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Consumer Reports Can't Recommend iPhone 4

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the waiting-for-four-dot-one dept.

Iphone 507

jbezorg was one among many readers to send word that Consumer Reports has concluded that they cannot recommend the iPhone 4. (They still enthusiastically recommend the 3G S.) "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. ... Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4's signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that 'mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.'" The comments on the article don't display any of the vitriol the Apple faithful have been known to unleash upon anyone daring to question the Cupertino way. Perhaps they are moderated.

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Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880330)

The comments on the article don't display any of the vitriol the Apple faithful have been known to unleash upon anyone daring to question the Cupertino way. Perhaps they are moderated.

Oh if only they were here too. The amount of stupidity by Apple users (and their fellow applefags moderating them up) is outstanding.

If you happen to have any bad opinions about Apple, their business practices or their products, they will march in. Apple stories are the only ones I need to read at -1 because of the modpoint abuse.

Of course, the iPhone 4 signal-strength bug isn't really a bug. It's a feature and Steve Jobs was just thinking the users best. Sigh.

Seriously, for an Open Source community it's outstanding how many Apple fanatics here are, when they are obviously the largest abuser of OSS or open technology.

Re:Apple (0, Offtopic)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#32880676)

Of course the Apple Army has already descended on your post, as they will on every negative post about anything Apple does. Even on Slashdot, the fanboys seem to have some back-channel where "bad posts" get publicized and the hoards invoke some secret stash of mod points to mod them down in short order.

In your case, Permanent Flamebate status is something of a badge of courage. Wear it proudly. Ye have spoken well.

Re:Apple (4, Interesting)

postmortem (906676) | about 4 years ago | (#32880944)

Well you felt the anger of the homogeneous mass of brainless apples.

anyway, this is serious bug that we are not used to experience from Apple. Although advantage of Apple products is very discussable, quality or basic product usability was not. I wonder how they managed to screw up so badly. Some internal testing had to show that iPhone 4 signal reception isn't as good as previous version were. Did middle management slide it under carpet like how it is done everywhere?

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32881036)

Q: What kind of phone do Scientologists use?
A: Anything that apple makes!

Fristy Poss? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880362)

Why do fireworks die?

11 (5, Funny)

ascari (1400977) | about 4 years ago | (#32880382)

So Apple has taken a play from Spinal Tap's playbook and use knobs that go to 11? The mind boggles.

Suprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880384)

Surprising considering how much they drooled over the crappier iphones before this one. Even when the competition was better, they still drooled.

A workaround (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880392)

Apple engineers found that if you lick the antenna and hold it against a radio tower you get a full four bars. Unfortunately the Apple marketing department has yet to figure out how to spin this fix into a trendy commercial.

Re:A workaround (3, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#32880536)

"Caution: Do not attempt this maneuver if the temperature is below 0C/32F!"

Re:A workaround (4, Funny)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 4 years ago | (#32880586)

Apple engineers found that if you lick the antenna and hold it against a radio tower you get a full four bars.

Ironically, "full" is actually five bars.

Re:A workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880832)

> Ironically, "full" is actually five bars.

No, that's just a display issue...

Re:A workaround (5, Funny)

phonewebcam (446772) | about 4 years ago | (#32880776)

I'll just wait for the iPhone 5 [motivatedphotos.com] .

Re:A workaround (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 4 years ago | (#32880966)

I'm a bit confused. So when you do this, would the iPhone get stuck to the antenna, or your tongue to the iPhone?

Who cares? (0, Flamebait)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32880404)

Does anyone really trust Consumer Report's opinion on technology? I thought they were known for automobile testing and that was about it?

Re:Who cares? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880434)

Shows how little you know...

Consumer reports tests EVERYTHING they can get ahold of.

And as for reviews... they seem to be one of the few you could actually trust to be even halfway honest about what they are testing.

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 4 years ago | (#32880642)

Sometimes they don't know what they're talking about, though.

I know digital photography pretty well, and a lot of the stuff they say in their digital camera reviews is just plain wrong.

Yes (5, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | about 4 years ago | (#32880452)

"Does anyone really trust Consumer Report's opinion on technology?"

