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Monday, July 12, 2010

Consumer Reports 'says' no to iPhone

Confirming a problem that many iPhone 4 owners have reported, Consumer Reports is putting the smartphone on its “not recommended” list.

Remember that problem with the iPhone 4’s antenna that surfaced not long after the device landed in consumers’ hands?

(image courtesy of

It seems that despite Apple’s acknowledgement of the problem and later promises to issue a software update, Consumer Reports has decided it represents a serious flaw in the device’s design. So much so that they have added Apple’s latest smartphone to its “not recommended” list.

According to CR’s blog, the design of the antenna is such that:

“[if you cover a portion of it with your hand] the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal.”

This report doesn’t bring any new facts to the table, but it is one of the first third-party tests to establish beyond any doubt what many users of the phone have been saying for weeks. Apple’s previous model, the iPhone 3GS, remains by contrast one of Consumer Reports’ recommended phones.

Beyond the actual antenna problem, CR also takes Apple to task over its explanation of the issue as an “optical illusion”:

“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 big questions raised by today’s announcement are: Will this influence people’s decision to buy the iPhone 4 – especially since the device has yet to debut in the Canadian market? and… Will having such a bold condemnation of their device by a respected publication like CR cause Apple to consider a recall and subsequent redesign of their antenna?

Readers, where do you stand?



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