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After 6 weeks of "real usage," Mossberg stands by his initial verdict of the iPhone 4 - Page 3

post #81 of 145
CR is what it is, I had a subscription for years, then just got tired of their reviews focusing on issues that were non issues for me, and allowed my subscription to lapse.

The only thing I could really count on is their reviews of laundry detergent & their ilk.

When they review complex devices, their focus and mine are different, and when they started giving recommended status to all Toyota or Honda cars, it just flat pissed me off.

They actually got the iPhone 4 review right, it's a great device and IMHO, the best smartphone, but the doggone antenna can be an issue for some, for them to ignore the issue would have been irresponsible. I don't know that I would have with held the "recommended" rating because of the antenna issue though, because I was aware of the signal attenuation issue in many other phones already.
post #82 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

They are neither all good nor all bad. They get some things right, and some things wrong, just like all human beings. I don't honestly know whether they've gotten the iPhone 4 testing thing right or wrong, or (more likely) somewhere in between. But as someone else said, their conclusions are virtually the same as Walt Mossberg's, and I notice that nobody is calling him a fraud.

Well, Walt Mossberg isn't misrepresenting his conclusions as being based on objective testing. Consumer Reports is, that's the difference. Their ratings system pretends to be something it is obviously not, and their recommendations are clearly not based on it.
post #83 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Hi Rabbit Coach, a bit off topic: but is 'Rabbit Coach' a sexual reference? Or am I just seeing sexual references where there are none?

If it is, it's very funny.

Best

Hi Christopher, still off topic. - Sorry for giving you wrong ideas with my username. It but I see now in a strictdly freudian sense one might find some sexual reference. Hmm.. I really didn't think of that.
post #84 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I think this guy sums up nicely why the haters hate:
http://chipotle.tumblr.com/post/8617...rs-new-antenna

I wouldn't change a word.

It's a good article - but the point remains that this is not an issue suffered by all users of the phone, it's not a fundamental flaw, it's an issue experienced by a minority of users - and this has been blown out of proportion by the media.

I for one was pleased with Apple's handling of the 'issue' I'm bored of corporate speak and being spoken down to by the likes of Ballmer. Using terms such as "don't hold it like that then" and "bullshit" gave me a new found respect for Jobs. If you don't like the products, don't buy them - if you do buy them you'll continue to get the best experience his company can provide. It might be flawed, but they're unique in the market place for their customer care and the availability of one on one tech support.

Not been on the koolaid, just a bit bored by the knocking of a company just because it got successful/popular/mainstream and the nerds don't like that they're no longer the majority user of this manufacturer's products. I dislike people who knock Microsoft for the same reasons. Both companies have good and bad and the media coverage of "Antenna gate" was utterly ridiculous at a time that western servicemen were being killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A little perspective perhaps?
post #85 of 145
Anandtech:

"From my day of testing, I've determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar). Previously, dropping this low all but guaranteed that calls would drop, fail to be placed, and data would no longer be transacted at all. I can honestly say that I've never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4, so it's readily apparent that the new baseband hardware is much more sensitive compared to what was in the 3GS. The difference is that reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 in actual use.

With my bumper case on, I made it further into dead zones than ever before, and into marginal areas that would always drop calls without any problems at all. It's amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS, and issues from holding the phone aside, reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS."






Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Please provide reference. I can't recall that being said. And having reread their review am having trouble finding it.
post #86 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Well, you misrepresent my argument entirely when you say, "the argument that CR only does what they do to drive web hits." First, that wasn't even my primary criticism, and secondly, there's nothing inconsistent with accusing them of going after web hits, which lead to an enlarged subscriber base, which may lead to increased individual salaries, and admitting that this may not be their only motivation. Do you really believe that the individuals who work at Consumer Reports do what they do entirely out of a sense of selfless altruism? Or, may it not be possible that some of them do it because they are paid well?

As to my primary criticism -- that their testing is not objective nor reliable -- I think the facts stand for themselves. There is really no argument around the fact that, based on their ratings, the iP4 is the best smartphone on the market. Yet, it is not one of their recommended phones. This means that their ratings are not based on the factors that cause them to recommend products. If not, then what are they based on? Unless their ratings and recommendations align, it is unavoidable to conclude that their recommendations are not objective and/or that their rating system is flawed. You can't escape one or the other, or both of those conclusions.

The fact that they have been doing this for 60 years is irrelevant. They may always have been unreliable, (A possibility, since I have almost never agreed with their recommendations on any product of which I have knowledge.) they may recently have become unreliable, or they may have always been sometimes unreliable.

