Consumer Reports Declines to Recommend iPhone 4

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Consumer Reports has conducted controlled laboratory testing on three iPhone 4s, purchased at separate locations. The results indicate that a hardware flaw can affect reception. Even though there are some workarounds, the publication can’t recommend the new iPhone.

The testing, conducted in CU’s independent radio frequency isolation chamber confirmed that there is a problem with the iPhone 4’s reception.

“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. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.”

Consumer Reports also tested several other AT&T phones, including the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre. “None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.”

The findings are comprehensive and answer many of the outstanding questions about the iPhone 4’s reception issues. The findings raise questions about Apple’s explanation that the software mistakenly shows more bars than it should as the complete solution. Also, the findings suggest that the AT&T network is not the culprit.

Several workarounds were found. One is to cover the antenna gap on the left side with a piece of tape. CU also suspects that using a case would help, and is currently conducting tests with a plan to report further.

The Consumer Reports findings will almost certainly be used as technical evidence in any class action lawsuit related to this new iPhone’s reception issues and detracts from Apple’s recent explanation that it’s all just a software calibration issue.

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It’s what I’ve been waiting for. Someone with proper laboratory tools and a reputation for unbiased research to do a proper test. (e.g not an Apple test, nor a test via youtube video from someone in their dorm.) This is good data and the video clearly shows that there’s a problem and that though the issue is similar to what happens on other phones it is more severe with the iP4. It will be interesting to see what happens when CR retests the iP4 after Apple’s fix and with various cases.


My iP4 is on the delivery truck, I should have it very shortly. I’m curious to see if it has issues. I’ve gotten to use friends models and although the bars do decline if squeezed in the hand, none had actually lost calls due to it. And I still tell anybody and everybody, PUT A CASE ON IT. The thing is 90% glass on the outside. It’s gonna break if you drop it. Period. The case also helps with the antenna issue because the palm sweat does not complete the circuit and cause the declining bars.


Buying a new iPhone 4 is analogous to buying a new Kayak. You would think the Kayak would come with a new paddle to help propel you through the water. Nope, thats a separate purchase. You would think the iPhone 4 would come with a case to deal with real world signal issues. Nope, thats a separate purchase. At least with the Kayak you might have an old paddle laying around that might work. Good luck finding an old case that might fit your new iPhone 4. If a case is required what was the reasoning behind a gorgeous stainless steel band?

not fooled

Consumer Reports has absolutely zero credibility.

I’d rather read tech reviews from the National Enquirer.


oh, bad for apple, seems the signal-loss problems influence much more.
Have to say iPhone is different from iPad, ipad is a new products, iPhone, as many fans see as upgrading. The iPad is hot than iphone and more continuous demand. iPad is the totally freshman, you can get its new column or sites for it, such as iFunia iPad column.


iPad is the totally freshman,

True and as such it will get a bit of a pass on any bugs. “After all it is the first one.” But the iPhone, that’s mature. The market is much less tolerant of screw-ups on a product that’s been on the market for a while.

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