or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Consumer Reports condemns end of iPhone 4 free case program
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Consumer Reports condemns end of iPhone 4 free case program

post #1 of 189
Thread Starter 
Consumer Reports responded negatively to Apple's discontinuation of the free iPhone 4 case program, refusing to recommend the iPhone 4.

The consumer buying advice group announced Monday on its official blog that it continues not to recommend the iPhone 4. Apple's decision to discontinue the iPhone 4 free case program was seen as "less consumer-friendly."

"Putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us," wrote Consumer Reports.

Apple announced Friday that it would not extend its free case offer, which expires on Sept. 30. Users experiencing noticeable loss of signal when holding the phone can contact AppleCare to request a free bumper. According to Apple, the "iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller" than they originally thought.

Consumer Reports also took issue with the change in available cases. During the free case program, seven cases, "including some from third-party manufacturers," were offered. Users who contact AppleCare after Sept. 30 will only have Apple's own Bumper case available to them.

In July, Consumer Reports reversed its initial recommendation that there was "no reason not to buy" the new smartphone. After independent testing in a "controlled environment," the organization found that the iPhone 4 was subject to signal loss when held.

Despite the lack of recommendation, the organization still ranked the iPhone as the best smartphone available, giving it the "highest rated" score.

Several websites questioned Consumer Reports' testing methodology. Engineer Bob Egan dismissed the test as unscientific.

"From what I can see in the reports, Consumer Reports replicated the same uncontrolled, unscientific experiments that many of the blogging sites have done," Egan wrote on his website.
post #2 of 189
CR is shameless.
post #3 of 189
Can't say I really care.
post #4 of 189
My iPhone 4 works fine, with or without a case. The low return rate speaks for itself.
post #5 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

My iPhone 4 works fine, with or without a case. The low return rate speaks for itself.

+1 here. I haven't experinced problems thus far, and I do believe if there is a problem, it's with AT&T's network. I live less than 2 miles from a big AT&T complex and I get only three bars.
post #6 of 189
Enough, already, from Consumer Reports on this. They said their piece. Now they're just fishing for traffic.

The irony, of course, is: Consumer Reports has an iPhone app. And... it's considered pretty lame.
post #7 of 189
I got one of the free cases, but I like the phone better without the case so case is collecting dust. I haven't had any reception problems.
PocketMoney for your iPhone
www.catamount.com
Reply
PocketMoney for your iPhone
www.catamount.com
Reply
post #8 of 189
Look at me, I am irrelevant and don't even know it..
post #9 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

My iPhone 4 works fine, with or without a case. The low return rate speaks for itself.

Ditto! And the fact that the loss-of-signal issue seems to be largely US-specific (i.e., AT&T-specific) and not experienced by users on other carriers around the world strongly suggests (perhaps even proves) that the problem isn't a design flaw of the iPhone 4, but a flaw with the strength/quality of AT&T's 3G network.

Regardless, I (and the overwhelming majority of users) have had no problems with the iPhone 4 since day one. Despite the Antennagate-gate, a flood of bad press, and specifically Consumer Reports' negative comments, reactions and continued refusal to recommend the iPhone 4, Apple is still scrambling to meet demand.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

Reply

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

Reply
post #10 of 189
Consumer Reports... what a misnomer. Seems like actual consumers aren't reporting any problems!
post #11 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to Apple, the "iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller" than they originally thought.


What about the iPhone 4 antenna detuning issue? No comments on that from Apple?
post #12 of 189
It is a fundamental design flaw.
post #13 of 189
Consumer Reports... 'nuff said.
post #14 of 189
Consumer Reports:
I can't recommend the iPhone.

