Consumer Reports declares Apple addressed antenna issue with iPhone 4S

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Consumer Reports on Tuesday announced it is recommending the iPhone 4S to customers, stating that Apple's latest handset "doesn't suffer the reception problem we found in its predecessor."



The consumer advocacy group made waves last year when it ranked the iPhone 4 the best smartphone available on the market, but later changed its stance and declared it couldn't recommend the iPhone 4. Consumer Reports tested the iPhone 4 inside a controlled radio frequency isolation chamber, and found that covering the bottom left corner of the handset with one's bare hand could reduce reception.



But the group declared on Tuesday that it has conducted the same "special tests" in its labs with the iPhone 4S, and found that those supposed issues were resolved. The group also tested Apple's new 8GB iPhone 4, and said it "continues to exhibit that problem."



In addition to finding that the antenna issues were addressed, Consumer Reports also said it has not experienced any battery problems with the iPhone 4S. Some users have reported poor battery life with the device, and Apple is already testing a new build of iOS 5 designed to address that issue.



While Consumer Reports is now recommending the iPhone 4S, the group said that Apple's latest handset was unable to outscore the best new Android-based phones. Smartphones that Consumer Reports said ranked higher than the iPhone 4S were the Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Droid Bionic, and "several other phones that boast larger displays than the iPhone 4S and run on faster 4G networks."



Last year's "antennagate" controversy reached such a fever pitch after the release of the iPhone 4 that Apple was prompted to uncharacteristically host a press conference to explain that signal attenuation is something that occurs with all phones. In low-signal situations, gripping the bottom left corner of the iPhone 4 can cause a dropped call.



The issue can be resolved if a case is placed on the iPhone 4, covering the metal band on its exterior that serves as the antenna. Apple gave away free iPhone 4 cases for a limited time to alleviate those concerns, and the controversy largely subsided as the iPhone 4 went on to become the company's best selling smartphone yet.







Records set by the iPhone 4 are already set to be shattered by the iPhone 4S, as sales of Apple's latest smartphone topped four million in its first weekend alone. During his company's quarterly earnings conference call last month, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said he's confident that a new record for iPhones will be set in the current holiday quarter.



One of the major features of the iPhone 4S is its redesigned antenna which allows for better reception and faster wireless data speeds. It's also compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks, making the iPhone 4S a "world" phone, and can connect to high-speed 14.4Mbps GSM HSDPA networks.
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Comments

  • rbonnerrbonner Posts: 574member
    Donation check must have cleared.



    Really, consumer reports used to be great for me, but over the last few years they seem to be more brand focused, have had better luck crowd sourcing information from reviews than their testing, Amazon ratings tend to be more accurate.
  • markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 556member
    What would we do without Consumer Reports to illuminate us?
  • rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    So glad they approved! </sarc>

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  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,573member
    Whew. iPhone sales can now resume.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,032member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post


    What would we do without Consumer Reports to illuminate us?



    It's about time Apple ranked product report companies. After all, people listen to Apple.
  • esummersesummers Posts: 870member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    So glad they approved! </sarc>

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    They still down ranked the iPhone because it doesn't have a giant, low-resolution screen and it doesn't run on a network (4G) that currently requires first-generation, power-hungry baseband chips...



    In other news.... Consumer Reports knocks off all cars that have less then 500 horsepower from their recommended list because they just aren't fast enough. They also mentioned: "We love our top pick because it has a ton of buttons. It took us hours to figure out how to take the car out of park."
  • constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member
    [QUOTE] While Consumer Reports is now recommending the iPhone 4S, the group said that Apple's latest handset was unable to outscore the best new Android-based phones. Smartphones that Consumer Reports said ranked higher than the iPhone 4S were the Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Droid Bionic, and "several other phones that boast larger displays than the iPhone 4S and run on faster 4G networks." [QUOTE]



    So, Consumer Reports confirms that Android is winning... This knowledge should spark another healthy drop in Apple's share price. Consumer Reports must have inside info that most consumers prefer large displays.
  • kavokkavok Posts: 50member
    So it got slammed for not having a bigger display. Thank god it doesn't! I want something that fits in my pocket, not lug around like an antique calculator. I think Apple picked the perfect size and doesn't need to change it.



    I guess because they didn't put a 4G indicator on it like AT&T wants, it's slower. Okay. Sure.



  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,649member, moderator
    Could someone please explain to me the benefit of large screens and 4G?



    New Android Phone, now too big to fit in your pocket! And fast enough to use your month's data allowance in five minutes flat!
  • peterrrrrrrpeterrrrrrr Posts: 13member
    Slam Consumer Reports all you want, and they shouldn't be immune to criticism like anyone else, but I think it's good to have independent verification that the 4S has better antenna characteristics than the 4. This was certainly a black-eye for Apple, their excuse of "all phone have this problem, our phone doesn't have a problem" was corporate double-speak at its best/worst. The fact that the degraded antenna performance of the 4 was due to an aesthetic design goal just makes this worse.



