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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 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.


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