But, they are either engaged in objective testing and rating of products , with meaningful tests and a meaningful rating system, or they are not. That the highest rated product is not recommended, indicates that their rating system and testing is in at least this case flawed. That it is in this case, casts doubt of their reliability and objectivity in all cases.

(And, allowing a video with snarky, unprofessional duct tape comments certainly doesn't help their case. In fact it reinforces the notion that they have allowed bias into their testing process.)

My comments on "scandal and fraud" were, however, intended mostly for the media. As we all know, the lust for sensationalism in that quarter is insatiable. And anything they can whip into the appearance of scandal and fraud is sauce for them. The question is, why isn't the inconsistency of Consumer Reports testing and recommendations coming under scrutiny here by that same media?

The comment on "pseudo-science" is, however, entirely apt, in regard to Consumer Reports methods.

Come on now. You made two arguments, numbered 1 and 2. The first was that their primary motivations were to drive web hits, which in your mind, leads them to be dishonest. I think this "attention whore" argument is at best ludicrous on its face because it is completely circular, and at worst, deeply cynical. It's a generic argument against anyone who says anything for any reason. It can always be trotted out to "counter" any statement with which you disagree for any reason. You need a better argument. A far better one.

CR's track record of over 60 years is hardly irrelevant. I mention this because some like yourself assume that they've created some new method of reviewing products just for the purpose of slamming Apple. This is not so. If you are going to make sweeping statements like "they have always been unreliable" then it is incumbent on you to back up that argument, not just make it and expect everyone to simply accept it. Start here: do you think they were "unreliable" in the past when they top-rated Apple's product reliability and customer support?

And again, if you understood their policies, you'd know that they often ding products with a "not recommended" label for one flaw which they regard as critical, even if they otherwise rate them highly. For example, they have frequently withheld recommendations for cars that tested well because they were new models, and other cars made by the same manufacturer had been less reliable than average. Agree with this or not, to me clearly they are not assuming that their members are non-sentient. The assume their members can look at the information they provide, and decide what is important to them.

This is what they've done for decades. Agree with this methodology or not, no change in method applies in this case.

Further, CR's testing hardly qualifies as "sensationalistic." If fact they are usually criticized for being geeky in the extreme. One of the reasons I am no longer a member is because they often attempt to apply objective testing criteria to products that perform subjectively.
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post #87 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post

Ah, nice to wake up to your friendly comment shithead.

I live in an area with good ATT coverage so my iPhone 4 works. If I didn't I wouldn't buy an iPhone 4, drop calls all over the place and chug Kool Aid to convince myself there's no problem.

That's the difference between you and me. I don't "love" my iPhone like it was a miniature person. It is a tool to do a job and I expect it to work.

It was a boneheaded idea to make the iPhone completely out of glass with the antenna on the outside. I don't know how old you and the rest of the fanbois here are, but when I was a kid we got our TV reception with rabbit ear antennas. If you grabbed them with your hands the picture would change instantly.

I could have told Apple this antenna issue was going to happen, and I didn't have to go to college and become an engineer, or spend millions on a call testing facility.

Apple blundered big time on this one. And all the Kool Aid on the store shelf ain't gonna make it go away.


This says more about YOUR ISSUES then anything else.
post #88 of 145
In certain rare locations my iPhone 4 gets the Cell Phone Death Grip; luckily calls do not drop, but bars may. I assumed that touching the black stripe was the culprit.

But lately I’ve noticed that if I intentionally touch just that spot, in a weak signal area, generally nothing happens! The big “death grip” effect comes instead from a whole-hand wrap in my testing. In fact, if I carefully insert a little air by pulling my palm away from just the black stripe, that doesn’t even seem to help. In my experience, then, it seems like the iPhone’s grip problem works about the same as every other phone—it’s not some tragic new thing because the antenna is external.
post #89 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Come on now. You made two arguments, numbered 1 and 2. The first was that their primary motivations were to drive web hits, which in your mind, leads them to be dishonest. I think this "attention whore" argument is at best ludicrous on its face because it is completely circular, and at worst, deeply cynical. It's a generic argument against anyone who says anything for any reason. It can always be trotted out to "counter" any statement with which you disagree for any reason. You need a better argument. A far better one.

CR's track record of over 60 years is hardly irrelevant. I mention this because some like yourself assume that they've created some new method of reviewing products just for the purpose of slamming Apple. This is not so. If you are going to make sweeping statements like "they have always been unreliable" then it is incumbent on you to back up that argument, not just make it and expect everyone to simply accept it. Start here: do you think they were "unreliable" in the past when they top-rated Apple's product reliability and customer support?

