Consumer Reports: Bumper Case Fixes iPhone 4 Antenna Issue

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Consumer Reports said it couldn’t recommend the iPhone 4 because of antenna-related signal loss issues, and now the company is following up that study with a report that confirms Apple’s own Bumper case fixes the problem.

In its original study, Consumer Reports stated “”When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side — an easy thing, especially for lefties — the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal.”

The group’s tests with Apple’s bumper case installed on an iPhone 4, however, showed very different results.

“With the Bumper fitted, we repeated the test procedure, placing a finger on the Bumper at the point at which it covers the gap below,” the new study said. “The result was a negligible drop in signal strength — so slight that it would not have any effect, in our judgment.”

Consumer Reports’ announcement comes a day ahead of Apple’s hastily called iPhone 4-related press conference on Friday. Apple hasn’t said what will be discussed at the event, but there has been speculation that the antenna issue will be adressed, and that the company may offer customers free Bumper cases, too.

“The Bumper solves the signal-strength problem. So does a piece of duct tape, as we reported earlier, or just being careful how you hold the phone,” Consumer Reports said. “But these options all put the onus on consumers to solve or pay for a fix. We’re still calling on Apple to provide an acceptable free solution to the iPhone 4’s signal-loss problem.”

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4 Comments

geoduck

This is why they like Consumer Reports
They make an effort to do empirical research (they are not perfect but they’re better than most and certainly a lot more reliable than bloggers reports and amateur youtube videos.).
They follow up. If they test a product and it fails and the mfg says the problem has been fixed they will go back and test it again.
In this case they ran their test, confirmed the problem, and compared it to other similar phones. Now they are revisiting the test with one of the popular fixes.
They’re not perfect but they make a serious effort to do the test right, without bias, document what they’ve done and and they will repeat as necessary. I know there are those that criticize CR, and I’ve criticized them in the past for particular tests. But on the whole I respect what they do.

RobertMac

Free, that’s what we need!

I was so dreading the cost of a half inch of duct tape.

Lee Dronick

I was so dreading the cost of a half inch of duct tape.

Duct tape would eventually make a mess with the adhesive leaking oozing out. Better to get a case or least the gastric band that Apple offers.

CudaBoy

Yeah, I’m sure Mr. Ives loves the “duct tape school of industrial design”.
If it quacks like a “duct”.....
s’cuse me, I have to get back to defacing my phone, d:)

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