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.

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