Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

Summary: Apple may say that the iPhone 4's antenna problem - dubbed Antennagate - was smaller than it originally thought but that apparently didn't matter much to Consumer Reports.Today, on its blog, the magazine said that Apple's latest move to discontinue its free bumper case offer, effective Sept.

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Apple may say that the iPhone 4's antenna problem - dubbed Antennagate - was smaller than it originally thought but that apparently didn't matter much to Consumer Reports.

Today, on its blog, the magazine said that Apple's latest move to discontinue its free bumper case offer, effective Sept. 30, is "less consumer-friendly" because it forces consumers who experience reception issues to reach out to Apple to fix the problem.

Apple said last week that it was discontinuing the program that was announced in July as the issue of antenna problems with the device spread across the Internet. At that event, Apple downplayed the antenna problems, despite a non-recommendation from Consumer Reports, which loved everything about the device - except for the antenna problem.

In today's blog post, the magazine said:

Our tests found the Bumper successfully mitigates the iPhone 4's reception issue, which was a weak point in the phone's otherwise-stellar performance in our tests. And we agree with Apple that not all iPhone 4 owners will experience reception difficulties with the device. But putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us. We therefore continue not to recommend the iPhone 4, and to call on Apple to provide a permanent fix for the phone's reception issues.

Topics: iPhone, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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44 comments
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  • Good for Consumer Reports!

    I applaud their stand here. Apple is [b]not[/b] showing good customer service here at all.

    The "not recommended" rating is more for Apple's customer service than the device itself which, once you slap a case on it, allows the device to work quite well, even if you are holding it "wrong".

    So a YAY for Consumer Reports for standing up to Apple and a big BOO for Apple for its shoddy customer service.

    Oh, and a big YAY for all you Apple zealots who bought iPhones 1-3. You suckers paying for absolute garbage are what allowed Apple to make the excellent iPhone 4. Please guys, keep buying Apple's garbage products like Apple TV. Perhaps in 5 years, it too will be a good product. :)
    NonZealot
    • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

      @NonZealot
      Then where are all the covers for Droid, Evo, etc. since they have the same problem.

      Looks like Consumer's Report is pretty much out of touch with the millions that have bought and continue to buy the iPhone 4, with a < 1/2% problem rate.
      zdnetbtg
      • No, they don't

        @zdnetbtg <br><i>Then where are all the covers for Droid, Evo, etc. since they have the same problem.</i><br><br>They don't drop their connection when you hold the phone naturally and they <b>certainly</b> don't drop their connection when you touch a millimeter wide section with the tip of your finger. You literally have to cradle those devices to make them drop their calls and there is <b>no</b> part of the case where you can touch any other phone and cause the antenna to short out. That "functionality" is an Apple Original Innovation. That is why a case fixes the problem. A case, if anything, adds slightly more signal attenuation (which is what <b>all</b> phones are affected by). However, it mitigates the massive design flaw that allows for the iPhone 4 antenna to be shorted out simply by holding it in the "wrong" hand. Watch. iPhone 5 will not have the gap. Apple will fix this and they will only charge $599 for the redesign!
        NonZealot
      • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

        @zdnetbtg

        Good response - lie a lot - seems to work for Apple. No the other phones don't have a problem.

        Roll on WP7 please.
        tonymcs1
      • Ahem...

        @zdnetbtg

        This excerpt taken from a recent PC World article (which, you'll remember, you mactards were making a point of citing PC World's great reviews of the iPhone 4 after release)

        [i][b]The Claim: All Smartphones Suffer Signal Loss From a 'Grip of Death'[/i][/b]

        ...[i]While every phone we tested was affected by a "grip of death," none went so far as to drop calls, as the iPhone 4 did. Bottom line: If you don't have an iPhone 4, you don't need to worry too much about this antenna issue.[/i]
        SonofaSailor
      • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

        @zdnetbtg
        You know it's funny, during the 20 odd years or so that I have been arguing with Apple people in the whole 'PC versus Mac' debate they would always say 'PC's crash' and I would answer 'all computers crash' and I was always told that this was not an acceptable answer because even though it is true that all computers crash, some computers have the problem worse than others, a computer which crashes once every 5 years is certainly better than one which crashes once a week, and I was told that, allegedly (which I have NEVER actually seen in practice) Macs rarely ever crash but PC's crash like every single day (never experienced that either, but that's what they tell me)

        But even though I think the claims are bogus, I was always forced to concede that yes, even though all computers crash, some crash more than others, so not all computers are created equal.

