Consumer Reports up to its Old Tricks

Once again, the intrepid consumer watchdogs at Consumer Reports are “exposing” a potential flaw with the iPhone antenna, this time on the Verizon model. If you cover the gap in the outer band on the lower left side, and are in a 1 bar signal strength area, after fifteen seconds your call will drop:

With the iPhone 4, we placed a finger in contact with the lower-left-side gap. Reception typically dropped notably within 15 seconds or so of the gap being bridged. The iPhone eventually dropped calls when touched at very low signal strength—that is, at levels of around one bar in the phone’s signal-strength meter…

When we placed the Verizon iPhone 4 into the Apple iPhone 4 Bumper, a $29 frame-like cover sold by the company, the problem was essentially eliminated, as it was in our original tests of the AT&T iPhone, when it was placed into a Bumper.

Because of this somewhat contrived test, CR declines to recommend the iPhone, despite its apparently high overall rating on CR’s battery of tests. You can’t get the phone ratings or the recommendations without a CR subscription, however. So why decline to recommend the hottest selling phone in the world, despite the fact that it ranks highly according to your overall evaluation?

The simple explanation is that CR is simply using their iPhone evaluation as link bait to encourage people to subscribe to their service. They even admit that consumers aren’t complaining. This goes to show that non-profits have motives that cause them to disregard the facts every much as consistently as for-profit capitalists do, and for more perverse reasons at that. Consumers aren’t complaining about the performance of the Verizon iPhone in real-world conditions, but a contrived test raises red flags for CR. Do the math.