NPR logo Consumer Reports Pans iPhone 4 For Dropped Calls


Consumer Reports Pans iPhone 4 For Dropped Calls

Consumer Reports is confirming what many iPhone 4 owners already know —the phone drops calls if it's held a certain way.

Thus, the product rating agency says it won't recommend the phone.

Consumer Reports won't recommend the iPhone 4 until Apple fixes an antenna issue involving the area just about where this person's pinkie finger is. Kiichiro Sato/AP hide caption

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Kiichiro Sato/AP

That's a big deal since many consumers decide on whether or not to make purchases based on CR's recommendations.

Of course, Apple has many loyal customers and is making new ones everyday with consumer technology that gets the biggest buzz in the industry.

But many who are on the fence about getting an iPhone 4 may use the CR assessment as an excuse to wait until the next iteration of the popular phones before plunking down several hundred dollars.

A CR excerpt:

It's official. Consumer Reports' engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4.

We reached this conclusion after testing all three of our iPhone 4s (purchased at three separate retailers in the New York area) in the controlled environment of CU's radio frequency (RF) isolation chamber.

In a video report, CR's Mike Gikas says:

Bottomline? We can't recommend the iPhone 4 until Apple fixes this design flaw.

While CR's findings could spell trouble for Apple, they should be welcome news for makers of duct  tape. That's because CR's engineers found that non-conductive tape covering the area on the lower left of the phone seems to solve the problem.

But as Gikas points out, it's hell on the phones aesthetics.