        Now, with the iPhone 4 attenuation problem these very same Apple people tell me 'hey, all phones have reception problems' as if this somehow means all phones have the exact same problem....

        Sure, all phones have reception problems sometime, no technology is perfect, but there is a difference between a phone which loses a bar or two when held a certain way and one which completely loses its signal so that making a call becomes impossible

        There's is difference between getting a slightly weaker signal and having a phone that cannot be used at all and is nothing but a worthless brick.

        And the iPhone 4 is ALONE in having a problem that severe.

        But hey, no problem right....all computers crash....right?
        Doctor Demento
      • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

        @zdnetbtg

        You know, there is an EASY solution to this problem: two antennas. Seriously, but ONE ON EACH SIDE of the phone, problems solved.
        Lerianis10
    • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

      @NonZealot; you mispelled YAY its YEA!
      amasys
      • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

        @amasys No, You are wrong. He meant <b>Yay</b> as in <i>Hooray</i>. Look it up.<br><br><b>Yea</b>, on the other hand, indicates a <i>yes</i> or <i>affirmative</i>. Look that up, too (and don't tell me I meant <i>"to"</i>).
        babyboomer57
  • What apple zelot

    What apple zelot would return there phones? That means they would have to admit there was a problem. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA Or putting on one of them ugly rubber iphone condoms HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. no most of the apple zelots would never return there phones or even ask for a bootie lol
    Stan57
    • Please show any data you have that shows only

      @Stan57
      Apple Zealots have purchased the iPhone 4? I'll save you the effort for you have none right...

      I'm betting you have the ahem "intelligence" to assume that anyone who has purchased an Apple product makes them an Apple Zealot right:P

      So my XBox 360 makes me a MS zealot right?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • So the iPhone gets love from CR but no recommendation?

    OK, I guess this is sort of like finding out Jennifer Aniston snores:P Not liking the snoring but I LOVE the way I discovered that information:) In the "end" I can always get ear plugs I suppose.....<br><br>Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • When a phone does everything well...

      @James Quinn

      except for the part about being a phone, there is an issue there. For some it's a non-issue though, so they can live with the ear plugs.
      PlayFair
      • Quantify this....

        @PlayFair <br>By your standards how unwell does the iPhone do the phone part? I own a 3gs and I'm OK with it's phone performance. Do I claim it's perfect... Heck no but as a phone it functions even in my basement apartment. So I assume that while I don't have an iPhone 4 it does make and answer calls right? That as a rule it usually functions as a phone should right? My point being Jennifer Aniston in my mind despite the snoring would not be a thing I would find worthy of complaints and I wonder if the iPhone 4 does everything FINE with the exception of the phone function how bad is said phone function cause if it's OK to good enough (a famous MS claim is it not) then is there anything to complain about?<br><br>Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • I'd say not well enough.

        @James Quinn: [i]My point being Jennifer Aniston in my mind despite the snoring would not be a thing I would find worthy of complaints and I wonder if the iPhone 4 does everything FINE with the exception of the phone function how bad is said phone function cause if it's OK to good enough (a famous MS claim is it not) then is there anything to complain about?[/i]

        My friend has an iPhone 4 and it hangs up too frequently. He never had a problem with his 3GS and my 3G works fine. It's bad enough to keep me from buying an iPhone 4
        ye
      • I will take you at your word and say there is one...

        @Ye
        So is that it?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

        @ye: why are you trying to have an intelligent conversation with the queen of trolls James Quinn? He will never admit that Apple's star product is flawed, despite that even Consumer Reports, a very respected publication, says otherwise.

        He is simply worried about his Apple stock, nothing more. just leave him drinking the Kool Aid.

        Between James Queen of Trolls, an Apple stockholder, and Consumer Reports, guess who can be most believable? Heck, even Jobs took action only when CR rubbed the problem on his face.
        nomorebs
    • RE: Antennagate lives: Consumer Reports maintains thumbs-down for iPhone 4

      @James Quinn
      JIm it's more like marrying JA and finding she isn't a she....

      chuckle...
      rhonin
      • Funny.. Butt:)

        @zenwalker
        Based on sales and returns of the iPhone 4 I have to say I think it's more like she snores than she's a he in reaction so far wouldn't you?

        Just the facts mam errr fella

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
  • How could this be?

    Too many people on these boards say that it was a lone blogger that "cried wolf", that absolutelly no problem exists, so how can this be that Consumer Reports claims there's an issue?

    I mean, if one or two people here mention they never had the problem, it must mean that no one ever had this problem.

    So how can Consumer Reports say otherwise?
    John Zern