Consumer Reports 'Can't Recommend' iPhone 4 Due to Signal Issues

callmemike20

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 21, 2007
855
3
USA
Although I am, along with many others, very happy with my iPhone 4, Consumer Reports can't recommend it.

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2010/07/apple-iphone-4-antenna-issue-iphone4-problems-dropped-calls-lab-test-confirmed-problem-issues-signal-strength-att-network-gsm.html

It's official. Consumer Reports' engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its 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.

We reached this conclusion after testing all three of our iPhone 4s (purchased at three separate retailers in the New York area) in the controlled environment of CU's radio frequency (RF) isolation chamber. In this room, 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 (see video: IPhone 4 Design Defect Confirmed). We also tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre. None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.

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.

We did, however, find an affordable solution for suffering iPhone 4 users: Cover the antenna gap with a piece of duct tape or another thick, non-conductive material. It may not be pretty, but it works. We also expect that using a case would remedy the problem. We'll test a few cases this week and report back.

The signal problem is the reason that we did not cite the iPhone 4 as a "recommended" model, even though its score in our other tests placed it atop the latest Ratings of smart phones that were released today.

The iPhone scored high, in part because it sports the sharpest display and best video camera we've seen on any phone, and even outshines its high-scoring predecessors with improved battery life and such new features as a front-facing camera for video chats and a built-in gyroscope that turns the phone into a super-responsive game controller. But Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4.

If you want an iPhone that works well without a masking-tape fix, we continue to recommend an older model, the 3G S. (The full list of recommended smart phones models appears as part of our latest Ratings, available to subscribers.)

—Mike Gikas
Many people follow this magazine religiously and this bad news can really hurt Apple even more.
 

TruckdriverSean

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2009
662
4
Texas, US
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

Well what do ya know?

Maybe we'll see those "free bumper" vouchers BEFORE we're all old and gray!
 

xenuprime

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2008
284
0
I really don't see how anyone could beleive it was software in the first place, but it is good to have it confirmed by these guys.
 

r3voLoL

macrumors member
May 12, 2010
94
0
Bet we see some updates pushed out in the next week or two. (I know they won't fix it, but they have to "attempt" something and save their stock.)
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,897
1,125
Washington DC
The endless complaining on this site for the past 2 weeks mean very little.

THIS is when things get interesting. Should be fun to see what happens now!
 

Sherifftruman

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2010
484
9
Well, this should help push them to fix it. Lots of people will absolutely not buy something if it is on CR not recommended list. No matter what.

Now, CR will test whatever "fix" apple does and they will probably be busted if it is a simple remapping of the bars to the signal.
 

callmemike20

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 21, 2007
855
3
USA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

Well what do ya know?

Maybe we'll see those "free bumper" vouchers BEFORE we're all old and gray!
I sure hope it's sooner than that. I purchased a bumper on launch day, so a refund would be all I need.

I could see Steve giving all buyers a $100 apple gift card or something to buy a case and something else for all our trouble.
 

ARF900

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2009
1,119
0
I sure hope it's sooner than that. I purchased a bumper on launch day, so a refund would be all I need.

I could see Steve giving all buyers a $100 apple gift card or something to buy a case and something else for all our trouble.
That would be $200 million dollars, guess again. :D
 

rwilliams

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,597
689
Raleigh, NC
I really don't see how anyone could beleive it was software in the first place, but it is good to have it confirmed by these guys.
Because Apple told them it was software.

What's Apple going to do when people discover that their iOS update doesn't remedy the problem? How long will they keep denying this? At this point, just own up to it and give everyone a free bumper.
 

callmemike20

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 21, 2007
855
3
USA
Do you guys seriously think that stocks drop because of a...."consumer report"
When a certain product controls most of a company's revenue, and people see bad news about that product, you can be damned certain that the stock will drop.

It may be a small drop over a few days, then it may bounce back. But, bad news causes a stock to drop at least for a short period.

It's down about $4 from it's day high.
 

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
46,437
8,793
Consumer Reports 'Can't Recommend' iPhone 4 Due to Signal Issues



Earlier this month, popular product review and comparison group Consumer Reports noted that it felt that signal issues with the iPhone 4 were not significant enough for users to forgo buying the device, citing overall improvement in signal strength and the fact that many phones experience the same issue.
There's no reason, at least yet, to forgo buying an iPhone 4 over its reception concerns. And even if those do materialize, Apple's Steve Jobs helpfully reminds new iPhone buyers that "you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund."
Just one day later, however, Consumer Reports confirmed that it had been able to duplicate the signal loss issue in real-life settings, something it wasn't able to do in its testing center.

Today, as part of its smartphone ratings, Consumer Reports officially reports that it is unable to offer a "recommended" label for the iPhone 4, despite the fact that the device's feature set placed it at the top of the magazine's rankings.
It's official. Consumer Reports' engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its 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.
The magazine confirmed the signal loss issue in its testing laboratories while also finding no comparable loss in other smartphones, including the iPhone 3GS, suggesting that Apple's claim that the problem is simply a software display issue may not be true. The magazine also confirmed that duct tape placed over the affected portion of the case alleviates the issue, as should also be the case with cases and bumpers.

Consequently, Consumer Reports notes that it is unable to recommend the iPhone 4 until Apple comes up with a permanent and free fix for the signal issues.

Article Link: Consumer Reports 'Can't Recommend' iPhone 4 Due to Signal Issues
 

iae610

macrumors member
Jul 4, 2010
74
0
Texas
Yes, but if it does, it will be a small one-two day dip (depending on how the media handles this news).
Correct. As an apple stock holder Im not worried about the issue. People need to just get case, you can benefit in so many ways. Now I do think they should be giving the bumper away for free but whatever. It really isn't a big deal
 

rotobadger

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2007
1,272
158
Correct. As an apple stock holder Im not worried about the issue. People need to just get case, you can benefit in so many ways. Now I do think they should be giving the bumper away for free but whatever. It really isn't a big deal
While I agree that getting a case can minimize or eliminate the issue (I got a case) the non-geek public (which is probably the majority of iPhone buyers) will not care. All they will hear is that it has problems and is not recommended by Consumer Reports.
 

Pentad

macrumors 6502a
Nov 26, 2003
985
94
Indiana
Ouch!

I hope Apple does something to turn this around before it become anymore of a PR disaster...

Let me help you Steve:

1. Fix connection issue with recall
2. Investigate iPhone 4 catching fire from last week.

Thank you!