Yes, I certainly do. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to test the antenna problem. But it does take an impartial organization, that has nothing to gain or lose from the report. Who would you prefer to believe, Apple?

Re:Yes (-1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#32880496)

Right "impartial"... Lets face it, when consumer reports bashes or praises an item, it generates publicity (look at this /. article for example). While I agree that the iPhone issue is a real issue and is a pretty big one, saying that any magazine can be "impartial" is a joke.

Re:Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880554)

Consumer Reports is a nonprofit organization. They don't care about publicity. (not nearly as much as ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION, at least)

Re:Yes (2, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32880588)

MoveOn.org is a nonprofit organization as well; there's no reason to assume nonprofit means unbiased.

Re:Yes (1)

SpeedyG5 (762403) | about 4 years ago | (#32880846)

Sorry that doesn't mean they are good at certain technology sectors. I use them for lots of things but not for computers/appliances. I bought my barracuda without 1 consultation with consumer reports. I also bought my stereo system carver amp, yamaha cassette deck, magnepan speakers etc without consumer reports, but when I went to buy a vacuum they were my first choice for which is best. I simply don't trust them for the technical nuances in certain electronics equipment. Regardless of all that, Apple may have a problem with antennas I just won't use consumer reports as the basis for whether they do or not. I just don't feel they have the expertise. This is based on my own experience at their general lack of technology IQ. What Apple does have is for sure a PR nightmare, It is especially difficult when you look at the ramifications for how they address it or fail to address it. I like Apple they generally do a good job on hardware/software, that doesn't mean I would buy anything and everything the sell. I own a Ford truck but I also don't think they are the end all be all of vehicles.

Re:Yes (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | about 4 years ago | (#32881072)

Consumer Reports is a nonprofit organization. They don't care about publicity. (not nearly as much as ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION, at least)

Didn't mean to post that A/C

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

pseudofrog (570061) | about 4 years ago | (#32880662)

If you want to argue that Consumer Reports is engaging in sensationalism, then make that point. But to imply that a magazine in inherently "impartial" (did you mean sensational?) is stupid.

Consumer Reports depends on subscribers who would pick up on any whiff of sensationalism and flood the editors' desks with complaints. They're about as impartial and fair as they get.

Re:Yes (0, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#32880758)

No, they depend on subscribers who buy the next issue and keep a cover of "impartiality" and a supposed lack of sensationalism.

Re:Yes (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#32880984)

I have yet to see them sensationalize anything. But my mind is open to any links that show otherwise. Feel free...

Re:Yes (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#32880806)

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to test the antenna problem. But it does take an impartial organization, that has nothing to gain or lose from the report.

Too often CR reviews of articles are superficial, and dismissive of dramatic improvements in technology products. They often seem to be rating complex technical items on the same scale as a can of beans or a drip coffee maker.

They have always been in Apple's corner on the vast majority of their reviews, approaching fanboy status.

Having said that, I give them kudos for going into the lab and testing this antenna problem. (Even Duct Tape was involves in the testing, without a rocket part in sight.)

Re:Yes (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#32881020)

Their POV is that of the consumer (hence the name), not the designers or engineers. The trade rags are there to cover that angle.

Re:Who cares? (5, Informative)

jerdo (674382) | about 4 years ago | (#32880456)

They test everything and historically have been fairly reliable since they don't accept advertising dollars from the manufacturers of the products they test, unlike most magazines and websites.

Re:Who cares? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 4 years ago | (#32880936)

They test everything and historically have been fairly reliable since they don't accept advertising dollars from the manufacturers of the products they test, unlike most magazines and websites.

Consumer Reports doesn't run "outside" adds of any kind. Consumer Reports (first published 1936) doesn't accept product samples. Its staff buys retail.

For that reason, the products it tests are solidly middle class choices - easily accessible and broadly affordable.
 

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880472)

You would be mistaken. CR is the foremost magazine of trusted reviews of consumer products for just about very genre under the sun.

Re:Who cares? (1, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32880534)

According to who?

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 4 years ago | (#32880802)

According to who?

