Print 111 comment(s) - last by jasonball365.. on Jul 15 at 1:24 PM

Consumer Reports points to reception issues

The body blows just keep coming for Apple and its iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 was unveiled to much fanfare at beginning of June, but once customers started receiving their phones, problems began being reported.

Customers first started complaining about yellowed screens, problems with the proximity sensor, and issues with reception due to the external antenna on the iPhone 4. The latter problem has resulted in a class action lawsuit against both Apple and AT&T.

Earlier this month during lab testing, Consumer Reports stated that "there's no reason, at least yet, to forgo buying an iPhone 4 over its reception concerns."

Today, however, it is reversing its stance after testing more phones in a radio frequency (RF) isolation chamber. Consumer Reports' findings pretty much mirror what everyone has been stating for the past several weeks with regards to the iPhone 4's reception woes. "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," said Mike Gikas on the Consumer Reports blog. "Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4."

Gikas goes on to state that an unsightly fix for the reception issue is to put a piece of tape over the gap between the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and cellular radio antennas.

The iPhone 4 was rated highly due to its sharp Retina display, Face Time video chat, and its stellar battery life, but the lingering reception issues mean that the phone won't be getting the recommended rating.

"Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4," Gikas concluded.

Updated 7/12/2010 @ 9:54 pm

Engadget is reporting that Apple is now deleting all references to the Consumer Reports posting from its discussions forums...


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RE: Not So Fast.
By Brandon Hill on 7/12/2010 2:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
But shouldn't Apple just fix the glitch? I understand what you're saying, but you shouldn't have to buy a case to make your phone works as advertised.

RE: Not So Fast.
By clovell on 7/12/2010 3:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
Oh definitely, they should - it never should've made it out of design, much less engineering & QC. It reeks of a complete lack of field-testing. Apple should take a page from Nintendo, and mail out some nice phone cases to all current users, and bundle cases with all future purchases.

And, that's just for starters. At some point, they'll have to think of something more permanent and not rely on an accessory to ensure functionality.

RE: Not So Fast.
By Solandri on 7/12/2010 4:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
it never should've made it out of design, much less engineering & QC. It reeks of a complete lack of field-testing.

Since they lost a pre-production sample in the field, evidently they were field testing it. The problem was they were so paranoid about the field test phones being spotted in public, that they required them to be placed within a case to disguise its looks. Which also disguised the problem from their field testing.

Note to clueless managers and marketers: Field testing means using the phone in the field as typical consumers would use them.

RE: Not So Fast.
By clovell on 7/12/2010 5:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, geeze - hadn't realized that. I nominate Apple for Self-PotY.

RE: Not So Fast.
By Dennis Travis on 7/13/2010 3:57:59 AM , Rating: 1
Brandon, don't take this as a put down as it's not, but how would Apple fix the issue without a total redesign of the external antenna bands with some kind of coating on them so they would not be touched by the skin? How could apple give the fix to existing iPhone users? That is the part that has me scratching my head.

Recall every iPhone 4 and give the people a new one with the Antenna fix? That would cost Apple a lot of $$$! :D

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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