate by on that excuse anymore now can you?
    1. MIKE DUB's Avatar
      MIKE DUB -
      Wowsers! All i can say that i have had no problems whatsoever with this so called deathgrip. Several of my buddies have the iphone 4 and cannot replicate the problem no matter how we hold it.

      By the way facetime is the best thing ever!! Got a facetime lapdance by some hot hot chick i met at a bar on saturday night. Hahahaha
    1. dykzebr's Avatar
      dykzebr -
      I see them getting this update released a little sooner than normal, and hopefully then, dev team releases their work..
    1. Hyperextension's Avatar
      Hyperextension -
      Keep settling for sub-par products and companies, not just Apple, will keep pushing them out the door and making money on them because people just keep buying them just to be cool or to be the first to have them.

      Take off your blinders people. There is a problem.

      Funny thing is, all these people who are saying they arent having problems and the iPhone 4 is great, would be some of the first people in line to swap them out if Apple ever offered it because there was a design flaw.

      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Let me guess....... Consumer Reports testers were ALSO holding the phone wrong Mr. Jobs?

      Can't skate by on that excuse anymore now can you?
      LOL...and the isolation chamber, wasn't isolated enough. AKA, not in the lab at Cupertino or Steve's back yard.
    1. zinjen's Avatar
      zinjen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hyperextension View Post
      Are you drunk!?? "based on location"?? What better location to test than an isolation chamber? If it is happening in there, where I am sure the signal is better than anywhere outside, it is sure to be happening.

      Apple has dropped the ball BIG TIME on this one and needs to fix it. Needing to hold the phone differently is a load of crap.
      Isolation Chamber or not people are finding different experiences with the iPhone 4 all over the world. So I feel confident saying a "Isolation Chamber" isn't necessarily 100% accurate.

      Not to mention the way you hold the phone makes a huge difference. When I hold it by the deathgrip it surely does drop signal to "0 bars" but to hold it that way feels awkward. Hold the middle (sides) of the phone and there is no issue.
    1. matistight@yahoo.com's Avatar
      I do not own an iPhone 4, but have messed around with one out of the apple/AT&T store and the signal drops but the persons case caused it to stay steady. But it is a real problem. Though if you are either dumb or like to show off your new gadgets, you'll let your glass-on-front-and-back $200+ phone exposed to everything like dust and sharp corners on tables hahah. Either way, a $5 or so case from eBay or $30 case from apple will be a good investment, unless it's a work supplied phone :P
    1. a.t.'s Avatar
      a.t. -
      i hate when you go on the apple site and it says nothing about this stuff. they act like everything is ok. i hate those bastards cause you never know when they have something up their sleeves. They just MIGHT make everything better...but we dont know squat.
    1. maxgsteinberg's Avatar
      maxgsteinberg -
      I live in boca raton fl and I went into the apple store the other day, I went to every single iPhone 4 on display which is about 30 and 27 of them all went to no signal when I held the phone normally like I do my current 3Gs. I asked an apple employee and he fully denied any "reception issuue" and I got asked to leave the store.

      If this were an "area" related problem I know the Miami tower is pushing 3g speed on my 3Gs I don't see why the ifail 4 still has this problem.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      The iphone4 that I ordered works perfect. No signal issues and no proximity issues. It has to be a bad batch of parts. Otherwise everyone would have these issues.
    1. ramicio's Avatar
      ramicio -
      I wonder if they knew about this and this is why field test is gone?
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      The cookie crumbles.

      One thing to realize is that as with previous iPhones, YOUR model may be ok, but THE model still has problems.
    1. lunercrab's Avatar
      lunercrab -
      I'm curious if people who recently bought phones recently from the newest production vs the first batch/preorders have the same issue as well. I really wanna jump on this phone but honestly I'm a bit worried. I'm hoping maybe the newere batch may be better?
    1. j3st3r's Avatar
      j3st3r -
      Quote Originally Posted by swehbe View Post
      I bought 2 unlocked iphone 4 in France, and to my surprise, one of them looses signal when i hold it with death grip and the other shows no effect at all...i find it very weird. Anyways i got bumpers for both, so if this is the only issue they could find, am good for now .
      same situation with me, bought 2 from the same AT&T store at the same time, I have had zero signal issues or dropped calls, my wife's on the other hand constantly drops calls and says either no sim or invalid sim
    1. stlroddddd's Avatar
      stlroddddd -
      my phone has the issue and it is a hardware issue. i don't have to use the death grip, if i put one finger on that bottom-left band the reception drops to no signal. i checked out ATT's other phones but they all suck so i got a case and took it like a man.
    1. smuthers66's Avatar
      smuthers66 -
      I say don't hold the phone while on a call keep it in the holster and use the headphones call will never drop. It's not like you would use the death grip for anything else
    1. vaughnhenry2's Avatar
      vaughnhenry2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by volcomc View Post
      Get a freaking bumper people and stop crying. The iPhone 4 is a tank!
      How about you send us all $29 for the rubberband
    1. therandy's Avatar
      therandy -
      Quote Originally Posted by geoffe View Post
      I have never had reception problems, in fact the clarity is way better than the 3G. My only complaint is the proximity sensor. That is getting tough to live with.
      My phone is fine on reception and proximity, but my fiancé had the proximity problem...we took it to an apple store and they gave her a new phone! Problem soled.

      Btw it was in Orlando FL, don't know of it differs from store to store.
    1. lorderick70's Avatar
      lorderick70 -
      Buy the bumper for 29.99 at any Apple store and you will be signal loss-free. I did and the problem was solved right away.