Apple’s iPhone 4 has enjoyed rampant success since its release on June 24. But amid the publicity for its launch, Consumer Reports raised a red flag Monday, withholding a product recommendation for the device, citing a flaw in its antenna design.
The publication, which recommended previous versions of the iPhone, says it can't recommend iPhone 4 because "there is a problem with its reception."
On a blog post, Consumer Reports stated: "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.
Apple has said that in high data-usage areas such as San Francisco and New York coverage may not be as strong as in other areas. But Consumer Reports said tests conducted on iPhone 4 and on several other AT&T phones one handsets pinpointed the problem with iPhone 4. "None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4," Consumer Reports said.
As one solution, Consumer Reports did recommend covering the antenna gap with duct tape: “It may not be pretty, but it works,” the blog continued. “We also expect that using a case would remedy the problem.”
Even though purchasing a case may seem an unnecessary and inconvenient option for some iPhone 4 users, Apple partner Mark Greenblatt, president of Los Angeles-based Apple reseller MacEnthusiast, said getting a case is a easy enough solution.
“Antenna redesign was supposed to improve Wi-Fi and cell service and it is marginally better than the 3GS (iPhone),” he said. “I don’t think sales will be affected by the antenna issues because of the simple solution.”
Consumer Reports also said in the blog post that most importantly, Apple needs to come up with a permanent fix for the antenna problem before it can recommend the iPhone 4.