Anyone who's not an Apple apologist.

Re:Who cares? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32880912)

What about people who don't trust something just because it's in print?

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

shog9 (154858) | about 4 years ago | (#32881048)

Yes, it is THE most trusted publication among people who don't trust publications.

Re:Who cares? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880864)

Everyone except brand fanbois like you who's favorite brand just got shit on by consumer reports.

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

Kufat (563166) | about 4 years ago | (#32880476)

Cars are probably their primary claim to fame, but appliances and consumer electronics would likely be #2 and #3. The most newsworthy part of this is that an independent source that is beyond reproach (to the extent that such a thing is possible) has confirmed that this is a legitimate problem that shows up in normal use.

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32880524)

They do testing on pretty much everything. They are non-profit, and have a reputation for accurate reporting. They were the ones who made the world realize that air ionizers are essentially useless (like Ionic Breeze from sharper image).

Generally they break stuff into categories, and the 'recommend' 'do not recommend' is not particularly useful, since it might still be good in the categories you care about. But one thing you can be sure about, if they say a product is not good in a certain category, they have the research to back it up (and from time to time have defended the evidence in court).

Re:Who cares? (0, Flamebait)

3dr (169908) | about 4 years ago | (#32880572)

Your own ignorance does not prove, let alone imply, their incompetence.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Troll)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32880626)

But my own ignorance does prove, to me, that I have no reason to trust them.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880692)

I have no reason to trust them.

But that's because you're ignorant.

Re:Who cares? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32880730)

...which is what my post SAID.

Congrats, you can read!

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880840)

Congrats, you can compare posts!

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 years ago | (#32880610)

And here we go with the Apple fanbois. Come on, pal. Everyone knows the iPhone 4 has a huge goddamned problem. Blaming the messengers is ludicrous. Apple screwed the pooch big time, and it's going to cost them money and reputation to fix it, so rather than dicking around bitching at consumer magazines and critics, Steve Jobs should be ordering the company to begin immediate recalls...

Unless of course, they don't have an easy fix. In which case Apple has a really big problem on their hands.

Re:Who cares? (3, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 4 years ago | (#32881058)

They don't need to do a recall yet. All iphone 4s are still within the 30 day return period and Apple is reportedly waiving the restocking fee. iPhone 4 users whose problems are such they cannot live with them can return their phone immediately. I also think they can't handle a recall right now, the iPhone 4 is sold out everywhere (it's insane, here in Belgium people are selling 16Gb iPhone 4s for EUR 1000 and up) and still people are ordering. Maybe they'll do a stealth fix and do a recall of the early models later when things cool down.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 4 years ago | (#32881084)

Unless of course, they don't have an easy fix.

There's always an easy fix: duct tape.

Actually, in this case, it'd be electrical tape. And since electrical tape is black, people wouldn't even notice!

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#32880650)

Does anyone really trust Consumer Report's opinion on technology?

I trust them way more than Slashdot or Gizmodo.

Don't worry... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880410)

...there will be plenty of vitriol here to make up for the lack of it on Consumer Reports website.

With such a simple solution at hand.. (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#32880426)

Apple really dropped the ball this time. All they had to do was say 'oops, our bad, we messed up but here is a free case' and the problem would have been effectively solved, and they would have saved face.

Such a cheap solution to a potential marketing disaster.. I just don't understand it. ( and ill be keeping my 3Gs and not upgrading, but that is beacuse i don't like cases... Perhaps the model 4Gs.. )

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880506)

Or...perhaps Apple was planning to disappoint with the iPhone 4 so that tons of people would buy it, hate it, and subsequently buy the 4Gs.

Planned obsolescense [wikipedia.org]

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (4, Insightful)

sacdelta (135513) | about 4 years ago | (#32880526)

It's cheap from a direct cost standpoint, but the opportunity cost is huge.

The bumper probably costs them much less than $1.00 to make, but they sell it at $25. That is a huge profit that they would lose if the gave them out for free.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#32880644)

I agree about 'losing' the markup, but i personally think the customer satisfaction and good press would be worth it. I might be wrong with the big picture, but just my personal feeling.