    And yes, I realize this didn't seem to effect sales at all. Sad that we, as consumers, now have to accept poorer voice quality in exchange for better looking, slimmer phones.
  • urinalcakeurinalcake Posts: 10member
    I hope the antenna fix fixed the BlueTooth also
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PeterRRRRRR View Post


    Slam Consumer Reports all you want, and they shouldn't be immune to criticism like anyone else, but I think it's good to have independent verification that the 4S has better antenna characteristics than the 4. This was certainly a black-eye for Apple, their excuse of "all phone have this problem, our phone doesn't have a problem" was corporate double-speak at its best/worst. The fact that the degraded antenna performance of the 4 was due to an aesthetic design goal just makes this worse.



    And yes, I realize this didn't seem to effect sales at all. Sad that we, as consumers, now have to accept poorer voice quality in exchange for better looking, slimmer phones.



    I mean you choke a Nexus One it loses signal....



    you put a finger to an iPhone 4 it loses signal...(from full to none depending on signal strength)



    Not the same thing...kind of a big deal...but not as big a deal as a lot of people were making it out to be.
  • morkymorky Posts: 164member
    The fact that Consumer Reports ranked the iPhone 4 at the top of the smartphone category, but couldn't recommend it to consumers, shows a deep flaw in their rating process.
  • macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,493member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Morky View Post


    The fact that Consumer Reports ranked the iPhone 4 at the top of the smartphone category, but couldn't recommend it to consumers, shows a deep flaw in their rating process.



    The fact that they STILL refuse to recommend it a year and a half after the original non-existent problem and after a year and a half of the iPhone 4 being the best selling phone on the entire planet shows that Consumer Reports really doesn't have anything going for them.



    I'm curious if they could tell me why I'm supposed to listen to them anymore.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    While Consumer Reports is now recommending the iPhone 4S, the group said that Apple's latest handset was unable to outscore the best new Android-based phones. Smartphones that Consumer Reports said ranked higher than the iPhone 4S were the Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Droid Bionic, and "several other phones that boast larger displays than the iPhone 4S and run on faster 4G networks."



    OK. Let's see if we can follow this:



    1. Consumer Reports says that the iPhone 4's antenna issue is a major problem and even though it's the top rated phone, they can't recommend it because of the antenna issue.



    2. Consumer Reports says that the iPhone 4S doesn't have an antenna problem.



    3. Consumer Reports recommends the Samsung Galaxy S and Motorola Droid Bionic over the iPhone 4S - even though these hones have the same antenna issue that stopped CR from recommending the iPhone 4.



    Can you say 'hypocrite'?



    I've been following CR reports of Apple products for over 20 years - and CR has NEVER fairly evaluated anything from Apple. They have always found some stupid, irrelevant nit to pick and focused on something insignificant as an excuse to recommend something else.



    I'm not convinced that it's an anti-Apple bias. Rather, it seems to be CR's inability to actually test things that matter. Rather, they are better at looking at specs or things that they can measure in their lab. It's easy for them to measure a screen size and say "bigger is better". It's much harder for them to measure usability or customer satisfaction, so they pretend those things don't exist.



    I remember one review from the 90s where they were evaluating Macs. The review said that the Mac was fast and efficient and managed to keep up with the competition - but they down rated it significantly because the clock speed was lower.



    Bottom line is that CR is a useless source of reviews. If all you care about is clock speed or screen size, you can get the information from the manufacturer's site. If you want to know which is actually the BETTER product, it's beyond CR's abilities, so you should find a different review site.



    Note, however, that the raw data isn't usually bad (at least, not when they're intentionally fudging the tests to make a car roll over). They do surveys which show repair rates and customer satisfaction and the data can probably be trusted (always keeping in mind selection bias). But their interpretations are usually suspect.
  • island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,215member
    No way was I going to buy a 4S until the Consumer Reports test report came out. They were so right last year about the antenna issue with the 4. Did Apple ever make a turkey when it made the 4!



    I'll have to read CR's reports on the Android phones. There might be a better choice in that group. Consumer Reports will know.



    </s>
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    The fact that they STILL refuse to recommend it a year and a half after the original non-existent problem and after a year and a half of the iPhone 4 being the best selling phone on the entire planet shows that Consumer Reports really doesn't have anything going for them.



    I'm curious if they could tell me why I'm supposed to listen to them anymore.



    true or false:



    In some areas where connection was not strong enough a single finger could detune the iPhone 4 antenna enough to have the signal go from full to no bars.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    ... I'm not convinced that it's an anti-Apple bias. Rather, it seems to be CR's inability to actually test things that matter. Rather, they are better at looking at specs or things that they can measure in their lab. It's easy for them to measure a screen size and say "bigger is better". It's much harder for them to measure usability or customer satisfaction, so they pretend those things don't exist. ...



    Generally, the problem with CR is their, "inability to actually test things that matter." This has always been true of them. However, they do also have many biases that affect their testing, and an anti-Apple bias has historically been an issue with them. The bias problem, if one is aware of it, can be filtered when you read their reviews. Their inability to test things that matter is fatal.
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    true or false:



    In some areas where connection was not strong enough a single finger could detune the iPhone 4 antenna enough to have the signal go from full to no bars.



    true or false:



    That "symptom" was a function of the displayed signal strength rather than an accurate reflection of signal strength.



    What a troll. Dishonest to the core.



    [insult removed]
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