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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: Just buy a Microcell.
By Tony Swash on 7/13/2010 12:26:11 AM , Rating: -1
quote:
Seriously man, get a clue. Please?

Its always worth looking beyond the headlines. The devil is in the detail.

The Consumer Reports post made headlines after they concluded that they simply could not recommend the iPhone 4 due to the widely reported signal issues related to touching the lower-left corner of the device. This single issue alone has prevented them from fully recommending the iPhone 4.

However, their formal testing otherwise revealed that the iPhone 4 ranked the highest amongst all smartphones in their testing.

The iPhone 4 scored 76 out of 100 points, ?two points ahead of its closest rivals, the iPhone 3Gs and the HTC Evo 4G.

The product evaluation agency rated the iPhone 4 ?Excellent? in its display, navigation, Web browsing, multimedia and battery life categories, ?Very Good? in phoning and messaging and ?Good? in voice quality.

The iPhone 4 beat out the HTC Evo as well as all the other Smartphones and had the highest score of 76/100. The signal issue described is that holding the lower-left corner of the iPhone 4 can reduce cell phone signal and affect calls in areas with lower reception. The issue depends on your local coverage and can be alleviated with a phone case.

So unless I am missing something the logical thing to do based on the Consumer Report would be to buy an iPhone 4.


RE: Just buy a Microcell.
By afkrotch on 7/13/2010 12:45:36 AM , Rating: 5
What good is a product that has a good display, navigation, web browsing, multimedia, and battery life, if it doesn't get reception?

How is that logical? What good is all of that if I pretty much can't use it?

I can go with a different phone that's cheaper, doesn't have reception problems, and is just 2 points below it.


RE: Just buy a Microcell.
By themaster08 on 7/13/2010 4:43:50 AM , Rating: 5
Tony obviously finds it comforting to make himself believe that this is only a minor issue.

It doesn't matter how highly the iPhone 4 scored in the initial testing. The antenna design error is a shortcoming that cannot be compensated in any circumstances, because that's what it is. A phone. Using blanket statements will not rid you of that fact I'm afraid, Tony.

When the most fundamental function of a device is flawed, how can that device be recommended regardless of how great its other features are?

You obviously haven't watched the Consumer Reports video. Covering the gap between the two antennas with your hand accounts for a 20dB drop in signal, which is enough to drop a call. They tested multiple iPhone 4s, also the previous iterations, and also tested other phones and other networks, and found the problem to most definitely be the antenna in the iPhone 4.

We have to remember here that not only will it drop calls, you web experience over 3G will be non-existent. Ultimately that will result in an unsatisfactory web experience using the iPhone 4.

We are all aware that covering the antenna band will rid the user of this issue, but we have to also remember how Apple are dealing with all of this, and yet again, like all of their problems, they're dealing with it horribly.


RE: Just buy a Microcell.
By msheredy on 7/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Just buy a Microcell.
By Reclaimer77 on 7/13/2010 6:50:37 PM , Rating: 4
lol Ok Tony. You MUST work for Apple. Again, you seem to miss the big picture here.

You know what, I'm going to go out and build the most bad ass, feature laden, high tech car on the planet!!! And then throw a faulty ignition system in it so it doesn't start most of the time. Enjoy your highest rated full featured garage queen, by all means.


RE: Just buy a Microcell.
By Reclaimer77 on 7/13/2010 6:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
lol Ok Tony. You MUST work for Apple. Again, you seem to miss the big picture here.

You know what, I'm going to go out and build the most bad ass, feature laden, high tech car on the planet!!! And then throw a faulty ignition system in it so it doesn't start most of the time. Enjoy your highest rated full featured garage queen, by all means.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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