Consumer:
I don't care.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL7yD-0pqZg

Seriously, this is just going to make Consumer Reports look bad when that take this stance and everyone else says that it is a minor problem affecting very few people. Can it be reproduced? Yes. Can you easily avoid the problem (if you do not naturally do so)? Yes. Does the antenna design generally improve reception over a traditional design. Yes. Will it cause your call to drop? No. It's like the efficiency gauge on the Toyota Prius. Maximize your bars and you will get better gas mileage. Consumer Reports should stick to cars. Enough said.
post #15 of 189
BIG DEAL!

Cases are what, $1.50 at Monoprice -- what NON-news.
post #16 of 189
Jesus. Consumer Reports just won't stop, will they? I wonder who's paying them to act this way?
post #17 of 189
I have an iPhone 4 with a free bumper from Apple and I have a few thoughts on this:

1. I find the drop in signal strength with the iPhone 4 to be noticeable (in terms of "bars") and replicable (I can make it happen EVERY SINGLE TIME I hold the phone in the "forbidden" way). I realize that looking at the bars is not "scientific" in the sense that there are a lot of uncontrolled factors, but this is an issue of precision not bias. Repeat the experiment of "hold right" vs "hold wrong" enough times, and even using the "unscientific bars" measure, it's still a valid comparison (just statistically noisy).

2. Apple's bumper case TOTALLY solves the problem for me.

3. I can imagine that the reason Apple has seen few returns over this issue is that while holding the phone "in the wrong way" reduces signal strength, it doesn't necessarily result in a dropped call in an area with weak signal AND people might just learn to stop holding it "the wrong way". I suspect this is what Apple is really talking about when they say that the problem is even less common than they initially believed -- it's not that attenuation doesn't happen, it's that dropped calls resulting from attenuation are more rare than they first estimated, perhaps because people are either using cases or just not holding the phone "wrong."

4. People can still get a free case if they want one. All they have to do is contact AppleCare. I don't see how that's any harder than finding the "free case app" on the App Store.

5. Seems absurd to me that CR demand Apple provide third party cases. The Apple bumper fixes the issue, so what's the problem? I think this demand from CR greatly reduces their credibility here. It just makes no sense.

My conclusion:

The attenuation problem is real, but the implications of the problem are not noticeable for most people most of the time (in terms of dropped calls or other serious disruptions in service). Providing a free case through Apple Care for people who do experience a noticeable disruption in service seems like a totally reasonable solution to the problem. CR is just grandstanding at this point.
post #18 of 189
I'm still on my 3GS, but I've heard mixed iPhone 4 comments from others - some say they have no problems while others do. I'm not discounting those with legitimate problems, but I do think some of it is the power of suggestion. If you hear over and over about an issue even if you don't have that issue you invent it in your mind cuz you must have it also - everyone else does, right? Also some people just like to complain. Lastly, it seems to me Consumer Reports has turned into PETA (and others) by using any and every opportunity to let the world know they are around and get people to visit their site and pay attention to them.
post #19 of 189
I would think most executive types are using a cell phone. From the way CR is behaving I think that their CEO is an Android user and he feels fear for his own ego if he actually recommends a phone that he/she is using. Dumb on CR part. I don't read their stuff and really don't care.
post #20 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by erybovic View Post

I tested this with field test mode and holding it the wrong way on average loses 20 DB of signal strength. It is a fundamental design flaw.

I tested in in real life - significantly better reception NO dead zones on my route to and from work where there used to be dead zones (minimum two bars now), and only two (count 'em) 2-dos-ʼiṯnān-dua-dó-twee-tueir-dui-deux dropped calls for the entire 2+ months of use since purchase - a new personal record.

READ MY PIXELS - 20dB means jack unless you have the rest of the data ohhh like direction, ambient conditions, and cell breathing to name a few.

