Consumer Reports: Oh yeah, almost forgot, Apple iPhone 4 is also the best smartphone on the market

iphone 4 cases“Well, this is ironic. Apple’s iPhone 4, the smartphone that Consumer Reports says it can’t recommend, is also the one ranked highest in its latest ratings,” John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD.

Paczkowski reports, “The device scored 76 out of 100 points–two points ahead of its closest rivals, the iPhone 3Gs and the HTC Evo 4G.”

Full article, with Consumer Reports’ ratings, here

MacDailyNews Take: The closeness of the score highlights Consumer Reports’ total inability to properly judge and quantify such things as operating systems, user interfaces, etc. Just look at the Consumer reports ratings charts in Paczkowski’s full article. Two measly points difference? Really? Try 20, at least, on a scale of 100. Consumer Reports, your judging criteria needs to be thrown out. It’s an abject failure. It’d be laughable if it weren’t so damn sad.

Seriously, if you haven’t already, try an iPhone 4 vs. the latest Android phone o’ the week. Give them the run through. Copy and paste something. Take a photo. Download an app or two. Try drawing a straight line on the screen (or just look at the difference between the screens). Listen to some music. Make a quick playlist. Shoot a video and edit it. Go ahead.

If you actually do that comparison, you’ll see why we consider Consumer Reports to be nothing more than a bad joke when it comes to computers and electronics, at the very least (we suspect that if they can’t do those two areas correctly, they’re probably screwing up other product areas about which we aren’t so experienced). The fact of the matter is that Consumer Reports is a jack of all trades and a master of none. Even when they manage to get it right (barely, in this case), they get it oh-so-wrong.


  1. Consumer Reports wanted to play and they got their asses kicked by MacDailyNews.

    That MacDailyNews Take rings so true it hurts me to read it – and I agree with it 100%. It’s got to be downright excruciating for Consumer Reports and their geriatric readership.

  2. “In July 1996, Consumer Reports tested motor oils for their readers, but instead of using normal cars, they used New York City taxis, which are normally run 24 hours a day and never allowed to cool down – which means that the most strenuous test of motor oil, the cold start (which causes most engine damage), occured rarely, if ever, during their testing. They found no difference between any of the motor oils, from the cheapest to the best synthetic, and concluded that all ‘natural’ oils are interchangeable, but that synthetics still hold an advantage for some drivers. The idea that the research was meaningless because their research methods were horribly flawed was not brought up; nor did they go to the natural conclusion that if they couldn’t tell the difference between Mobil One and the cheapest oil on the shelf, they probably couldn’t use that research model to tell whether individual natural oils were different in quality.”

    That is only one example of many. Read more: Inconsistencies and statistical problems of Consumer Reports

  3. I am the long time Apple user. I have absolutely no problem with my iPhone 4. I can hold the death grip all I want and no drop bar!

    But, don’t bring up how great the phone is as an iPod, great this, and great that, it’s still a phone!

    I thought MDN mentioned a post a few days ago about how they shouldn’t be just an apple fanboy side! Shit will not stink if there is no shit to begin with! Can’t stand that attitude about how others are always wrong!

  4. I have just discovered that Consumer Reports, the go-to place for the lowdown on vacuum cleaner reliability, also gives personal finance advice. Who knew? Today I stumbled across their Money Blog, which carries a post on how you should pay off your mortgage before you retire. It is enough to make me worry about their vacuum cleaner wisdom.

    More: Consumer Reports and Bad Mortgage Advice

    People who quote Consumer Reports ratings as gospel are fools.

  5. Who reads Consumer Reports (not just geriatrics, btw) is irrelevant. It doesn’t change the fact that the new phone has hardware flaw and Apple needs to fix it and stop making excuses. And, Apple’s sycophants need stop apologizing and defending Apple, too.

  6. Say what you want about how worthless CR is but the fact is that today every news outlet from the NYT to every TV network to every local station across the country cited their finding that the iPhone 4 does not work. It’ll dominate tomorrow’s papers everywhere.

    MDN may think it is the authority – although without bothering with any claim of objectivity – but nobody is citing MDN as an authority.

    Why, you ask? Maybe it’s because the poorly designed antenna is an unimaginable blunder and Apple has no where to go with this but to admit their failure, recall the damn thing, redesign and then replace every one they have sold.

    Continued denial only makes it worse. I’m waiting until the 48 hour mark before the return deadline hoping for something honest from Steve Jobs but I’m not expecting it.

  7. I think the idea behind consumer reports is a good one: Test virtually all consumer products and rate them for the benefit of consumers everywhere.

    Unfortunately, in execution, this idea fails. They are not experts in everything and their poor testing methods and inconsistent results prove that. This is the entire reason specialists exist.

    That being said, I’ve had an iPhone 4 since the June 23rd (was one of the lucky ones who had it delivered prior to launch day). I love it, but I too see a signal drop when i hold it wrong. Haven’t dropped any calls because of it, but the call quality does degrade.
    I just learned to hold it differently while on the phone.

    I’m a big Apple fan and yes, holding it differently solves the problem, but Apple made a mistake here. It’s not devastating or the end of the world, but it’s a mistake nonetheless. But at the end of the day, the phone is usable and the entire device overall is incredible. The issue isn’t going to kill the product.

  8. Consumer Reports has always missed the mark for me. They can recommend utter crap because it fits their ‘criteria’ over something that is light years better. It’s all about saving pennies for CR. You get what you pay for.

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