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Today the American consumer watchdog Consumer Reports told the World that it had completed a number of tests on the iPhone 4, confirming that there is in fact a major issue with reception.
The report stated that:
The tests, conducted in labs using controlled signals, confirm growing anecdotal indications that the iPhone 4's problems are anything but illusory.
Going on to confirm what many consumers have been arguing for the last week or two:
Our tests found that when your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left hand side - an easy thing to do - the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with weak signal. We tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre. None of these phones had the significant signal loss problems of the iPhone 4.
You can see the full report HERE if you want to read more of the Consumer Report statement.
There is apparently a fix to the signal problems, which is to cover the antenna gap by placing a small piece of tap on the lower left hand side of the phone. I really don't see how this is good enough though; these phone's cost a fortune and the last thing I'd want to do with a brand new iPhone is put some tape on it.
Consumer Reports clearly agree too, stating that
Apple need to come up with a permanent - and free - fix for the antenna problems
Going on to say that they 'could not recommend iPhone 4' until the problem was fully fixed.
What's even worse about this situation is that Apple are fully aware of it, as people have been talking about it on Apple discussion boards for weeks. But they don't seem to be willing to take full responsibility for it (or at least they haven't up to now - I bet that changes this week though). A thread on the Apple website's discussion board linking to the Consumer Report website has been consistently deleted by Apple, which really doesn't shed a great light on the company's approach to problems with their gadgets.
There's a huge amount of talk about it on unofficial Apple blogs, where many people are claiming that this is by no means the first time Apple have deleted negative threads from their discussion boards, with some claiming it's essentially standard operating procedure for Apple moderators.
So are you considering getting the next version of the iPhone? Yeah, I was too. But I think I'll give them a few months to get their act together first, before the company start putting me off for life. A bad move considering Google are coming up right behind them...
I'm truly disappointed in Apple - it may not seem like it (given I've done a fair bit of Apple bashing in recent posts) but I'm actually a big Apple fan. I have a 3G S, an old iMac G4, a Macbook Pro and I'm genuinely considering an iPad. So I'm far from someone you could say doesn't like the company, I just expect a little more from them than panicking over Google's activities and rushing out the latest version of their phone.