Consumer Reports will not recommend iPhone 4G

a vintage photo of an electronics lab

Consumer Reports won't recommend the iPhone 4G after conducting laboratory tests that confirmed consumer complains about reception problems. Flickr photo.

Consumer Reports won’t recommend the iPhone 4G. The influential magazine dropped its iPhone 4G bomb because of reception issues. iPhone 4G antenna problems and what the media has coined as the “iPhone death grip” have dominated headlines about Apple since the company released the gadget last month. Apple is promising an iPhone software update to ensure a more accurate display of signal strength. However, Consumer Reports ran its own tests on the iPhone 4G and recreated the reception problems everyone has been complaining about.

Consumer Reports demands free iPhone antenna fix

The Consumer Reports rejection is the latest blow to the iPhone 4G. Since the iPhone 4G was released, complaints about the death grip and class action lawsuits about the over-hyped gadget have besieged Apple. Apple has responded by promising an iPhone software update that will change how the phone displays signal bars. But CNN reports that a study by the magazine questioned Apple’s “optical illusion” claim. The iPhone 4 was tested with other AT&T phones, including the iPhone 3GS. None had the death grip problems that the iPhone 4G demonstrated. Consumer Reports noted that the iPhone 4G otherwise ranked highest on the list of smart phone ratings that it released Monday. But the magazine said it will not recommend Apple’s new device until the company unveils “a permanent — and free — fix for the antenna problem.”

Tests let Apple carrier AT&T off the hook

The iPhone 4G is the first Apple iPhone that Consumer Reports refuses to recommend. The Wall Street Journal reports that the conclusion was an about-face for the magazine, which said in a July 2 blog post that the iPhone 4G antenna issues weren’t a deal-breaker for the device. In its rejection of the iPhone 4G, Consumer Reports took some heat off Apple iPhone carrier AT&T, which was being blamed for not being able to handle the data load for iPhones. “The tests also indicate that AT&T’s network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4G’s much-reported signal woes,” Consumer Reports said.

iPhone antenna solution: duct tape

In addition to promising an iPhone software update, Apple has been telling disgruntled iPhone 4 users to  hold the phone differently or buying a $30 iPhone cover. PC World reports that the Consumer Reports iPhone 4G test confirms that assertion. But there are many less expensive alternatives to Apple iPhone covers — some iPhone 4g users have used the yellow rubber Livestrong bracelets that cost $1. Consumer Reports has an even more affordable solution: duct tape.

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