To be fair, Apple doesnt claim its a software problemthey acknowledge its a real problem (and that other phones have itbut they gloss over the fact that the iPhone has it worse than most).
Apple claims that the software is hiding information ABOUT the problem. To wit: the software problem can sometimes hide when youre in a weak signal areaand thats when the problem crops up. As a result, you may think youve lose a STRONG signal, when really youve lost a weak signal. (Worth fixing, but its not the actual problem.)
CR tells me nothing new hereI already knew two things about the iPhone 4 in weak-signal areas:
1. It can get BETTER signal than previous iPhones (and various other phones too). AND it can make do with less signal and still hold onto a call or data connection. (See Anandtechs test among others: driving through an area where a 3G was useless, the 4 never dropped a call all day.)
2. The better signal can then be worsened by touching that black stripe.
Does #2 outweigh #1? The only answer is sometimes. (Which is indeed what CR found.) In other cases (like Anandtechand of course people who use cases), the new antenna design will prove to worthwhile despite this issue. Three steps forward, one step back, as Daring Fireball described it.Its a better antenna AND a worse one.
Try it out, and note the return policy. (As you would with ANY phone. Any phone will perform differently from another in a certain spot, and you cant accept a phone that doesnt make calls where you are!)
My order is definitely not cancelled
(Besides, AT&T is decent in my city.)