Consumer Reports still gives Apple's iPhone 4 the big thumbs down

By on July 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM.

Consumer Reports still gives Apple's iPhone 4 the big thumbs down

steve-jobs-iphone4

In response to Apple’s antenna-oriented press event, Consumer Reports responded by refusing to give the Apple iPhone 4 its golden seal of approval. The consumer product ratings company commended Apple for taking a first step in solving the antenna problem but denounced Apple’s case giveaway as a limited and temporary fix. Consumer Reports states:

Consumer Reports believes Apple’s offer of free cases is a good first step. However, Apple has indicated that this is not a long-term solution, it has guaranteed the offer only through September 30th, and has not extended it unequivocally to customers who bought cases from third-party vendors. We look forward to a long-term fix from Apple. As things currently stand, the iPhone 4 is still not one of our Recommended models.

Consumer Reports joins a growing list of companies, including Nokia and RIM, that are responding in a less than favorable way to Apple’s proposed solution. More →

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Can you make your current phone lose signal depending on how you hold it?

By on July 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM.

Can you make your current phone lose signal depending on how you hold it?

With Apple publicly stating specific handsets are susceptible to the same kind of antenna attenuation as the iPhone 4, and RIM and Nokia chiming in, we wanted to know what you guys are finding. Can you reproduce the same effect on your handset? Here is a handset that Apple didn’t specifically call out, the Verizon BlackBerry Bold 9650, and you can see it takes a nice hit when we hold it pretty firm in our hands. I’m pretty sure this has always happened, but I’m not sure I noticed until now. Plus it’s on Verizon. *Gasp*

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Nokia releases official statement about antenna design

By on July 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM.

Nokia releases official statement about antenna design

nokia-logo

Fresh out of the OEM peanut gallery, Nokia has released an official statement about how rigorous and careful they are with antenna design. The statement lets you know that Nokia “was the pioneer in internal antennas” and “has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior.” The press release also goes on to say that Nokia will always “prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.” The statement comes on the heels of today’s Apple media event, where CEO Steve Jobs waxed poetic about “Nokia phones” with stickers that say “don’t touch here” on them. We’ve got the full press release for you after the bounce. More →

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Apple posts video from July 16th press conference

By on July 16, 2010 at 3:23 PM.

Apple posts video from July 16th press conference

July 16th Press Conference Apple

Apple has — surprisingsly — posted the complete video from today’s iPhone 4 antenna press conference. If you want to hear what you probably already have heard, straight from the horse’s mouth, hit up the read link and enjoy. More →

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The Apple press conference round up…

By on July 16, 2010 at 2:38 PM.

The Apple press conference round up…

Apple Logo-Black + White

The much anticipated Apple press conference has just concluded. Here is — in bullet form — what we just learned:

  • The iPhone 4 death grip signal degradation thingy happens to a lot of smartphones. Apple demonstrated it on a BlackBerry 9700, Samsung Omnia 2, and HTC DROID Eris.
  • The software update (4.0.1) released yesterday will take care of the error in the signal calculation algorithm that Apple discovered several weeks ago.
  • Another software update to address other issues (like the proximity sensor thing) is due “soon.”
  • Until September 30th, Apple will be giving iPhone 4 purchasers/owners a free bumper or case (depending on supply). A website with details will go live next week.
  • Users who already purchased a bumper will be eligible for a refund. You had to have purchased an Apple bumper, not a third-party case.
  • The return rate on the iPhone 3GS at AT&T stores was 6%, the return rate of the iPhone 4 is 1.7%.
  • The white iPhone 4 will be out sometime later the month.
  • Apple has sold over 3 million iPhone 4s thus far.
  • 0.55% of iPhone 4 owners have called in to AppleCare to complain.
  • Steve Jobs does not use a bumper on his iPhone 4.

There you have it. We want to hear from you iPhone 4 owners. Did Steve’s talk calm you down? Are you happy with this resolution? Will you be returning your iPhone 4?

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Bloomberg: Apple senior antenna engineer warned company about potential issues

By on July 15, 2010 at 9:53 AM.