And now back to normal-sized commentary.
post #21 of 189
I have had my iPhone 4 for over a month now, and I have not had any issue with the attenuation that some have had. I have held it in every way possible, and nothing happened. I think what needs to happen is that someone make a website that collects anonymous data from people, and collects data as far as how many bars and where they are located. The reason why I say that is I wonder if it is certain areas in the US that are having problems, or is it just a sprinkling all over the map.
-- Mike Eggleston
-- Mac Finatic since 1984.
-- Proud Member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals
-- Wii #: 8913 3004 4519 2027
Reply
-- Mike Eggleston
-- Mac Finatic since 1984.
-- Proud Member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals
-- Wii #: 8913 3004 4519 2027
Reply
post #22 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Jesus. Consumer Reports just won't stop, will they? I wonder who's paying them to act this way?

Their membership.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #23 of 189
Yea, and we are the idiots. Its clear from the videos what the signal loss is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZyDK...eature=channel
post #24 of 189
I wouldn't recommend CR to anyone as well.
post #25 of 189
Consumer Reports has no credibility. I haven't trusted their recommendations for years. This latest announcement confirms my decision.
post #26 of 189
I've given up trying to make my iPhone 4 antenna fail. I squeeze it in both hands, turn it around, stick in my armpit... Its reception remains constant.

After all this hype, it's terribly disappointing to have spent $300 and have nothing to complain about. Really, what do I have to do? Sit on it naked? It's disgraceful. I bought the thing so that I could whine! Consumer Reports should be ashamed of themselves for misleading me.

Oh well. There's always Apple's steadfast refusal to give me wings, the body of a cartoon superhero, and immortality.
post #27 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by pslice View Post

I would think most executive types are using a cell phone. From the way CR is behaving I think that their CEO is an Android user and he feels fear for his own ego if he actually recommends a phone that he/she is using. Dumb on CR part. I don't read their stuff and really don't care.

Consumer Reports is a highly respected magazine and online company that many 30+ have read and respected for years in the USA.

If (and I know it's true, I returned my iPhone 4) you can reproduce a drop in signal by using 1 finger to touch 1 simple spot (the most used spot by most consumers) then it is a design flaw.

I returned my iPhone 4 and will wait it out. The 4 has great screen but other than being faster I think most of the features (HDR Photos, Retina Display) are hype marketing terms used to sell a fundamentally flawed device.

And for the record. Don't base your opinion on Consumer Reports on an iPhone App that isn't liked, considering the demographics the iPhone is targeting in comparison to who Consumer Reports is targeting.

Informed Buyer vs Gamer that doesn't care to think for themselves.

Guess which consumer the iPhone is targeting...
post #28 of 189
You guys notice that Consumer Reports is moderating the comment field on their YouTube video. They are not letting any comments through that disagree with their opinion. So much for representing the consumer.... I guess they think censorship is good for us?
post #29 of 189
When the CR guys put the duct tape on the iPhone4, they completely lost all credibility with me. They were obviously Apple haters wanting to do damage. I will never read CR again or trust anything they say.

The iPhone4 my friend's Droid phones in a speedtest, even with the death grip.
post #30 of 189
Beating a dead horse.
post #31 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

You guys notice that Consumer Reports is moderating the comment field on their YouTube video. They are not letting any comments through that disagree with their opinion. So much for representing the consumer.... I guess they think censorship is good for us?

I hope that you realize Apple did the same thing on their forums regarding the iPhone antenna issues.

Guess Apple thinks censorship is good too, huh?
post #32 of 189
I will download and rate the CR app 1 star and leave funny comments until I am blue in the face
post #33 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

You guys notice that Consumer Reports is moderating the comment field on their YouTube video. They are not letting any comments through that disagree with their opinion. So much for representing the consumer.... I guess they think censorship is good for us?