And again, if you understood their policies, you'd know that they often ding products with a "not recommended" label for one flaw which they regard as critical, even if they otherwise rate them highly. For example, they have frequently withheld recommendations for cars that tested well because they were new models, and other cars made by the same manufacturer had been less reliable than average. Agree with this or not, to me clearly they are not assuming that their members are non-sentient. The assume their members can look at the information they provide, and decide what is important to them.

This is what they've done for decades. Agree with this methodology or not, no change in method applies in this case.

Further, CR's testing hardly qualifies as "sensationalistic." If fact they are usually criticized for being geeky in the extreme. One of the reasons I am no longer a member is because they often attempt to apply objective testing criteria to products that perform subjectively.

First, I used the word 'significant', not 'primarily', and I stand by that accusation: that they were, in no irrelevant manner, and in your words, acting like "attention whores". The whole snarky duct tape video undermines any arguments to the contrary.

And, no, I don't think they are doing anything different than they have always done. (And note, that your quote on this point is a misquote, what I actually said was, "They may always have been unreliable, [...] they may recently have become unreliable, or they may have always been sometimes unreliable.") I think their review process has always been flawed. The establish arbitrary criteria, test (and how rigorously is debatable), then, when their test results don't line up with what they feel is correct, they will 'ding' products for criteria not part of their tests. How is this in any way objective testing? It isn't, but it does point to the arbitrary nature of their testing criteria. If the points that products are 'dinged' over are relevant, why aren't they part of the rating process? And are the dings based on objective testing, or are they mere subjective whims?

This goes well beyond smartphone "testing", and applies to all their testing, ratings, and recommendations. This might be fine if they didn't maintain a pretense of objective, "scientific" testing of products, but they do. In the case of smartphones, why weren't the tests they subjected the iP4 to part of the rating process to begin with? How many phones have they tested in this way? Did they subject other "recommended" phones to the same testing? If not, what is the validity of those ratings and recommendations?
post #90 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esoom View Post

CR is what it is, I had a subscription for years, then just got tired of their reviews focusing on issues that were non issues for me, and allowed my subscription to lapse.

The only thing I could really count on is their reviews of laundry detergent & their ilk.

When they review complex devices, their focus and mine are different, and when they started giving recommended status to all Toyota or Honda cars, it just flat pissed me off.

They actually got the iPhone 4 review right, it's a great device and IMHO, the best smartphone, but the doggone antenna can be an issue for some, for them to ignore the issue would have been irresponsible. I don't know that I would have with held the "recommended" rating because of the antenna issue though, because I was aware of the signal attenuation issue in many other phones already.

Me too....Tide is the best Cheer is second...best Paint is Home Depot's Behr...don't pull your nose hairs out with your fingers, use a nose trimmer, etc.

American cars are improving, but Japanese are still the best (sorry) don't buy German cars and certainly don't by English! (I'm English, btw)

If you want to make an emergency stop in a Kia, turn on the AC, etc. etc.

Best
post #91 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

Hi Christopher, still off topic. - Sorry for giving you wrong ideas with my username. It but I see now in a strictdly freudian sense one might find some sexual reference. Hmm.. I really didn't think of that.

Yes, I thought it sort of sarcastic, I mean, do rabbits really need 'coaching?' Anyway, thanks for the clarification and certainly no offense intended. I just have an overdeveloped imagination, I guess. Probably due to my years as a 'door-to-door lingerie' salesman.

Oh well! Best to get back on topic, before someone calls me a sh*thead!
post #92 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Come on now. You made two arguments, numbered 1 and 2. The first was that their primary motivations were to drive web hits, which in your mind, leads them to be dishonest. I think this "attention whore" argument is at best ludicrous on its face because it is completely circular, and at worst, deeply cynical. It's a generic argument against anyone who says anything for any reason. It can always be trotted out to "counter" any statement with which you disagree for any reason. You need a better argument. A far better one.

CR's track record of over 60 years is hardly irrelevant. I mention this because some like yourself assume that they've created some new method of reviewing products just for the purpose of slamming Apple. This is not so. If you are going to make sweeping statements like "they have always been unreliable" then it is incumbent on you to back up that argument, not just make it and expect everyone to simply accept it. Start here: do you think they were "unreliable" in the past when they top-rated Apple's product reliability and customer support?

And again, if you understood their policies, you'd know that they often ding products with a "not recommended" label for one flaw which they regard as critical, even if they otherwise rate them highly. For example, they have frequently withheld recommendations for cars that tested well because they were new models, and other cars made by the same manufacturer had been less reliable than average. Agree with this or not, to me clearly they are not assuming that their members are non-sentient. The assume their members can look at the information they provide, and decide what is important to them.

