The engineers at Consumer Reports magazine tested the iPhone 4 and found that there is indeed a problem with the gadget's reception. Specifically, the engineers found that when a users' hand or finger touches the lower left side, it can cause the phone to lose its connection, particularly if it's already in a weak signal area. For this reason, Consumer Reports is not recommending the iPhone 4 to buyers.
The results of Consumer Reports' testing comes just days after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) issued a statement claiming that the iPhone 4 problems were not caused by an antenna issue but instead due to faulty software that displays an incorrect number of signal strength bars. However, Consumer Reports' engineers questioned that claim, and also said that their tests indicate that AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) network, which has been blamed for many of the iPhone 4 problems, "may not be the primary suspect."
The engineers tested several other AT&T phones the same way as they tested the iPhone 4 and found that none of them had the signal-loss problems that the iPhone 4 experienced. Nevertheless, the engineers did have a solution to the problem: duct tape. Consumer Reports' suggested that users cover the lower left hand side of the phone with a piece of duct tape or use an iPhone 4 case. And if you have your heart set on an iPhone without a slab of duct tape at the bottom, Consumer Reports suggests you stick with the iPhone 3GS instead.
Consumer Reports' findings come just weeks after Apple and AT&T were both sued in federal court by iPhone 4 customers who claim the companies knowingly sold them a defective product. The separate suits, filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland and in San Francisco, claim the two companies violated their warranty policies. The Maryland suit alleges the companies committed a host of other offenses, including general negligence, fraud, deceptive trade practices and misrepresentation.
- see this Consumer Reports blog post
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