And they could always give away a cheaper one and fake some sort of discount on the higher end case.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (4, Insightful)

MeNeXT (200840) | about 4 years ago | (#32880666)

Then why did Nintendo do it for the Wii. Sometimes it's not about the money that makes you money. It's about meeting the clients expectations.

Lately it seems Apple doesn't care.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#32880896)

> Then why did Nintendo do it for the Wii.

Nintendo is scared to death of competitors. They're in a highly competitive market and they realize the other guys will swoop down like vultures after a screwup.

Nintendo also can't depend on a cult to buy products and make excuses.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#32880862)

That is a huge profit that they would lose if the gave them out for free.

When weighed against loss of sales, class action law suits, and loss of reputation, and potential for massive recall, giving away a bumper that costs not even 50 cents and foregoing the mythical $24.xx just makes good business sense.

There won't be any huge profit if sales tank.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (4, Insightful)

Lundse (1036754) | about 4 years ago | (#32880566)

All they had to do was say 'oops, our bad, we messed up but here is a free case' and the problem would have been effectively solved, and they would have saved face.

Apple's success is predicated on an image that they can do no wrong, and that if they appear to have done wrong, you are a douchebag for not recognising that they are merely ahead of the curve.
They simply cannot acknowledge a blunder of this magnitude, any more than the pope can acknowledge that he is not infallible...

iPhones are Slim and Gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880680)

If crApple included a bumper for their phone (which most people buy anyway) then most people would judge its size including the bumper.

This would undercut fApple's goal of making the slimmest, gayest phone available.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#32880854)

By my estimation, the iPhone 4 has been out 18 days so I would hesitate to pass judgment on what should be done. I do not know if Apple has determined an adequate fix for the problem. Giving a free case may not be the best solution; Apple may yet need to recall the phone.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (1)

SpeedyG5 (762403) | about 4 years ago | (#32880908)

I dont' think its that simple. They have to do more than that. They have to allow for a return, if that doesn't cut it. Then they also have to have the consumer agree that this is a good enough solution and when your dealing with millions of phones, its even bigger than that. I think they have to come out with a "We have discovered the exact cause of the issue with the iphone4's antenna, it is "blah blah blah", here is "solution A" or "solution b". I don't think they should knee jerk to this and spout some gobblety gook, like so many here want. I expect a professional and educated response.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 4 years ago | (#32880910)

Such a cheap solution to a potential marketing disaster...

A case is not an acceptable solution to a design flaw in an item as expensive as an iPhone.

Re:With such a simple solution at hand.. (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#32881054)

I have been forming this notion for a while and I think I'm concluding that Apple is a company that can only successfully cater to a limited type of personalities. These people have a very particular set of attributes. Some of them may include a lacking critical nature and more apt to see the positives than the negatives in any given situation. I don't want to use the word gullible as it implies too much as these same people are reasonably intelligent.

This range of people that are good and loyal Apple fans are limited in percentage of the population and is decreasing. Apple has survived this long on that range of users but society is shifting and becoming increasingly negative and increasingly sceptical and increasingly critical. Apple's attempt at expansion of its market has been interesting to watch and appears to be aimed finding more of these fans that for whatever reason may not have tried to join the Apple Club previously. It is clear that Apple isn't interested in the enterprise market or they would offer more enterprise-friendly services and options.

The problem with this plan appears to be that they are dragging in too many sceptical and critical users and reviewers. This would represent Apple reaching its limits... perhaps overreaching its limits as it has now risked its reputation far too much with iPhone4.

-1 Flamebait? (1, Insightful)

IKnwThePiecesFt (693955) | about 4 years ago | (#32880442)

From TFS "The comments on the article don't display any of the vitriol the Apple faithful have been known to unleash upon anyone daring to question the Cupertino way. Perhaps they are moderated."

Really? I didn't know the mods were flamebaiting these days.

Re:-1 Flamebait? (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | about 4 years ago | (#32880570)

You must be new here.

Re:-1 Flamebait? (1)

IKnwThePiecesFt (693955) | about 4 years ago | (#32881050)

I know, I almost just posted a "lol kdawson" comment instead but I thought I'd at least try to be civil.