This is what they've done for decades. Agree with this methodology or not, no change in method applies in this case.

Further, CR's testing hardly qualifies as "sensationalistic." If fact they are usually criticized for being geeky in the extreme. One of the reasons I am no longer a member is because they often attempt to apply objective testing criteria to products that perform subjectively.

Well said.

This thread started out rather interestingly with mostly iPhone defenders chiming in. Ironically, it seems that iP4 antenna critics have largely lost interest after having gotten the word out. Consumer reports fulfilled its roll admirably in that regard.

Most people I know to have experience the reception problem, have bought a case by now and are happily using their iPhones. They still claim it is a real issue and don't appreciate Apple trying to deny the problem. But overall, they're happy. With a case, the iP4 is arguably the best phone ever made. But that doesn't mean it didn't have a real problem. It was just a problem, that if experienced, could be overcome with a case.

These people have mostly lost interest in the subject. The news covered it sufficiently and there is no more reason to harp on the issue. Consumers are well informed at this point and can choose to buy or not to buy. This leaves just the zealots to argue amongst themselves, claiming either it is the worst phone ever or that there was no reception problem at all.
post #93 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Good point, which only reinforces what I've said. CR's other results on Apple products (such as giving them consistently high marks for reliability and quality of tech support) can be trumpeted as truth, but if CR gives Apple one black mark (or even one gray mark), this turns them instantly into an out-and-out fraudulent organization with cynical motives and no credibility whatsoever.

Thats the facrts^^^^^^ CR states things as they are, over the years they've recommended APPLE many times. I have yet to see a more unbiased and scientifically based organization than Consumer Reports. Are they perfect? NO but they are pretty much on the money and reliable. Even APPLE started to address the Antenna issue when CR got involved. Which proves that APPLE gives CR credability as do most companies.
post #94 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Consumer Reports, like most blogs and news sites that jumped on this particular bandwagon, was driven in significant part by a desire to stir up controversy and drive traffic to their site. In their case it wasn't to increase ad revenue, but traffic to their site doubtlessly drives subscriptions to the content behind their paywall. There is an obvious conflict of interest here, highlighted by their handling of the issue, that calls into question their motives. Remember, employees at non-profits don't work for free, and their compensation, just like everyone else's (unless you work on Wall St) depends on how much money their employer pulls in.

Well put. I had been a member of CR but my membership lapsed. Needless to say, after this little episode I won't be renewing!

So for me, at least, their little scheme has backfired.
post #95 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

In the case of smartphones, why weren't the tests they subjected the iP4 to part of the rating process to begin with? How many phones have they tested in this way? Did they subject other "recommended" phones to the same testing? If not, what is the validity of those ratings and recommendations?

Why, all you need to do is acquire a membership to find out!
post #96 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Thats the facrts^^^^^^ CR states things as they are, over the years they've recommended APPLE many times. I have yet to see a more unbiased and scientifically based organization than Consumer Reports. Are they perfect? NO but they are pretty much on the money and reliable. Even APPLE started to address the Antenna issue when CR got involved. Which proves that APPLE gives CR credability as do most companies.

I don't think it's that Apple gives credibility to Consumer Reports. In fact, I doubt that very much. It's more like Consumer Reports, right or wrong, can be used as a blunt instrument to beat your competitors with because too many people give them any credibility at all.

I think it's more that, with Consumer Reports' sensationalist and unprofessional handling of their "review", the media became stirred into such an irrational frenzy that Apple had to give out free cases to appease them. I think it's ridiculous to suggest that Apple only started to address the issue after Consumer Reports weighed in.
post #97 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Why, all you need to do is acquire a membership to find out!

Yes, exactly.
post #98 of 145
[deleted after realizing I had misread the post I had replied to]
post #99 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I don't think it's that Apple gives credibility to Consumer Reports. In fact, I doubt that very much. It's more like Consumer Reports, right or wrong, can be used as a blunt instrument to beat your competitors with because too many people give them any credibility at all.

I think it's more that, with Consumer Reports' sensationalist and unprofessional handling of their "review", the media became stirred into such an irrational frenzy that Apple had to give out free cases to appease them. I think it's ridiculous to suggest that Apple only started to address the issue after Consumer Reports weighed in.

Companies cannot use consumer reports to beat their competitors. The commercial use of CR reviews is explicitly prohibited.

It sounds more like you have an emotional attachment to the subject and are mad at CR for publishing a review you disagree with. There was nothing sensational about their review at all. Nothing was sensationalized. Nothing was unprofessional. There wasn't across the board criticism, demonization of a CEO, no attacks on an entire company etc. They retested a single product after widespread reports of a single, specific flaw. They confirmed that the flaw could affect some customers and adjusted their rating accordingly.

