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Consumer Reports claims Apple's Verizon iPhone 4 suffers same antenna issue

post #1 of 105
Thread Starter 
In testing the new Verizon CDMA iPhone 4, Consumer Reports has found that Apple's new smartphone experiences the same signal degrading antenna issue found in the GSM model released last year.

On the company's electronics blog on Friday, Consumer Reports said it discovered a manner in which the new iPhone 4 can be held that will cause it to drop calls in weak signal conditions. The attenuation issue was reportedly discovered by the company's engineers in lab tests.

"The problem is similar to the one we confirmed in July with the AT&T version of Apple's newest smart phone," the post reads. "It can occur when you hold either version of the phone in a specific but quite natural way in which a gap in the phone's external casing is covered.

"The phone performs superbly in most other respects, and using the iPHone 4 with a case can alleviate the problem>"

The consumer advocacy group noted that there have not been widespread reports of signal issues with the new iPhone with a CDMA radio, likely because Verizon has superior network coverage when compared to AT&T.

But Consumer Reports also opted not to include the Verizon iPhone 4 in its list of recommended smartphones, despite granting the handset high marks in terms of its performance and functionality. That's the same approach the company took last July, when it declared the GSM iPhone 4 on AT&T's network the best smartphone available, but did not include it on its list of recommended handsets solely because of the antenna issue.

In comparing the iPhone 4 to other smartphones on Verizon's network, the organization found that only Apple's phone experienced attenuation issues. The iPhone 4 was compared to the Samsung Fascinate, Motorola Droid 2 Global, HTC Droid Incredible, LG Ally, and Motorola Droid X.

As with the AT&T iPhone 4, Consumer Reports found that covering the thin gap on the bottom left corner of the device with one's hand would cause signal degradation. It found that signal dropped "notably" within 15 seconds of the gap being bridged, and that the handset dropped calls when the corner was touched at low signal strength.

The CDMA iPhone 4 features a redesigned antenna, which Apple has said was done to make the device compatible with networks like Verizon's, and was not done to address the antenna controversy that stirred up after the GSM model launched last summer.

Consumer Reports' decision not to recommend the iPhone 4 last year fueled that controversy and led, in part, to Apple running a limited program where it gave away free cases to iPhone 4 buyers. The case program formally concluded last September, but Apple still offers a free case to customers who experience signal issues and call to request one.

Apple also fired back with a public relations campaign that included giving members of the media a tour of its antenna performance chambers, and a special website devoted to demonstrating signal attenuation issues experienced when holding a number of devices, including the iPhone.

Even with all of the controversy, Apple's iPhone 4 was still the hottest selling handset of 2010. Over the holiday buying season, Apple sold a record 16.2 million iPhones in three months alone.
post #2 of 105
Why bother reporting on the garbage that comes from that irrelevant site?
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #3 of 105
CI is clearly in 'reputation management' mode now.
They should quit while they're behind. Stop digging.
post #4 of 105
So buy a bloody cover, don't be cheap and move on...
post #5 of 105
I understand that the media is overhyping the attenuation factor, but I am still curious why the other phones they tested don't have the same amount of degradation.
post #6 of 105
looks like someone is trying to stay relevant...
post #7 of 105
More of the same.... just a non-issue which strains the creditability of Consumer's Report and a no win situation from anyones point of view. Nothing new here, let's move on \
post #8 of 105
Well it's good news that Apple did not "improve" the Verizon iPhone over the ATT version which leads one to believe it is a non-issue. It would have been a lot worse if Apple had redesigned the Verizon phone.

I agree with the above comments about CR. Out of touch.

Best
post #9 of 105
in a perfect world i can have a good smartphone with a big screen and that works in elevators. in the real world my HTC has a nice screen and works in elevators but my old 3GS is a much better experience overall. good thing my wife is going to stay with iphones since i'll always have a supply to complement my free or cheap on contract android phones
post #10 of 105
who gives a shit
post #11 of 105
Wow, just wow. I've actually tested this on four separate Verizon iPhones with varying coverage, and in all cases, there was no attenuation unless you managed to somehow completely encase the phone in your hands which was tough. Also funnily enough, that same thing just so happens to work with every other phone in existence...
post #12 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I understand that the media is overhyping the attenuation factor, but I am still curious why the other phones they tested don't have the same amount of degradation.