Re:-1 Flamebait? (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 4 years ago | (#32880704)

Oh, please, it's a painful fact that Apple has legions of... fanboys that defend anything Apple does. Apple has some nice (overpriced, but nice) products but some hipsters treat them like a technological godsend, especially (in my experience) the less technically inept people I know that are into gadgets. Apple fans are bought on marketing and come to identify with apple products the same way some people love Nike shoes (and yes, they exist too).

Re:-1 Flamebait? (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 4 years ago | (#32880918)

It helps when people set the tone correctly. By attacking people in the summary like this article and a lot of others do you're signaling to both sides this discussion isn't going to be civil. What would would happen if you posted a random Linux article and ended it with "... but as we all know Linux users are a bunch of basement dwelling nerds" you think ? Ridiculously skewed moderation (most often anti-Apple) in Apple threads doesn't help either.

Re:-1 Flamebait? (2, Insightful)

IKnwThePiecesFt (693955) | about 4 years ago | (#32881034)

One might hope for the summary to be mature even if a lot of the people participating in the discussions aren't.

Shut up and take my money! (5, Funny)

xororand (860319) | about 4 years ago | (#32880450)

- Okay, it's 500 dollars, you have no choice of carrier, the battery can't hold the charge and the reception isn't very
- Shut up and take my money!

Re:Shut up and take my money! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#32880478)

- Shut up and take my money!

Sure, no problem. Just post your credit card number and we'll be right at it.

Re:Shut up and take my money! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#32880486)

Brilliant episode. I'm so glad Futurama is back!

Re:Shut up and take my money! (2, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#32880792)

- Okay, it's 500 dollars, you have no choice of carrier, the battery can't hold the charge and the reception isn't very
- Shut up and take my money!

Wait.. was that the iPhone video or the Evo one?

Why don't they review it with the case included (0, Redundant)

Capena (1713520) | about 4 years ago | (#32880556)

Just add $30 to the cost of the phone, and review it with a case on, if it is that big of a problem.

Sure Apple isn't doing the customer friendly thing by giving away free cases (go figure), but if a relatively cheap Apple or 3rd party case solves it and everything else is OK, I don't see why this is a big deal.

Re:Why don't they review it with the case included (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880618)

So you dont mind buying something that is broken? And then pay to fix it? You must be the wet dream for any manufacturer.

Uh (3, Insightful)

TPJ-Basin (763596) | about 4 years ago | (#32880658)

Because as released, it's freaking broken.

Re:Why don't they review it with the case included (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880690)

What sort of amended review are you expecting?

"Apple still refuses to acknowledge publicly acknowledge that this is an issue, and yet still puts out exactly the right bit of $0.10 plastic for $30 which is necessary to fix it. This is not only obvious extortion, but is an outright lie to consumers.

However, that dishonest, overpriced extortion does actually fix the relatively simple and obvious design error they made when making the phone. Therefore, we have amended out previous statement and we now recommend not only this product, but we recommend you pay the protection m--I mean, extra money for the case so that your product actually works the way you thought it was going to work out of the box."

Thanks For the Snark! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880558)

The comments on the article don't display any of the vitriol the Apple faithful have been known to unleash upon anyone daring to question the Cupertino way. Perhaps they are moderated.

Grow up, kdawson, and learn to moderate yourself. I can't tell which is more pathetic -- your open contempt for slashdot readers, or your whiny petulance because you believe that the feedback board Consumer Reports has a better signal to noise ratio than Slashdot.

Jives with co-worker's experiences (5, Interesting)

Doc Hopper (59070) | about 4 years ago | (#32880612)

This jives with the experiences of my co-workers who've bought the phone. Overall impression of the iPhone 4 is that it looks and feels great, has an amazing screen, so-so battery life, but reception problems that drive every one of them bonkers.

