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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. rhart96's Avatar
      rhart96 -
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
      By the way, I believe apple iPhones in their store are full bars no matter what because I can't do death grip on any of them hahah. Nor can I master clear though :P
      Same here I went o my local apple store and tried to do the death grip and I couldnt get it to happen either
    1. Hyperextension's Avatar
      Hyperextension -
      Quote Originally Posted by lorderick70 View Post
      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.
      I cannot believe that you do not see anything fundamentally wrong with that. It baffles me and the longer this goes on the more insane people get and the more willing they are to shell out money to Apple to fix something that shouldn't need fixing.

      "here is your brand new car. It will get you where you need to go, but if you really want it to run good, you will need to purchased the keys from us for $29.99"
    1. rhart96's Avatar
      rhart96 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lorderick70 View Post
      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.
      No one wants to spend $30 for a rubber band
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by lorderick70 View Post
      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.
      oh I see. So we should all buy an accessory that should not be required to fix a problem that should not exist in the first place? Wow it all makes sense now.

      So let me pay Apple $30 to fix their mistake. Did anybody ever stop and think that maybe Apple did this intentionally so that they can make millions more in bumper sales profits? I'm starting to get that vibe. Oh they'll fix the problem.....eventually....maybe......but not before countless numbers have already bought a bumper to remedy the issue.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      As much as I like Apple, I am pessimistic about a software update fixing the death grip
    1. knguyen's Avatar
      knguyen -
      Quote Originally Posted by LSZ33 View Post
      It's not looking too good for Apple. They might want to fix this immediately and stop making excuses.
      You guys act like "fixing" something like this is easy. If this is a hardware issue, they need to re-design the device, test it, get it approved, and go through the whole production process. Keep in mind that it took them 3 years to design and produce the iPhone 4. It will take a lot less time to do a new revision, but still. This issue doesn't happen to everyone including me so "shrug" who knows.
    1. cdx454's Avatar
      cdx454 -
      I wish I had not sold my 3GS! I miss it, I'm getting fed up with this proximity censor.
    1. Magnum's Avatar
      Magnum -
      Quote Originally Posted by cdx454 View Post
      I wish I had not sold my 3GS! I miss it, I'm getting fed up with this proximity censor.
      Me too it's such a POS!
    1. D to the M's Avatar
      D to the M -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhart96 View Post
      No one wants to spend $30 for a rubber band
      Personally, and i stress personally, i didnt even hold my phone long enough to see if the deathgrip happened before i slapped my bumper on it. I like the look of the bumper with the metal accents.

      I put the bumper on it right out of the box. Although, i did test the deathgrip a while later and sure enough... it DID NOT HAPPEN. i couldn't replicate this issue and i was trying.

      I haven't had a dropped cal YET and i used to drop them all the time in my office.

      I'm not saying that the issue isnt prevalent and needs to be rectified.

      Do what an apple employee told me to do. Exchange it. Return it prior to your 30 days (WHICH has always been the policy) and wait for a new batch to come out.

      See if that work's and if you still don't like it. Don't keep it.

      It's like saying Man i really love this Toyota but those few cars had those defects..it must be all toyotas that do that. No. It's not all of them. (slightly exaggerated but still, you get my point)
    1. ctstiffler's Avatar
      ctstiffler -
      I honestly don't see the big deal in this. I have no problems with my i4 at all. No reception problems period! Yes the bars do drop when held a certain way but it does not affect my call it's self. If your to worried about what your bars look like while you on a call then maybe you shouldn't have a phone period. Bottom line, the bars do drop but how many of you have actually had that mess up your call. I don't think I'm the only lucky one either that doesn't have a problem with the bars and call s because I purchased two i4s for myself and my wife and neither one of us have had any problems.
    1. Hyperextension's Avatar
      Hyperextension -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bronxboy99 View Post
      Has anyone seen that comedian named Louis CK. He was on Conan a while ago and he said it beautifully! Check it out on YouTube: Everything is amazing and nobody is happy. I'm perfectly happy with my iPhone 4. It does everything I expect it to do. Look back 5 years and compare technology now. Yeah, it's not perfect but it's an awesome device, non the less.
      Louis CK is a very funny guy and to call the iPhone 4 amazing is a stretch, if it doesn't really work as a phone very well. I haven't touched one yet, but I am sure it is an amazing device. Just not a good phone.

      iPhone4. This changes everything. Again. Because we just found another great way to bend you over and suck the money out of your wallet.
    1. bcon1208's Avatar
      bcon1208 -
      Quote Originally Posted by volcomc View Post
      Get a freaking bumper people and stop crying. The iPhone 4 is a tank!
      Got a bumber..phone now doesn't fit in hardly any cases around. Plus the rubberized sides make it nearly impossible to slide into your pocket effectively. Basically I've just spent $30 (on top of the original $200!), just so that I can carry my phone around in my hand all the time....great...

