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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. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      Quote Originally Posted by trek-life View Post
      Fair enough, my statement is not to step on those who want and DESERVE quality in what they purchase, it more or less speaks to those that are completely trashing a product that they simply can return and go elsewhere. It just gets old.

      I COMPLETELY agree with you on the proximaty sensor. I often use bluetooth so I don't deal with it as much but i've muted a few calls on accident. However, its silly to suggest that someone go out and buy another product to solve their initial product issues (i.e. a bumper, bluetooth, peice of tape)

      It should work out of the box the way YOU want it to, if it doesn't, return it and get something that does.
      indeed.

      but I gotta tell you...it's very hard to consider giving up a true unlimited plan. those things are rare these days. in fact, only Sprint (Evo 4G) offers unlimited data plans for new contracts. if I were to transfer my number to say...Sprint...then want to come back to AT&T, I've got to live with data caps for the forseeable future.

      as someone who likes to tether...that's a non-starter. lol.

      idk what to do, guys. I really just wanted the iPhone 4 to work for a bunch of reasons. My car has an iDevice port built-in and interfaces perfectly with the nav screen. my home stereo receiver has an iDevice dock. my data plan is something to kill for because you can't get them anymore. i have lots of apps that work great with the iPhone 4. but these problems are real and can't be hidden.

      the proximity sensor being the worst of offenders.
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      It's a matter of principle and Steve Jobs has very few when it comes to something being wrong with one of Apples products! It's why it took so long to get copy/paste, backgrounding, etc. He's an *** and wont let his folks fix a serious issue with "his" product.
    1. fletch713's Avatar
      fletch713 -
      I can't believe all you apple haters complaining about the iphone 4! It works great for me, maybe because I have a case around it. Oh, and I also hang it around my neck on a lanyard and make sure to never touch it during a phone call. If I do touch it, I put my gloves on first, and then only hold it by my index finger and thumb in the upper half inch of the phone. So STFU apple haters, I love my new sparkly toy. I named her Mary Ann.

      And to anyone that thinks the US Congress is dysfunctional, STFU and move to Russia, you commie pinkos. And if you think chocolate ice cream tastes better than vanilla ice cream...STFU you sweet tooth fairies. Go eat your chocolate gelato in Italy, Karl Marx.

      I can't wait until everyone thinks and acts like I do and doesn't complain about anything. Then it'll be like the good 'ol days.
    1. redcard's Avatar
      redcard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Who_Dat View Post
      For every person that's having real issues, there's 5 apple fanboys and fangirls that jump in and defend apple. If you're not having issues then STFU! U would buy a dog turd if it had the apple logo on it!!!! We just want the device that we paid for, and for it to work the way apple said it would.
      So you have an Iphone, it doesn't work, and you let Apple keep your money? But you're not the fanboy, everyone else is?

      Wow. That is just ridiculous. Get your money back, fool. Jobs is laughing his tits off at people like you giving him money for stuff that doesn't work

      Quote Originally Posted by fletch713 View Post
      I can't believe all you apple haters complaining about the iphone 4! It works great for me, maybe because I have a case around it. Oh, and I also hang it around my neck on a lanyard and make sure to never touch it during a phone call. If I do touch it, I put my gloves on first, and then only hold it by my index finger and thumb in the upper half inch of the phone. So STFU apple haters, I love my new sparkly toy. I named her Mary Ann.

      And to anyone that thinks the US Congress is dysfunctional, STFU and move to Russia, you commie pinkos. And if you think chocolate ice cream tastes better than vanilla ice cream...STFU you sweet tooth fairies. Go eat your chocolate gelato in Italy, Karl Marx.

      I can't wait until everyone thinks and acts like I do and doesn't complain about anything. Then it'll be like the good 'ol days.
      People like to complain. They have nothing else to do, so criticising or complaining gives them something to live for, it makes their lives seem worthwhile for a few moments.

      Everyone's a critic on the internet
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Quote Originally Posted by redcard View Post
      so you have an iphone, it doesn't work, and you let apple keep your money? But you're not the fanboy, everyone else is?

      Wow. That is just ridiculous. Get your money back, fool. Jobs is laughing his tits off at people like you giving him money for stuff that doesn't work



      people like to complain. They have nothing else to do, so criticising or complaining gives them something to live for, it makes their lives seem worthwhile for a few moments.

      Everyone's a critic on the internet
      ^^^^^^^truth^^^^^^^^^^^^
    1. barryson77's Avatar
      barryson77 -
      Ok its enuff,this **** is gettin too much,if u dont like ur iphone 4sell it, alot of pople would luv to buy it including me with gud price n stop naggin like a biatch, about death grip,death **** or wutever they call it
    1. Darrius777's Avatar
      Darrius777 -
      I hope this puts the pressure on Apple to fix this problem. Sure a bumper will fix it, but we shouldn't "need" a bumper for the phone to work right.
    1. ramicio's Avatar
      ramicio -
      If I knew someone that was going to return their phone because of this issue and didn't want to use a case I would offer them more than retail for the phone and just buy a band. I'm sick of waiting!
    1. mike370773's Avatar
      mike370773 -
      People, i understand the antenna issue and all but it can be easily conquered by just GETTING A CASE FOR YOUR PHONE!!!

      iPhone 4 by itself = shady signal when held wrong.
      iPhone w/ $2.99 Ebay iPhone 4 case = HAVEN'T HAD PROBLEM SINCE!!!