It's enough to make me want to stick with my iPhone original release -- aluminum case and all -- just a little longer. From where I sit, unless you really want the forward-facing & higher-res camera and higher-resolution screen, stick with the 3GS. It does everything else pretty well. The main things I need from my phone are the same things I needed ten years ago:

* Contact list
* Calendar
* Email
* Light web browsing
* Good phone service

After having Palm devices alongside a mobile phone for years and years to suit, and wading through several years of crap-tastic Windows Mobile phones, the iPhone original release fit the bill perfectly for me. The real compelling thing the 3GS has over the original for me is a real GPS so that I can geocache without using a dedicated GPS unit. And maybe the extra RAM so that I don't have to clear memory to start certain apps.

Nice to see Consumer Reports calling Apple on their crap this time. Just like when they blamed short battery life in the 3GS on over-usage and push settings... what a load of CYA corporate malarkey! They gotta get the lead out on this one, if the several people I know -- admittedly, all tech geeks so it's a very small sample size -- who own the phone are any indicator, they're really unhappy about this.

It is Never (3, Interesting)

cadeon (977561) | about 4 years ago | (#32880624)

It is Never a good idea to buy anything new. The only reason to do it is to placate emotion. This applies to Furniture, cars, and for god's sake yes, electronics.

The iPhone 4 is awesome and I will likely have one someday. But problems like these, founded or not, are the kind of thing you sign up for if you want to be an early adopter. That, and spending way too much money.

Re:It is Never (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32880668)

People said the same when the original iPhone came out. Now we're at version 4, and it's STILL too early?

How long do you plan to wait?

Re:It is Never (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 4 years ago | (#32880822)

I plan to wait forever.

I don't want a cell phone at all.

$30 rubber band (3, Insightful)

crevistontj (1032976) | about 4 years ago | (#32880632)

The real crime here in my opinion is that Apple charges $30 for the "bumper case" which amounts to a glorified rubber band. There's no way the total cost on the part is more than $.50.

Re:$30 rubber band (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880860)

That's an interesting idea.. Most asparagus comes with two rubber bands, so I'd bet most produce workers would let you take one..

I now have an urge to get a golden delicious and put an asparagus rubber band around it :\

How does it compare to other phones? (1, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#32880694)

I'd like to see someone do a controlled experiment to find whether the iPhone 4 is any worse than others. So you get several phones of different models that use the same network and carrier. For each, try several calls in a given area at a given time and measure quality WITHOUT looking at the display, since the signal bars mean nothing. Measure voice quality, etc. Do this for all phone models. Do this for several locations and times of day/week. Compare measurements. Tell us whether any phones are noticeably worse. Stop giving these "phone loses connection if I do this, but I have no idea what another phone would do in the same situation" or "phone shows N bars" useless information.

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880748)

Other phones don't have this problem. They're designed by EEs and not shiny shiny designers. That's the whole point, plus Job lying! They've been rumbled, and now more than their usual gay zealots are buying their products, they're facing the real world with a different set of people.

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880794)

FTA: "We also tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre. None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4."

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | about 4 years ago | (#32880872)

Until the "bar" is standardized, I think it's probably best to avoid it's use. Agreed. I wish there were some way to learn the signal db vs noise db.

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (1)

nickersonm (1646933) | about 4 years ago | (#32880904)

Anandtech did something close to this in the second page [anandtech.com] of their iPhone 4 review, comparing quantitative signal strength from the 4, 3GS, and Nexus One. The iPhone 4 had the most significant drop for a "natural" grip, but with an overall better reception than the 3GS, that doesn't necessarily mean worse reception. They also have a few other reception-related quantitative comparisons.

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (1)

Drgnkght (449916) | about 4 years ago | (#32881024)

The iPhone 4 had the most significant drop for a "natural" grip, but with an overall better reception than the 3GS, that doesn't necessarily mean worse reception.

So... Basically it has better reception as long as you aren't actually using it? How does that not equate to worse reception? Who cares if the the phone picks up more calls if it loses the signal when you try to answer it?

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880916)

Obviously you missed the part of the report that explained how they did a controlled test (in an RF isolation chamber with their own base station) and compared the iPhone4's performance with previous iPhones as well other AT&T smartphones.

The fact that they already had this tech setup leads me to believe that signal reception testing is something Consumer Reports does regularly.

