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July 12, 2010

IPhone -Endorsement from Consumer Reports for iPhone 4 Unlikely Unless Reception Issue Fixed for Free


Just how much pull does Consumer Reports have when it comes to your next smartphone selection? When it comes to the iPhone (News - Alert) 4, it may not be much. Even as Steve Jobs fumbled with a demonstration gone back due to lackluster network support, consumers were still pining for more of the latest iPhone release.

A recent Mobile Burn report cites a finding by engineers at Consumer Reports which leads the publication to take the stance that they cannot recommend the iPhone 4 to consumers. The problem appears to be related to reception as a result of the external antenna.

According to testing magazine, its conclusion was reached after three different iPhone 4 devices were purchased from three different locations and then tested by engineers. The tests were conducted in the publication’s radio frequency isolation chamber, side by side with older iPhones and other AT&T (News - Alert) devices.

While the signal issues are not a surprise to Apple, the company claims it is simply a software bug. Consumer Reports disagreed and attributed to the problem to hardware instead.

If Apple (News - Alert) releases a free fix for the latest device, Consumer Reports said that it would reconsider its recommendation.

Will this have any impact on the success of the iPhone 4 in terms of sales? If you think back to almost one month ago today, orders were halted on the latest iPhone because AT&T couldn’t keep up with the demand – which was 10 times higher than the demand for the iPhone 3G the year before.

Even with this success, it is possible Apple could have had more. The competition is certainly jumping on the issue. Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless took out a full page ad in The New York Times to poke fun at reception issues.
 
The ad, intended to promote the launch of the Droid X smartphone on July 15, appeared to mock Apple for its widely reported reception issues with the iPhone 4, Apple Insider observed.
The ad paints a lovely, detailed picture of the Droid X, highlighting its 8-meg camera with dual-LED flash, 3G mobile hotspot connectivity and HDMI output, Macworld observed. The advertisement then points out the all-important issue of reception.

Will Apple respond to the challenges and put out a free fix? If so, this would mean admitting that they did something wrong. And honestly, that just isn’t Apple’s style.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison
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