Because due to the external antenna, Apple's is easier to manipulate. That being said, I've experienced only a handful of drop calls with AT&T's iPhone and even fewer with Verizon's. And I don't use an external case.
post #13 of 105
The antenna issue is a testament to how much people love Apple. Consumer Reports are being pretty hard nosed about it, but they are essentially correct. Despite what Apple says, I can attest to the fact that the problem does exist in low coverage areas, while competing smart phones don't have an issue. Apple should have swallowed its pride and fixed the issue immediately, instead of what they did: issue bumpers and then sell another phone with the same issue. We can only hope that Apple fixes the issue once and for all with the iPhone 5.

I sold my iPhone 4 and got a new HTC Inspire 4G, which I love. It has a much larger screen and Android is way more configurable. Maybe I should have kept my iPhone 3GS. Overall, it was a better phone than the iPhone 4, despite having a lower quality screen.
post #14 of 105
Consumer Reports is spouting misinformation intended to scare you; ignore them.
post #15 of 105
There are a lot of fanboy responses here ripping on Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports is a reputable organization. Their product reviews are typically very well researched, and carry weight among buyers who like to find out more about products before they buy. I'd bet that most Apple product users are early adopters, so it's no surprise that they don't understand this segment of the market.

So we've got an ongoing antenna issue with Apple iPhones, they report it, so you conclude that the website is irrelevant. Awesome stuff.
post #16 of 105
Haha this is outrageous, i had the At&t iphone and it had the antenna problem, switched to verizon iPhone and tried to do the "death grip" and it does not affect the antenna at all no droped call either so F Consumer Report they just got a Dummy iphone hahaha
post #17 of 105
Really Big Yawn, what a bunch of crap, would Consumer Reports just go away who in the hell actually listens to these morons.
post #18 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

There are a lot of fanboy responses here ripping on Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports is a reputable organization. Their product reviews are typically very well researched, and carry weight among buyers who like to find out more about products before they buy. I'd bet that most Apple product users are early adopters, so it's no surprise that they don't understand this segment of the market.

So we've got an ongoing antenna issue with Apple iPhones, they report it, so you conclude that the website is irrelevant. Awesome stuff.

I'm more inclined to trust millions of customers than Consumer Reports. I consider Apple and Verizon to be reputable companies, too.
post #19 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by gettysburg11s View Post

The antenna issue is a testament to how much people love Apple. Consumer Reports are being pretty hard nosed about it, but they are essentially correct.

IF they are correct, it is surprising that Apple did not correct this issue. That said, I have the ATT model and it has not been a real issue for me.
post #20 of 105
Interesting that Consumer Reports cannot recommend this hottest, biggest selling smartphone in the history of smartphones. It looks like they want to be contrarians to appear relevant.

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post #21 of 105
This is so stupid. I have fewer dropped calls on my iPhone 4 than I've had on any mobile phone I've ever owned. I have fewer than any of my friends, except for those who have bought an iPhone 4. I'd love to see real world comparisons among smartphone reception. I bet the iPhone 4 would win.
post #22 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I understand that the media is overhyping the attenuation factor, but I am still curious why the other phones they tested don't have the same amount of degradation.

It's just the software. Other phones don't report the signal the same way the iPhone does. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that squeezing your hand around the antenna is going to degrade its signal. Your body absorbs the signal.
Andrew
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Andrew
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post #23 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Interesting that Consumer Reports cannot recommend this hottest, biggest selling smartphone in the history of smartphones. It looks like they want to be contrarians to appear relevant.

Yes. They're either so insulated that they've bought into their own flawed methodology, or they're intentionally full of crap. Probably both.
post #24 of 105
I have two friends that have one. I can only make it drop one bar with the death grip.

I call bull on CI.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #25 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

That being said, I've experienced only a handful of drop calls with AT&T's iPhone and even fewer with Verizon's. And I don't use an external case.