You can reasonably argue that their review was wrong. But to call it sensationalism is just bizarre.
post #100 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Glad to hear Walt remains the almost lone honest voice in the hogwash engineered by gawkers and psystars. And after having indeed used the product for some time now I'm wholeheartedly with him on this subject.

The iPhone 4 is absolutely amazing product.
The battery life is now --- finally! --- in line with what industry offers in general. But is a charge speed astounding!
The reception capabilities are indisputably superior to previous generations of the phone. I can give calls to my folks from places like basements and underground parking lots, from which with the 3G I could only dream to.
Camera. I stopped to sync third party camera applications. Apple's one has everything I need back again, not to mention the convenience of using it.
Display. Thank you Apple, I can read on my iPhone without eye strain again. It's great.

God almighty, did the industrial design of the case ail me in the beginning. But it appeared to be only a whim just like that anger at your grocery shop personnel upon they've moved shelves and you've lost your habitual stuff from the view. Well, I'm getting used to industrial design too and even starting to find it elegant.
I still do not like Apple having changed home button usage patterns. I still see no big point in multitasking, however, it's good to see how fast suspended applications come to run.

So, I think gawkers committed a real crime with spoiling the launch of such a product in public opinion. And I think they should pay.

How can there be so much of a difference in iPhone 4 user experience? I've had my iP4 since day one and the "death grip" is a real issue for me. Without the bumper, the phone us useless, with it, it works okay. However, the reception is not as good as my old iPhone 3G. I used to always get reception at home, but now I rarely do. My wife has my old 3G and she continues to get good home reception.

There is clearly a difference in phone reception quality between my new iP4 and old iP3. If I had the opportunity, I'd go back to the iP3 if only to be able to use it at home again.
post #101 of 145
The difference, troll, is that in reality there's no ``experience since day one' ', nor ``real issue' ', nor ``3G' '. There is not even a wife yet. But one day the latter will eventually come...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #102 of 145
Quote:
Mossberg took issue with Apple's claim that the iPhone 4 performs better than the iPhone 3GS in areas with poor reception.

I find my iP4 performs better than my iP3G in areas with poor reception. My two pennies worth.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #103 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

First, I used the word 'significant', not 'primarily', and I stand by that accusation: that they were, in no irrelevant manner, and in your words, acting like "attention whores". The whole snarky duct tape video undermines any arguments to the contrary.

And, no, I don't think they are doing anything different than they have always done. (And note, that your quote on this point is a misquote, what I actually said was, "They may always have been unreliable, [...] they may recently have become unreliable, or they may have always been sometimes unreliable.") I think their review process has always been flawed. The establish arbitrary criteria, test (and how rigorously is debatable), then, when their test results don't line up with what they feel is correct, they will 'ding' products for criteria not part of their tests. How is this in any way objective testing? It isn't, but it does point to the arbitrary nature of their testing criteria. If the points that products are 'dinged' over are relevant, why aren't they part of the rating process? And are the dings based on objective testing, or are they mere subjective whims?

This goes well beyond smartphone "testing", and applies to all their testing, ratings, and recommendations. This might be fine if they didn't maintain a pretense of objective, "scientific" testing of products, but they do. In the case of smartphones, why weren't the tests they subjected the iP4 to part of the rating process to begin with? How many phones have they tested in this way? Did they subject other "recommended" phones to the same testing? If not, what is the validity of those ratings and recommendations?

So you insist on making distinctions that don't make any logical difference. Your argument is fundamentally still the same. It is a circular argument with a cynical twist. Criticizing someone for gaining attention for doing what they do is a completely generic argument for all occasions. You might as well argue that Tolstoy only wrote "War and Peace" to bring attention to himself as a novelist. Well, shame on Tolstoy.

Again, I will point out that you have provided no technical basis for disagreeing with CR's testing results. Instead you have repeatedly questioned their motives. This is not an argument. It is simply applied cynicism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, exactly.

Yes, exactly. These reports are intended for members. Shocking.
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post #104 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Companies cannot use consumer reports to beat their competitors. The commercial use of CR reviews is explicitly prohibited.

Don't be naive. Of course companies do this.

Quote:
It sounds more like you have an emotional attachment to the subject and are mad at CR for publishing a review you disagree with. There was nothing sensational about their review at all. Nothing was sensationalized. Nothing was unprofessional. There wasn't across the board criticism, demonization of a CEO, no attacks on an entire company etc. They retested a single product after widespread reports of a single, specific flaw. They confirmed that the flaw could affect some customers and adjusted their rating accordingly.

