Consumer Reports "cannot recommend" iPhone 4

Well, what a surprise! Consumer Reports says it can no longer recommend Apple’s over-hyped iPhone 4 due to a defective antennae.

“[Our] engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4…and confirmed there is a problem with its reception,” said CR spokesperson Mike Gikas.

“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.”

According to Gikas, CR engineers tested three iPhone 4s in the “controlled environment” of a radio frequency (RF) isolation chamber.

“In this room, which is impervious to outside radio signals, our test engineers connected the phones to our base-station emulator, a device that simulates carrier cell towers.

“We also tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre. None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.”

Nevertheless, Gikas noted that Consumer Reports had discovered 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. We also expect that using a case would remedy the problem.

“[But clearly], Apple needs to come up with a permanent and free-fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4. [So], if you want an iPhone that works well without a masking-tape fix, we continue to recommend an older model, the 3G S.”