Influential ratings magazine Consumer Reports generated waves earlier this year by deciding that it couldn't recommend the iPhone 4 to potential customers due to its antenna issues, despite the fact that the device garnered the top score in the magazine's ratings of smartphones. With Apple's offer of free cases made at its July press conference about the issue, the magazine maintained its non-recommendation, claiming that the temporary program was insufficient in addressing the problem.
Now that Apple has officially announced that it will be ending the free case program as of September 30th, Consumer Reports has once again noted its displeasure with Apple's treatment of the issue and declined to add the device to its list of recommended models.
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.
Apple has indicated that any customers experiencing reception issues on their iPhone 4s should contact AppleCare to obtain free cases, opting to end the blanket program in favor of an on-request policy to address what the company believes is a very small number of customers affected by the issue.