Consumer Reports: Bumper Case Fixes iPhone 4 Antenna Issue

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.”