ConsumerReports.org specializes in providing suggestions and tips to consumers on all kinds of topics. The site is also great in catching products that may not be safe or worth consumers’ time. As much as Apple has tried to down-play iPhone 4’s problems, those issues were not going to go past Consumer Reports. The verdict is damning for Apple:
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.
Apple has been told by scientists, bloggers, and other experts that there is a major flaw in its iPhone design.The company seems to think the answer to this issue is a software patch. Consumer Reports is not buying it:
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.”
Apart from iPhone 4 being deemed unsafe for consumers, this is the worst review Apple could have gotten from Consumer Reports. There have been experts who have questioned the motives of ConsumerReports in the past, but attacking the messenger can’t make disgruntled iPhone 4 owners satisfied. Apple really does not have too many choices here. The company can continue to downplay this issue and lose customers to Motorola and HTC. It can offer a software patch to lessen the issue (but most experts believe that will not solve the problem completely). The best option would be to recall the defective phones if there is no way to fix them with a software patch.
Whatever Apple decides to do, it is still astonishing that such a huge problem got past its testers. Apple must have stopped testing iPhone 4 after the Gizmodo debacle or so it seems. This is a very delicate time for Apple. It’s facing lawsuits from all directions, android is growing fast, and Droid X is about to make its debut. It’d be a pleasant surprise if Apple recalled defective iPhone 4 units but don’t get your hopes up too soon.