      You people are so hard up on this antenna issue. Quit your crying and just get a case.

      I'll even give you the link if you need proof

      BLACK FLEXISHIELD HARD CASE FOR APPLE IPHONE 4G OS 4 - eBay (item 390212965182 end time Jul-24-10 01:36:42 PDT)
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      cant wait for the white iphone 4s to be released that way i can get my death grip on lol
    1. Treeml's Avatar
      Treeml -
      I think the point is mike370773; the phone isn't exactly cheap, it should work out of the box without you having to go buy a case (albeit a cheap one in your case) to make if function as it should. The onus of this problem must lie with Apple, not the consumer. Besides who wants to cheapen the look of such a beautiful device with a ****** case or even a crappy Apple bumper?
    1. rkswat's Avatar
      rkswat -
      Quote Originally Posted by Who_Dat View Post
      For every person that's having real issues, there's 5 apple fanboys and fangirls that jump in and defend apple. If you're not having issues then STFU! U would buy a dog turd if it had the apple logo on it!!!! We just want the device that we paid for, and for it to work the way apple said it would.
      Wow, you're so hardcore!!
      I will defend apple and say not all i-4's have the issue because many of us have no issue at all. So this leads me to believe that there are bad runs of the phone. I won't defend them in how they are dealing with the issue however. Their response has been stupid to say the least. In the minimum they should hand every person that is having the issue a free bumper. Then replace the devices no questions asked for a new device. Sure they'll take a hit related to the number of phones going to replacement but those waiting for an i will certainly keep waiting for the most part IMHO.
      I will however remind you all that you can return your phone for 100% of your $ back. I know you want a working device but why put up with it if it's not working for you?
    1. mike370773's Avatar
      mike370773 -
      I don't find that to be a ****** case at all and i if weren't mistaken i would think you're attempting to **** on my post. You must be one of the people crying about the antenna. As far as the case, it's actually quite nice when on the phone. The sides slightly textured for better handling. I'm an Apple fan for life, i love the iPhone 4 and I saved myself the agony of a damn ulcer and dealt with the issue with a case. ergo, no signal issue, no problem.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      haha. That's suck.
    1. prgeno's Avatar
      prgeno -
      Quote Originally Posted by trek-life View Post
      The same way that most people having issue are qualifying theirs. Though I realize my math may be a bit off. Based on the amount of returns. It may be more like 5.8 of every 6

      Where are you getting the data about the number of returns?

      I'm sorry, but I still have to question your numbers (5 of 6, or 5.8 of 6), since you have provided no data to back it up. Especially when respected testing facilities such as Consumer Reports and investigative web sites such as Engadget, have found 100% of every iPhone 4 they have tested to have the issue. If you're counting at home, that would be the equivalent of 6 of 6 HAVING the problem.

      That is not to mention the problem I find to be even more troublesome, the flawed implementation of the proximity sensor.

      I hesitate to mention my testing, while questioning you're unsubstantiated data, but here goes. Since I really wanted one to replace my aging iPhone 3G, I have done my own unscientific testing at 2 AT&T stores, and 1 Apple store. I tested a total of eight iPhone 4 devices and every single one of them had both flaws.

      Should people just STFU about all problems or just this one? What about the sim card shorting problem, or the burning charging connectors, or the yellow tinted spots on some screens? Would Apple respond to any issues if they were not raised by users who have reasonable expectations that their premium device actually did it's primary function, making a phone call, at least as well as a free give away cell phone?

      All in all, this appears to be Apples most successful initial sales launch. While at the same time it seems to be their most flawed product launch in recent memory. Can Apples be looking at it's version of Windows Vista?

      It will be interesting to see the long term effects these very real problems, and Apples very weak response, has on future sales and their sterling reputation. I suspect there are enough Apple fans that eat up anything Mr. Jobs serves up, that the effect will be negligible. But we'll have to wait and see.
    1. swehbe's Avatar
      swehbe -
      Quote Originally Posted by texan View Post
      I see an update in the very near future...
      After the release of the jailbreak
    1. Cokeman's Avatar
      Cokeman -
      It truly amazes me how many people will go spend more money to cover up a serious flaw in a device, just cause Apple made it. If this reception problem was found on any other manufacture's device. The people that covered it up for Apple would ***** their ***** off.
      I've never had a case on any cellphone I've ever owned. Not going to start now just cause Apple can't get their **** straight.
      So stop ******** about us ********. Sure we can return it, but why should we. Apple owes it to the consumer to fix it plain and simple. Apple can't afford to ignore this.
    1. Eagleye's Avatar
      Eagleye -
      Ive noticed my 3GS dropping a lot of calls lately in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago... and sometimes having full bars + 3G and not being able to make calls or activate the cellular data network. Maybe it is AT&T?
    1. pldtboy's Avatar
      pldtboy -
      Apple should issue a massive recall on all faulty Iphone4.
    1. badass1469's Avatar
      badass1469 -
      Quote Originally Posted by volcomc View Post
      Get a freaking bumper people and stop crying. The iPhone 4 is a tank!
      **** that sh1t, why should i have to spend extra money because of apples mistakes, unlike you i actually use my brain.