I went to the Apple store to replace a user's ViPhone and the Genius plugged it in for diagnostics (ended up being a bad battery). While he went back to replace it, I opened his laptop program and looked at the diagnostics. Showed several dropped calls. I unplugged hers and plugged mine in for kicks and it showed zero dropped calls. Funny.
post #26 of 105
I pre-ordered an AT&T iPhone 4 last June. While I was waiting for the iPhone 4 to come in, I started to read about antenna/signal/dropped call problems. I thought it was probably just a bunch of Apple haters who were blowing something way out of proportion. Since I had a 3GS (and a 3G before that & NEVER had a problem with either), I thought Apple could do no wrong. I was excited to get my new iPhone 4!

I got it and used it for 3 1/2 weeks. I had to take it back for a full refund, it was the worst phone I've ever had (for dropped calls). I loved everything about the iPhone 4, display, speed, etc. but it dropped almost every single call that came in or went out. It didn't matter whether I was holding it or it was sitting somewhere while I used my Bluetooth, it dropped almost every call. I expected it to be as good as or better than my 3GS & my 3G, did I expect too much? I couldn't wait to get rid of the iPhone 4 because above everything else, it failed miserably to function as a 'CELL PHONE!

I was EXTREMELY disappointed in Apple. How could they let such a piece of shit 'CELL PHONE' get to market with their name on it?

So, I reactivated my 3GS and life is good. When I see someone with an AT&T iPhone 4, I ask them 'how they like it' (I never say anything about 'antenna/signal/dropped call problems'). Almost every response is........."It drops a lot of calls".
post #27 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I pre-ordered an AT&T iPhone 4 last June. While I was waiting for the iPhone 4 to come in, I started to read about antenna/signal/dropped call problems. I thought it was probably just a bunch of Apple haters who were blowing something way out of proportion. Since I had a 3GS (and a 3G before that & NEVER had a problem with either), I thought Apple could do no wrong. I was excited to get my new iPhone 4!

I got it and used it for 3 1/2 weeks. I had to take it back for a full refund, it was the worst phone I've ever had (for dropped calls). I loved everything about the iPhone 4, display, speed, etc. but it dropped almost every single call that came in or went out. It didn't matter whether I was holding it or it was sitting somewhere while I used my Bluetooth, it dropped almost every call. I expected it to be as good as or better than my 3GS & my 3G, did I expect too much? I couldn't wait to get rid of the iPhone 4 because above everything else, it failed miserably to function as a 'CELL PHONE!

I was EXTREMELY disappointed in Apple. How could they let such a piece of shit 'CELL PHONE' get to market with their name on it?

So, I reactivated my 3GS and life is good. When I see someone with an AT&T iPhone 4, I ask them 'how they like it' (I never say anything about 'antenna/signal/dropped call problems'). Almost every response is........."It drops a lot of calls".


Sucks to be your area, but perhaps the issue is on AT&T with having less than ideal coverage strength. Yes the 3GS doesn't drop calls as you say, but for me, my i4 has been even more reliable than the 3GS. As a cell phone, it works awesome for me.
post #28 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I pre-ordered an AT&T iPhone 4 last June. While I was waiting for the iPhone 4 to come in, I started to read about antenna/signal/dropped call problems. I thought it was probably just a bunch of Apple haters who were blowing something way out of proportion. Since I had a 3GS (and a 3G before that & NEVER had a problem with either), I thought Apple could do no wrong. I was excited to get my new iPhone 4!

I got it and used it for 3 1/2 weeks. I had to take it back for a full refund, it was the worst phone I've ever had (for dropped calls). I loved everything about the iPhone 4, display, speed, etc. but it dropped almost every single call that came in or went out. It didn't matter whether I was holding it or it was sitting somewhere while I used my Bluetooth, it dropped almost every call. I expected it to be as good as or better than my 3GS & my 3G, did I expect too much? I couldn't wait to get rid of the iPhone 4 because above everything else, it failed miserably to function as a 'CELL PHONE!

I was EXTREMELY disappointed in Apple. How could they let such a piece of shit 'CELL PHONE' get to market with their name on it?

So, I reactivated my 3GS and life is good. When I see someone with an AT&T iPhone 4, I ask them 'how they like it' (I never say anything about 'antenna/signal/dropped call problems'). Almost every response is........."It drops a lot of calls".

I've had an iPhone 4 since the day they came out. Almost never drops calls. And when I see some with an AT&T iPhone 4 and ask them "how they like it", they ALWAYS say, "I LOVE IT!". Fortunately, most of the world agrees with my assessment, not yours.
post #29 of 105
The same people that think the iPhone 4 is a POS for the supposed antenna issue are the same people that think the Xoom with its high price, buggy OS, lack of real apps, missing blockbuster app (Adobe Flash), missing blockbuster technology (4G), and non-working SD card slot is totally awesome.