      Also aside from the "death grip" that's killing my phone, any word of the sensor fix for the in call screen deactivation? I'm getting really freakin' tired of putting people on hold with my FACE!
    1. bzpilot's Avatar
      bzpilot -
      I'm happy for all of you who don't have issues showing with the iPhone 4. You are probably in a strong signal area and either don't travel much out of it or seem to spend all your time in these areas. But ...claiming there is no issue with the antenna design on this phone is WRONG!

      Apple should have seen this before distributing and selling any to the public. Then when they found the issue (which they have known about since at least one or two days after the launch, and probably some time before) they should have not told their customers they were wrong and the phone had no issues with the antenna!!!

      Approximately a 20db loss is unacceptable! Once Apple releases the software update with the "new formula" for displaying bars you will ALL see how much signal is lost holding the iPhone 4. Yes some in the strongest signal areas will still not lose calls, but I'm sure your internet speed will be severely degraded. How about when FaceTime becomes mainstream on the 3G network, how will you hold your phone then?!

      My guess is those who are currently claiming to have no issues and how much they love there current iPhone 4 will still be the first in line demanding a new one when Apple releases the iPhone 4B with antenna hardware redesign/fix!
    1. willieworks's Avatar
      willieworks -
      Hey everybody,

      Ever since I taped my SIMM, my reception is consistant. See post re "Possible fix for iPhone 4 reception problems"
    1. bcon1208's Avatar
      bcon1208 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ctstiffler View Post
      I honestly don't see the big deal in this. I have no problems with my i4 at all. No reception problems period! Yes the bars do drop when held a certain way but it does not affect my call it's self. If your to worried about what your bars look like while you on a call then maybe you shouldn't have a phone period. Bottom line, the bars do drop but how many of you have actually had that mess up your call. I don't think I'm the only lucky one either that doesn't have a problem with the bars and call s because I purchased two i4s for myself and my wife and neither one of us have had any problems.
      As soon as Apple reported the "bars not showing" right problem, I tested it. Deactivated my wifi and performed the "death grip" on my phone. I went from a full signal to nothing within about 15 seconds. Then I opened Safari and tried to load Google. After about two mins of loading, I got the message: "Safari could not load the page because you are not connected to the internet"....as soon as I released the left side and laid it on the table, hit "ok" to dismiss the message, Google INSTANTLY loaded...yea it's all visual Apple..BULL!
    1. Electrodaktylus's Avatar
      Electrodaktylus -
      But nobody handed me anything, I paid $ and signed a contract for this faulty gadget. Moron! Is just another product in the huge market of electronics. Apple is just a brand I don't give a **** about them, I just want the stuff that I pay for to work reliably.
    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      I think it's funny how ALL my friends with Droids complain about there phone but you never see that on the net !!!!
    1. bzpilot's Avatar
      bzpilot -
      Quote Originally Posted by willieworks View Post
      Hey everybody,

      Ever since I taped my SIMM, my reception is consistant. See post re "Possible fix for iPhone 4 reception problems"
      Yes, this has been one of many (i.e. proximity sensor) issues with the iPhone 4. The sim problem is unrelated to the antenna issue. Yes, it fixed that signal issue but if I was to guess you are also in a strong signal area and now that you have the sim issue fixed you are in the same boat as all those who can't see the antenna design issue because of the signal bars not currently displaying accurately what your actual signal is.

      Wait for the software update for signal bars displaying and you will also see your phone is affected by the antenna issue.
    1. stlcaddie's Avatar
      stlcaddie -
      in as workig fie util the othe day but they blamed it on att and said the car as not makin good contact. I seen att and everything seems ok. new sim card was installed, i also have a case even before the new sim card. i was getting robot sounds on my calls and then getting voicemails from people 10 mins later and my phone never rang. I alwasy have 4 or 5 bars and i live in st louis. It is what it is folks i still love my iPhone 4.

      my batteries ar ing i my keyboad, sorry fo speeling......LOL
    1. DarkDragonAn's Avatar
      DarkDragonAn -
      I love my iPhone 4, but I am loosing signal on the garage where I had full bar with my 3GS, now I get 2 or no bars.