Are you serious? I can understand if the iPhone 4s they had all tested badly and they couldnt in good faith recommend the product (even though I think its unlikely that they could go this long and not have an iPhone 4 that performs better than the competition as even those with issues have demonstrated) but to remove comments that go against their personal viewpoint is absolutely absurd sounding to me. I cant but think that your post is not accurate (even though I know your posts to be accurate), and have to wonder if the internet has put such a huge damper on magazine subscriptions that even CR is acting unethical to get page hits these days.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #34 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by pslice View Post

I would think most executive types are using a cell phone. From the way CR is behaving I think that their CEO is an Android user and he feels fear for his own ego if he actually recommends a phone that he/she is using. Dumb on CR part. I don't read their stuff and really don't care.

that's gotta be the most dumbassed comment I've read on this board...yeah...he's an android user... how old are you again? 12?
post #35 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by MenLoveToys View Post

Consumer Reports is a highly respected magazine and online company that many 30+ have read and respected for years in the USA.

If (and I know it's true, I returned my iPhone 4) you can reproduce a drop in signal by using 1 finger to touch 1 simple spot (the most used spot by most consumers) then it is a design flaw.

Really? I have an iPhone 4 and prior to buying it I did everything I could to the in store demo to make the issue occur. Result? Sometimes nothing, sometimes it would lose 1 bar, sometimes it would gain one bar.

If you have ever had any interaction with an antenna in your life then you know that adding the human touch can do any of the three.

Further more it has been out since July in Australia and nope, no widespread complaints, heck you would be lucky to find a blog on the issue.

It's network and not phone. and... just to round out my angle, there are issues with the phone, it is slippery, it has sharp edges, it gets covered in human oils within seconds. As for that antenna, yeah there is an issue with the design, the separation makes for a weak spot for impacts.

Consumer report type orgs are paid by companies to spin, they are actually an ad agency by stealth. We have the same kinda orgs here too.

In Australia we have had no reception issues with the iPhone 3G, 3GS or 4. What is so hard for Americans to figure out with this one.
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
Reply
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
Reply
post #36 of 189
How is this news?

They didn't recommend it and now...the same?

I generally like CR but it seems like they're trying to milk this for as much publicity as they can get.
post #37 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

You guys notice that Consumer Reports is moderating the comment field on their YouTube video. They are not letting any comments through that disagree with their opinion. So much for representing the consumer.... I guess they think censorship is good for us?

That's not censorship. It's their YouTube video, they can allow whatever they want on it.

Some other points:

1. Why is this news anyway? They never reversed their "cannot recommend" status for the iP4 when Apple instated the free case program, calling it "a good first step."

2. The attenuation issue is real, and Apple's handling of it is crap. That said, I love my iP4, despite it's somewhat annoying quirks. (like the proximity sensor still acting up even with 4.1 installed) The free bumper I got from Apple seemed to take care of the signal problems in my home, where I get awful reception (not Apple's fault)

3. CR has long been an Apple cheerleader, check any of their laptop/desktop ratings for the past twenty or so years. It seems whenever CR calls it like they see it, someone gets upset and accuses them of bias. I mean, lately they've got fans of the domestic and foreign automakers both accusing them of being bought and paid for by the other. They're a non-profit, and they seem fairly objective.
post #38 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by MenLoveToys View Post

Informed Buyer vs Gamer that doesn't care to think for themselves.

Guess which consumer the iPhone is targeting...

But who is targeting the gamer?

Consumer Reports has never been very good at consumer electronics. You can't really expect a print magazine to do well though. The market changes too fast.

If consumer reports wants to take issue with this, then they should take issue with a car getting worse gas mileage when you drive it poorly. This "problem" doesn't result in dropped calls. In most circumstances it improves reception. Consumer Reports seems to think they are immune to criticism and are trying to attract attention. Maybe they think they can better represent the consumer by moderating their comments so that only random comments and people who agree when them can post on their threads. Look in the comments field and try to find someone who disagrees with them let alone place a rebuttal yourself. They seem to allow plenty of random, baseless attacks against Apple though.
post #39 of 189
The only people that care about the iPhone antenna "problem" is consumer reports and Android users. I've been using my iPhone 4 case-free from day one without issue.
post #40 of 189
Consumer Reports doesn't recommend the iphone 4.. but I sure can
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Consumer Reports condemns end of iPhone 4 free case program