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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. zinjen's Avatar
      zinjen -
      I have an iPhone 4 and I have yet to drop a call in the past 2 weeks I've had it. I'm not saying it's not happening to everyone else, but I believe some of this is based on location, and even more so the way people hold the phone. I rarely touch that left hand corner unless I'm trying to see if I loose bars on purpose.
    1. mlehrbaum's Avatar
      mlehrbaum -
      I love my iPhone 4.
    1. swehbe's Avatar
      swehbe -
      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 .
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      Can't wait to see how oh Stevy boy denies these claims. Idiot!
    1. volcomc's Avatar
      volcomc -
      Get a freaking bumper people and stop crying. The iPhone 4 is a tank!
    1. mlehrbaum's Avatar
      mlehrbaum -
      These are the type of people that if you handed them a million dollars they would complain that it wasn't in the correct order!
    1. BLADEofthePOPE's Avatar
      BLADEofthePOPE -
      Same here. Had mine day after launch. No dropped calls. I even get better signal in my apartment...which got horrible reception with my 3GS
    1. ricmoo2007's Avatar
      ricmoo2007 -
      Duct Tape! "It may not be pretty" Class! :0) definately sticking to my 3gs, but in all seriousness Apple need to at least give away free bumpers to all those affected, and put their hands up to design fault as it seems their software fix may well be a 'Disguise the problem only' fix!
    1. LSZ33's Avatar
      LSZ33 -
      It's not looking too good for Apple. They might want to fix this immediately and stop making excuses.
    1. geoffe's Avatar
      geoffe -
      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.
    1. cb22's Avatar
      cb22 -
      because your in AZ! try going to NY with your iPhone 4 !!! try going to the hood with it!!!! low or no signal... i bought mines in Tampa. Went back to NY and all hell broke loose on my phone!!!
    1. Sulfer's Avatar
      Sulfer -
      Quote Originally Posted by mlehrbaum View Post
      These are the type of people that if you handed them a million dollars they would complain that it wasn't in the correct order!
      Something not being up to someones standards is different then something sold to perform a function and not being able to do it like advertised.
    1. Chityuulay's Avatar
      Chityuulay -
      I have no signal in my house with iphone 4. i use micro-cell device i paid 150+ tax for it. I called ATT rep, they blamed it on apple right away, went to iphone store , they blamed on ATT before they even offer to help. I wonder how they doing business together.
    1. texan's Avatar
      texan -
      I see an update in the very near future...
    1. vegassteven's Avatar
      vegassteven -
      This is a pretty big deal.

      Any company that is as large as apple who cannot get a huge mainstream product like iPhone 4 recommended is facing a big uphill battle.

      Think of those who still rely on print media and the like for information. Consumer Reports is one of the oldest and most trusted resources out there for millions.

      Not good at all apple. Do something, get out of denial.

      My 3GS has no antenna issues but AT&T is a miserable network in las Vegas. Blaming software is akin to Toyota blaming floor mats for speeding automobiles. Simply damage control while they try and find a real fix.
    1. PWNsyst3m's Avatar
      PWNsyst3m -
      Yes, soon they will have to do something. Im waiting for this problem to be resolved before I jump on this boat. Plus jailbreak : ). Eventhough I always use cases im not comfortable with just covering up the problem.
    1. consultant's Avatar
      consultant -
      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 .
      Can you post the first section of serial and what works / what has a problem?
    1. Bronxboy99's Avatar
      Bronxboy99 -
      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.
    1. frail1's Avatar
      frail1 -
      i love how everyone just say's "just use the bumper and quit complaining". i wouldn't use the bumper if it was free, i bought the iphone 4 partly for how it looks right out of the box, i don't want that ugly bumper on my phone. the signal loss hasn't really been too big of an issue so far for me, but there is no way i'm using that stupid bumper. that's like buying a ferrari and putting one of those bumper bra things on it.
    1. Hyperextension's Avatar
      Hyperextension -
      Quote Originally Posted by zinjen View Post
      I have an iPhone 4 and I have yet to drop a call in the past 2 weeks I've had it. I'm not saying it's not happening to everyone else, but I believe some of this is based on location, and even more so the way people hold the phone. I rarely touch that left hand corner unless I'm trying to see if I loose bars on purpose.
      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.