Remember how lack of cut and paste in the original iOS was a huge deal to these people? Gotta love double standards.
post #30 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

I'm more inclined to trust millions of customers than Consumer Reports. I consider Apple and Verizon to be reputable companies, too.

Whenever anyone asks me about Consumer Reports' position, I recommend to them that they also check the JD Powers consumer satisfaction surveys. Most people seem to be quite happy with their iPhones.
post #31 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

There are a lot of fanboy responses here ripping on Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports is a reputable organization. Their product reviews are typically very well researched, and carry weight among buyers who like to find out more about products before they buy. I'd bet that most Apple product users are early adopters, so it's no surprise that they don't understand this segment of the market.

So we've got an ongoing antenna issue with Apple iPhones, they report it, so you conclude that the website is irrelevant. Awesome stuff.

No, most people who bought Apple products did so from word of mouth. People trust friends & family to give them an honest assement versus some 3rd-party report. iPhone & iPad have stunning satisfaction ratings and users recommend to others. Consumer reports may be valuable for researching some types of product.

Spokesperson from Verizon said there hasn't been any dropped call issues with iPhone, only .05% which leads the industry. So, who do you trust? Data maniulated in a lab ? Or actual, real-world data from million plus users?

Sure, the iPhone antenna may behave unfavorably handled in specific ways, but does it impact user experience? iPhone is dropping less calls than other phones in real use, who cares how it performs in a lab.
post #32 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by gettysburg11s View Post

The antenna issue is a testament to how much people love Apple. Consumer Reports are being pretty hard nosed about it, but they are essentially correct. Despite what Apple says, I can attest to the fact that the problem does exist in low coverage areas, while competing smart phones don't have an issue. Apple should have swallowed its pride and fixed the issue immediately, instead of what they did: issue bumpers and then sell another phone with the same issue. We can only hope that Apple fixes the issue once and for all with the iPhone 5.

I sold my iPhone 4 and got a new HTC Inspire 4G, which I love. It has a much larger screen and Android is way more configurable. Maybe I should have kept my iPhone 3GS. Overall, it was a better phone than the iPhone 4, despite having a lower quality screen.

Glad you love your HTC. So why are you bothering to follow and/or reply to this article if not to slam Apple and then go on to say "We can only hope that Apple fixes the issue once and for all with the iPhone 5." as if you really care?
post #33 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Why bother reporting on the garbage that comes from that irrelevant site?

You're an Australian, living in Australia, they are commenting on a product that is only available in the USA, what does it matter to you?
post #34 of 105
I wonder who at or what Apple did to receive such scorn from CR?
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #35 of 105
I thought we had stablished the fact that all phones suffer from this if you hold them in a certain way that blocks the antenna.
post #36 of 105
Surprising for CR to not acknowledge that most smart phoned have the same problem. This has been rehashed numerous times in many threads For those that have an iPhone few will acknowledge that the antenna is a problem. I've personally not had any problem and I hold by iPhone any old way. Enough said on this topic
post #37 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

You're an Australian, living in Australia, they are commenting on a product that is only available in the USA, what does it matter to you?

So the rule is you can only post about products that are available for you to buy? You may want to stop posting on this site then since it specializes in news and rumors about products none of us can buy yet.
post #38 of 105
No other phone is affected by how you hold it? Hmmm... its a complex issue. So lets see that expert testing procedure...

My iPhone 4 is caseless and problem-free, Im happy to say.
post #39 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

I thought we had stablished the fact that all phones suffer from this if you hold them in a certain way that blocks the antenna.

I though we established the fact that Consumer Reports doesn't actually have a state-of-the-art testing facility for testing cell phones and their reception!

I hardly call their glass box filled with testing and measuring equipment inside a lab filled with more equipment state-of-the-art.

Consumer Reports acting like the understand cell phone reception is like the Government acting like they understand budgeting.
post #40 of 105
Now which CR test person gets to do the iPhone? Is it the guy who just did a jet ski review, or the one that reported on bad tomatoes in Heinz ketchup?
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