Bloomberg: Apple senior antenna engineer warned company about potential issues

New iOS 4.1 Signal Bars

Is it Friday yet? Bloomberg is reporting that: “Apple Inc.’s senior antenna expert voiced concern to Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs in the early design phase of the iPhone 4 that the antenna design could lead to dropped calls.” The article cites an anonymous source, “familiar with the matter,” who went on to say:

Last year, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple’s management the device’s design may cause reception problems. [...] A carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before the device’s June 24 release.

Apple declined Bloomberg’s request to comment on the report. One of our AT&T sources has told us that while the iPhone 4 antenna issue is well known — and well covered — AT&T stores aren’t seeing iPhone 4 returns (like at all). Hopefully, we’ll have some concrete answers to all these antenna questions on Friday at around 1:00 PM EDT. More →

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Apple holding press conference this Friday

By on July 14, 2010 at 8:42 PM.

Apple holding press conference this Friday

Apple Logo-Black + White

It appears as though Apple will be holding a press conference this Friday, July 16th, at 10AM Pacific Time to finally — officially – address the iPhone 4 antenna circus issue. Invites were sent out this evening to media outlets around the country. What do you think Apple is going to say?

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Why PR is so vital: Apple's next move is a lose-lose

By on July 13, 2010 at 11:34 AM.

Why PR is so vital: Apple's next move is a lose-lose

iPhone-No-Signal

Rumors have started to fly around the internet about an iPhone 4 recall, and this got us thinking… while we think a mandatory recall is very unlikely (as the iPhone 4 isn’t much of a safety concern), this is now a no win-situation for Apple. More →

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Apple removing links to Consumer Reports study from forums

By on July 13, 2010 at 9:14 AM.

Apple removing links to Consumer Reports study from forums

Consumer Reports logo

The Unofficial Apple Weblog is reporting that moderators of Apple’s support forums are deleting discussions and links to the Consumer Reports study released yesterday. The report stated that CR could not recommend the iPhone 4 due to an antenna glitch that the company feels Apple needs to fix. Users are reporting that more than one thread (TUAW reports six) have been deleted from Apple’s forums thus far; you can check out the cached version of one such discussion here. The iPhone 4 antenna situation is a PR nightmare for sure, and, for whatever reason, Apple seems hell-bent on making it worse. More →

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Consumer Reports: iPhone 4 antenna issues are hardware related

By on July 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM.

Consumer Reports: iPhone 4 antenna issues are hardware related

Consumer Reports logo

Consumer Reports has just published a report on the iPhone 4 that refutes Apple, Inc.’s claim that the iPhone 4 signal issues are a “shocking” software error. Consumer Reports says:

Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4′s signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that “mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.”

The tests also indicate that AT&T’s network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4′s much-reported signal woes.

The report goes onto say that Consumer Reports can not recommend the iPhone 4 due to the antenna/signal issues that are obviously and apparent. CR adds a little bit of insult to injury by saying, “We did, however, find an affordable solution for suffering iPhone 4 users: Cover the antenna gap with a piece of duct tape or another thick, non-conductive material. It may not be pretty, but it works.” Ouch. Hit the jump for the video and link to the full report. More →

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Apple nixes 10% restocking fee on iPhone 4 returns

By on July 2, 2010 at 4:57 PM.

Apple nixes 10% restocking fee on iPhone 4 returns

iphone-4-low-signal

Computerworld is reporting that Apple has temporarily suspend their standard 10% restocking fee for returns of the iPhone 4. Computerworld writes:

An AppleCare support representative who gave her name as “Erica” confirmed that the restocking fee had been ditched. The restocking fee is also central to at least one of several lawsuits that consumers have filed this week against Apple, alleging that the company shipped defective iPhone 4s to customers.

Comptuerworld’s report comes hours after Apple released a statement about the iPhone 4′s reception issue. The article writes: “iPhone owners can return their phones to any Apple retail store or to the company’s online store for a full refund within 30 days of their purchase. For online customers, the 30-day calendar starts flipping when the iPhone is shipped, not when they receive it.” And the hits keep on a comin’. More →

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