You can reasonably argue that their review was wrong. But to call it sensationalism is just bizarre.

Actually:

1. I'm not even arguing about whether their review was right or wrong. I'm saying that their entire review process is broken, so they have no credibility, on any subject. In other words, when they are right, it is by accident.

2. Even if my criticisms were motivated by emotions related to the review, that has no bearing on whether the criticisms are valid or not.

3. The way Consumer Report's handled the issue, particularly their duct tape video, was nothing but sensational and unprofessional.
post #105 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

So you insist on making distinctions that don't make any logical difference. Your argument is fundamentally still the same. It is a circular argument with a cynical twist. Criticizing someone for gaining attention for doing what they do is a completely generic argument for all occasions. You might as well argue that Tolstoy only wrote "War and Peace" to bring attention to himself as a novelist. Well, shame on Tolstoy.

Again, I will point out that you have provided no technical basis for disagreeing with CR's testing results. Instead you have repeatedly questioned their motives. This is not an argument. It is simply applied cynicism.



Yes, exactly. These reports are intended for members. Shocking.

Yes, and that's exactly what they are hoping to get out of their sensationalist blog postings, increased "membership", isn't it? Why else do they have free "teaser" postings on their website, with the rest of their content behind a paywall? Obviously, to entice people to become "members".

As far as the rest of your response, it is an entirely misleading, misrepresentation of what I've written on this topic. And the distinction between "significant" and "primary" may be without "logical" difference, but it's not at all without semantic difference.

The bottom line is, and it cannot be honestly avoided, that for the iP4 to be the top rated smartphone, and for them to say they cannot recommend it, is an inconsistency that undermines everything they have to say on this topic. Either it is the best smartphone, and their "can't recommend" statement is disingenuous, or their entire rating system is meaningless and tells you nothing at all, leaving us with nothing but their subjective decisions on products.
post #106 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Don't be naive. Of course companies do this.

You wouldn't mind supplying any, you know, evidence for this, would you? When was the last time you saw "Consumer Reports recommended" in any product advertising? (Hint: You never have, since they don't allow it.)

Quote:
Actually:

1. I'm not even arguing about whether their review was right or wrong. I'm saying that their entire review process is broken, so they have no credibility, on any subject. In other words, when they are right, it is by accident.

2. Even if my criticisms were motivated by emotions related to the review, that has no bearing on whether the criticisms are valid or not.

3. The way Consumer Report's handled the issue, particularly their duct tape video, was nothing but sensational and unprofessional.

First of all, you most certainly have argued that it was wrong. Repeatedly, even in the very statement that "their entire review process is broken." How can a review be right if entire process is broken? Second, your motivations are not being questioned. Your facts and the soundness of your arguments are. Third, what you judge to be "professional" has no impact on whether the testing was valid.
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post #107 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Don't be naive. Of course companies do this.

What do they do? Reference CR reviews to promote their own product? This is specifically prohibited by consumer reports and they actively pursue companies that do. Granted, there are some references that never get noticed.

But since you think they have "no credibility on any subject", all further discussion is probably pointless. It doesn't seem as if reason would persuade someone with such a radical view already.
post #108 of 145
Steve said "``Consumer Reports' ' recommend using bumpers." during the last press conference.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #109 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

What do they do? Reference CR reviews to promote their own product? This is specifically prohibited by consumer reports and they actively pursue companies that do. Granted, there are some references that never get noticed.

Right, they never casually point out to the press that their product is rated higher by CR than product B. They never push that information to the public in "unofficial" ways. They never mention the details of those reviews in any context. Uh, huh.
post #110 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, and that's exactly what they are hoping to get out of their sensationalist blog postings, increased "membership", isn't it? Why else do they have free "teaser" postings on their website, with the rest of their content behind a paywall? Obviously, to entice people to become "members".

As far as the rest of your response, it is an entirely misleading, misrepresentation of what I've written on this topic. And the distinction between "significant" and "primary" may be without "logical" difference, but it's not at all without semantic difference.

The bottom line is, and it cannot be honestly avoided, that for the iP4 to be the top rated smartphone, and for them to say they cannot recommend it, is an inconsistency that undermines everything they have to say on this topic. Either it is the best smartphone, and their "can't recommend" statement is disingenuous, or their entire rating system is meaningless and tells you nothing at all, leaving us with nothing but their subjective decisions on products.

No, I have already explained that this is entirely consistent with their ratings policy which they have practiced for decades. This is a fact, but you simply refuse to accept it.

