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Consumer Reports: end to iPhone 4 case program is unfair

updated 06:20 pm EDT, Mon September 13, 2010

Consumer Reports says iPhone policy a step back

Consumer Reports today chastised Apple for the decision to end its iPhone case program at the end of the month. Resorting to contact with AppleCare is "less consumer-friendly" as it forces customers to do more work to address signal drop problems and limits their choices to just Apple's Bumper case. The magazine reiterated that it still won't recommend the iPhone 4 as free cases don't address the root cause of the signal issue, an external antenna that isn't insulated accidentally bridging antennas and stifling reception.

"Putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us," the publication said. "We therefore continue not to recommend the iPhone 4, and to call on Apple to provide a permanent fix for the phone's reception issues."

The magazine acknowledged that not everyone would face the issue and that the bumper was enough to solve the problem, but also criticized Apple for giving "no data" to back up the low dropped call rate. During its emergency event to discuss the drops, Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs insisted the dropped call rate was only one person per a hundred more susceptible to lost calls. He also cited a very low return rate which may have been borne out by ongoing strong demand.

Regardless of interest, public perception has hurt Apple, as customers now consider the antenna a significant factor, albeit second to the availability of an iPhone for Verizon. It has also given a major opportunity to competitors like Motorola and Samsung to attack Apple by claiming their phones are immune or resistant to the iPhone's problems.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999



    Are Consumer Reports reporters or opinion formers? Do they want to be NYT or Fox News?

  1. macnnoel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005



    where is that chastity belt?

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    Quit whining.

    So you can ONLY get a bumper made by Apple now instead of any bumper you wanted. This was done originally to meet immediate demand. Now, Apple can keep up with demand of their own bumpers. Congrats for early adopters. You got to choose a different case.

    What if Apple fixed the problem by permanently attaching a bumper? Would you still be upset that the customer doesn't get more choice in their free case that they don't need?

  1. rvhernandez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    Cancel my CR Subscription

    CR is acting like Green Peace here. They're out for publicity.

  1. facebook_Kristopher

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010



    I don't get it. How does a free case, which insulates the antenna, not directly address the problem of the antenna needing to be insulated?

  1. JuanGuapo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Consumer Reports = Opinion Farming

    Consumer reports is not the consumer "union" they think they are. Thankfully I can form an opinion for myself, rather than rely on bad science as proscribed by their so-called testing lab.

  1. cartoonspin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003



    Wait a minute. I call BS on this! CR always ranks Apple on the top of their customer service and now they consider this an inconvenience! Really? That is pure hypocrisy on their reporting.

    They just lost me on this one.

  1. IxOsX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009


    They are right or not?

    I do not have an iPhone4, and not intend to have one with Antenna flaw, but let me see if I understand this. This Magazine does not recommend Apple iPhone 4 because of the already proven antena issues, and because Apple is retrieving is free bumper that partially solved antena issue.

    I want to believe that Apple, after September 30, will begin to produce a new iPhone 4 with the antenna issue solved, and that is why the end of bumpers campaign. But is just a felling, I have no prove of anything. If the problem persists and if Apple retrieve the free bumpers campaign than, is a fact, the consumer will be bad served.

    I am from Europe, and my main language is not English, so please can you commenters kindly explain me why you are complaining about magazine article, just because does not recommend iPhone 4, in the known circumstances?

    I just does not understand some comments reactions. Probably I am missing something!

  1. jfelbab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004



    I have been using my iPhone4 since it was introduced and have not dropped a call. In fact, this phone works much better than any of my other cell phones. CU...get a clue.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002


    People still believe Consumer Reports?

    CR often reports on things they know nothing about. They often don't know the questions, so their answers are skewed. I wouldn't believe anything they print.

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