‘Sorry, but we can’t recommend the iPhone 4′

Posted on July 13, 2010 by .

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This image shows the lighter side of the iPhone 4's antenna problems.

This image shows the lighter side of the iPhone 4's antenna problems.

An independent US consumer watchdog has slated Apple’s iPhone 4.

Consumer Reports says due to the new phone’s reception problem, they cannot recommend the iPhone 4 to consumers. The company’s engineers had completed extensive tests on Apple’s iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is an issue with reception.

When a user’s 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 connection loss.

The organisation said it had tested three separate iPhone 4s in a controlled environment, as well as other AT&T handsets to ensure it was a problem with the handset rather than the network. None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4, says the consumer watchdog.

Consumer Reports say their findings call in to 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 two more bars that it should for a given signal strength.

Ugly though it seems, the problem could be solved by covering the antenna gap on the lower left-hand corner of the iPhone 4 with tape.

Problems with the iPhone 4′s signal strength and reception have been well-documented in recent weeks, and have lead to some lively discussions on Apple’s own support forums. However, some users are now complaining that a thread on the forum, linking to the Consumer Reports’ article, has been repeatedly deleted. Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, still contains a cache of the discussion.

A user called TJ Luoma commented on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, a site dedicated to Apple products and announcements:

“I’m not prone to hysterics or a subscriber to conspiracy theories, but it’s fairly hard to imagine any good way to interpret this.”

“This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Apple deleting discussion board threads on topics which are unflattering to Apple’s products. It’s closer to the fiftieth time. In fact, we’ve heard so many reports about this happening that it seems safe to call this standard operating procedure for Apple’s discussion boards.

“That’s not to say that there are no negative threads on the discussion boards, but the ones that are there are the ones that Apple’s moderators have decided to leave active.”

Apple has refused to comment on the iPhone 4 reception issues.

What are your thoughts about the iPhone 4′s problems. Leave your comments below.

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