And now we know -- Tolstoy was an attention whore. Anybody who gets attention for doing what they do can be criticized for their motives, especially if we don't like what they do. Whether it is true or not is immaterial. The very fact that they do it and people pay attention is the problem.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #111 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, and that's exactly what they are hoping to get out of their sensationalist blog postings, increased "membership", isn't it? Why else do they have free "teaser" postings on their website, with the rest of their content behind a paywall? Obviously, to entice people to become "members".

As far as the rest of your response, it is an entirely misleading, misrepresentation of what I've written on this topic. And the distinction between "significant" and "primary" may be without "logical" difference, but it's not at all without semantic difference.

The bottom line is, and it cannot be honestly avoided, that for the iP4 to be the top rated smartphone, and for them to say they cannot recommend it, is an inconsistency that undermines everything they have to say on this topic. Either it is the best smartphone, and their "can't recommend" statement is disingenuous, or their entire rating system is meaningless and tells you nothing at all, leaving us with nothing but their subjective decisions on products.

Are you really that outraged that a magazine/website dare charge for subscriptions?

As for the motivation sensationalize in order to get subscribers, isn't that conflict of interest true for all publications? If they really wanted to sensationalize, they would have been doing so for years. But they haven't.

And to address your comments on ratings. Ratings are useful. However that doesn't mean that they can all just be averaged together to come up with a numeric winner. If a product has a single significant flaw, but is superior at every other category, then we end up with exactly the situation like we have with the iPhone. It is best at nearly everything... except for the one flaw which for some people overshadows all other factors.

It really isn't that hard of a concept to grasp. I nearly bought a house that was tops in nearly all of the criteria I was using to compare to other homes. Then I was made aware of a seasonal spring that ran through the basement. It was the best price, had the best kitchen, the best woodwork, etc. But the yearly basement flooding made all that irrelevant.

It is obvious that you disagree with the consumer reports review. That would be a reasonable topic to debate. But instead it seems that you're out to slam the organization in every possible way, saying they have "no credibility on any subject".
post #112 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

... First of all, you most certainly have argued that it was wrong. Repeatedly, even in the very statement that "their entire review process is broken." How can a review be right if entire process is broken?

One can "accidentally" be right.

Quote:
Second, your motivations are not being questioned. Your facts and the soundness of your arguments are.

No, I don't think so, you haven't addressed the facts and arguments at all. All of your responses have been personally directed.

Quote:
Third, what you judge to be "professional" has no impact on whether the testing was valid.

True, to some extent, as long as the unprofessional behavior does not spill over to the actual test, but is confined only to their publicity about the test. However, it does cast some doubt on the objectivity.
post #113 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Right, they never casually point out to the press that their product is rated higher by CR than product B. They never push that information to the public in "unofficial" ways. They never mention the details of those reviews in any context. Uh, huh.

Really? That's the tone and quality of post you want to build a reputation upon?

Of course this happens sometimes. The point is that it is exceedingly rare. It almost never happens in print ads or on television. It almost never happens on corporate websites, etc.

To get a quick understanding of how rare this is, try googling for: consumer reports rated higher

Coming to agreement on just how exceedingly rare it is doesn't seem important though. It is enough to simply realize that consumer reports isn't motivated by whether or not their review will be cited by the companies they are reviewing.

The point is, this is just one of the practices consumer reports uses to ensure the high level of impartiality possible. They want purposefully avoid interaction with the companies they are reviewing.

Which is why I suppose you are belaboring this point. You are out to prove that consumer reports is despicable, worthless, etc.
post #114 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

... It is enough to simply realize that consumer reports isn't motivated by whether or not their review will be cited by the companies they are reviewing. ....

Well, I never said it was. Among other things, they are motivated by gaining and keeping subscribers, to pay their salaries. And, keeping themselves aloof from companies of products they review, does not mean their reviews are objective. It just means that, hopefully, their reviews are not influenced by those companies. But they may certainly be biased or not objective in other ways.
post #115 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Which is why I suppose you are belaboring this point. You are out to prove that consumer reports is despicable, worthless, etc.

The reason I am belaboring this point is that there are obviously fundamental problems with the way Consumer Reports reviews smartphones. I think there are fundamental problems with the way they review many items. One of these problems is that their rating criteria are arbitrary and subjectively chosen. Otherwise, if they had chosen appropriate criteria and tests on which to rate smartphones, we would not have the ridiculous situation where the highest rated smartphone is "not recommended".

Let's even assume their testing of iP4 signal is valid. Why wasn't that part of the criteria of how they rate smartphones? Did they previously consider it unimportant? Now it is? Or is it? So, because they don't rate based on this, they decide to apply a "fudge factor", resulting in a "not recommended" recommendation. How is this objective? How is it transparent? (Yes, they are behind a paywall, but they are selectively releasing data to the general public on some phones and not on others, assuming they have even tested other phones in the same way.)

