∞ Consumer Reports won't recommend iPhone 4, citing reception problems

Consumer Reports on Monday posted a blog item entitled “Lab tests: Why Consumer Reports can’t recommend the iPhone 4.” The report is a damning confirmation of reception problems reported with the iPhone 4, the so-called “death grip” that causes the phone to lose reception when it’s held in the user’s left hand:

“… 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.”

Consumer Reports concluded that you can fix the problem by simply applying duct tape to the gap on the iPhone 4’s lower left side where two parts of the external antenna meet. An inelegant solution, perhaps, but less expensive than an Apple Bumper. In other respects, Consumer Reports highly rates the iPhone 4, complimenting it on its display, video recording capabilities, improved battery life and gyroscope.

But Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4.

And for what it’s worth, they’re not swayed by Apple’s revelation that they’ve been counting bars wrong all along, and will soon offer a software fix to correct that problem. Consumer Reports says that in their isolated lab tests, under controlled conditions, they can definitely cause the iPhone 4 to lose its signal.

Lab tests: Why Consumer Reports can’t recommend the iPhone 4 [Consumer Reports]