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 4 years ago | (#32880930)

So all of those videos on the Youtube showing calls dropping voice and data rates plummeting when the antenna is touched aren't enough to convince you? How would anyone elses experiment impress you? This isn't Bigfoot we're trying to prove here. This is no extraordinary claim.

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880974)

Did you RTFM?

You could do it empirically. (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#32881028)

Crack the phone's cases and hook a spectrum analyzer up to the antenna out. Go in an RF anechoic chamber along with a signal generator, and measure the difference between holding it different ways.

We've got the equipment at work, save for the phones to tear apart and the reason to do so. I won't call it common, but any place that deals with RF research probably has it. Apple damn well ought to have it.

Re:How does it compare to other phones? (1)

daver00 (1336845) | about 4 years ago | (#32881052)

I'm sorry to say this, but RTFA! They compare it to the iPhone 3gs and Palm Pre, neither of which have the problem.

So SJ was right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880744)

"Just don't hold the phone that way."

Honestly it's the simplest answer compared to all those Apple biased blogs out there spinning the facts. Really, guys, you just paid $199 or $299 for a phone: just live with it (or return it if you really have the guts to leave the herd...).

Pretty serious flaw ... (2, Insightful)

nanotik (1750832) | about 4 years ago | (#32880772)

The earlier models already sucked when it comes to signal reception ... any worse and it becomes useless as a phone.

I have one, here's my take (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32880796)

I recently turned in my EVO because the battery life on it was so poor (I can't bring cellphones into my workplace, so I can't keep it on charge during the day. I'd often walk out of work only to find it had died after about 10 hours of idle.) and picked up an iPhone instead. This was the first iPhone I've had, so I can't make comparisons to older models, but I personally haven't had trouble with the reception. One out of about thirty or so calls will drop, which is about the same that I got on my blackberry. Overall it's one of the best phones I've used, hardware wise. Now if I can just find a way to install android on it...

Re:I have one, here's my take (1)

pwnies (1034518) | about 4 years ago | (#32880810)

Oop, this was my comment, not sure why the "post anonymously" button was checked. -pwnies

apple will fix it (4, Funny)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 4 years ago | (#32880804)

this is only a temporary problem. I'm sure apple will address the problem as soon as it's engineers have troubleshot the problem thouroghly. For myself in particular, I have not seen this issue and I'm laeft handed. In fact I'm composing this email on my iphone4 at the mom... +++ No Carrier

As an iPhone 4 owner... (1)

augi01 (1209002) | about 4 years ago | (#32880838)

I have noticed that if I put my finger over the lower-left antenna the phone's signal, contrary to Apple's claim, does diminish greatly. Still we shouldn't think that Apple's letter to consumers, which claimed that the iPhone 4's signal woes stem from improper calculation, is a complete hoax. Even with my iPhone 4 snug in one of Apple's nifty "bumpers" I still notice that, from time to time, the signal gets weak or my phone calls are less swift than usual. (For those who are curious, I live in downtown Atlanta.) With AT&T's networks flooded with old and new iPhone users, along with other subscribers who choose to do without an Apple iDevice, it doesn't surprise me that from time to time my signal wanes. Furthermore, you can't expect a company that decides to imbed the antenna of its phone in the phone's frame to get it right the first time. If you did, silly you.

Consumerism (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | about 4 years ago | (#32880928)

I wonder what made the iPhone 4G so appeasingly justifiable to the average consumer compared to their year-old iPhone 3G, which is fast, upgradable to iOS4 and which, more importantly, does what you would expect of a mobile phone and more... More often than not consumers need to learn to weigh out their "real needs" against all the media pressure we subject ourselves throughout our "normal lives" (in the modern world that is). Don't fix it if it ain't broke, as an old saying goes... Gadget obesity, anyone?

CR Reports (-1)

helix2301 (1105613) | about 4 years ago | (#32880942)

CR has been wrong on so many things before when it comes to computers. Not to mention Apple knows there's a problem and they are trying to fix the issue. Like they have said get a case looks nicer then duck tape and protects the phone better. If you spent that much money on an Iphone you should have the few extra dollars buy the case. At least until Apple fixes the issue.
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