I really can't see how any rational, intelligent person can think that Consumer Reports' does not obviously have a credibility problem, with all of their reviews.
post #116 of 145
Well obviously if we don't agree with you, we're irrational idiots.

At least we know the true argument now.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #117 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The reason I am belaboring this point is that there are obviously fundamental problems with the way Consumer Reports reviews smartphones. I think there are fundamental problems with the way they review many items. One of these problems is that their rating criteria are arbitrary and subjectively chosen. Otherwise, if they had chosen appropriate criteria and tests on which to rate smartphones, we would not have the ridiculous situation where the highest rated smartphone is "not recommended".

Let's even assume their testing of iP4 signal is valid. Why wasn't that part of the criteria of how they rate smartphones? Did they previously consider it unimportant? Now it is? Or is it? So, because they don't rate based on this, they decide to apply a "fudge factor", resulting in a "not recommended" recommendation. How is this objective? How is it transparent? (Yes, they are behind a paywall, but they are selectively releasing data to the general public on some phones and not on others, assuming they have even tested other phones in the same way.)

I really can't see how any rational, intelligent person can think that Consumer Reports' does not obviously have a credibility problem, with all of their reviews.

Obviously they thought that a working antenna was a given. Then they found out it wasn't and amended their conclusion. This is a perfectly rational development. It is how all scientists operate.

Please go back and read my previous post as to how overall ratings can be overshadowed by a single but important defect. What do you think of the analogy of a great house that has a basement that floods frequently?
post #118 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Obviously they thought that a working antenna was a given. Then they found out it wasn't and amended their conclusion. This is a perfectly rational development. It is how all scientists operate.

Please go back and read my previous post as to how overall ratings can be overshadowed by a single but important defect. What do you think of the analogy of a great house that has a basement that floods frequently?

Obviously, they weren't testing antennas on any phones, or they would have noticed this issue previously, on any number of phones. (Obviously, it isn't that hard to reproduce on most of them.) Obviously, they focused on this phone because grandstanding on the issue would garner them lots of publicity. Obviously, they did not behave professionally. Obviously, they aren't scientists.

The only counter argument that can even be attempted is essentially that Consumer Reports has never been an objective testing organization, so that throwing in an extra factor when they don't get the results they expect in their ratings is standard practice with them. Consumer Reports exists to promote and perpetuate itself, not to provide honest, objective reviews of products.
post #119 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I only read consumer reports for reviews on Toyotas and washing machines...for years they were biased against Apple computers...recommending Dell, HP, Sony, etc.

No thanks consumer reports!

My boyfriend subscribes to Consumer Reports and treats their reviews like they are the Bible.

I don't usually agree with their reports so this can be the cause of many arguments when buying stuff (one of the latest ones was about which Energy Star washing machine to get)

I will, instead, go to as many review sites as I can to find out what people who bought the products actually say about them. A lot of times a product starts out great and then falls apart sooner than other brands.

Consumer Reports tests things, but do they use them long term in a real life situation? I don't think they do, so I would rather listen to a review from someone who has had the product and takes the time to submit a review without getting anything for it at all. When I was looking at washing machine reviews, people would come back and edit their initial review if the product broke or they had repair problems after owning for a while.

So I take all of Consumer Reports reviews with a grain of salt. This whole way they presented their reviews of the iPhone is sort of funky. As was Apple's first response to the issues. However I found Steve's press conference to be impressive and for me that turned my opinion around about Apple's response on the issue. If I were in the market for a smart phone I would again read reviews from people who are using the phone. Personally I wouldn't hold it over the antenna, I tried to hold my iPod touch that way and it hurt my hand, and I would probably get a bumper anyway because I like how they look and would want some protection for it. So Consumer Reports would hold no sway for me on that product either.

But, I am not in the market for a smart phone, I hate talking on the phone as it is so I am sticking with my land line and LG Go phone. Saving my money for the iPad that I will NOT be reading in full sunlight. (another ridiculous mess, I have a black garden hose...another thing the boyfriend bought...if it sits in full sunlight for even a brief time the water coming out of it is scolding hot, enough to burn my hand! If people think reading on a computer in full sun is a great idea... well it certainly is not)
post #120 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Obviously, they weren't testing antennas on any phones, or they would have noticed this issue previously, on any number of phones.

Uhh, name one other phone that loses 24 db simply by touching one small spot with a fingertip. A small spot that is in a place many people naturally hold the phone.
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