Consumer Reports: Apple’s free Bumper case does not earn iPhone 4 our recommendation

“Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Friday announced that his company will give iPhone 4 owners free cases to address reception problems caused by the phone’s external antenna, which is a metal band around the edge of the phone,” John D. Sutter reports for CNN. “Mike Gikas, senior editor for electronics and technology at Consumer Reports, said in an interview that such a patch is a good “first step.” But it’s still not enough for his group to recommend the phone to consumers. ‘What we were hoping for was a concrete, this-is-it fix for the phone,’ Gikas said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Consumer Reports would do well get their staff on the same page before allowing them to spout off: Consumer Reports: Apple’s Bumper case fixes iPhone 4 signal-loss issue – July 15, 2010

Sutter continues, “Gikas said such a solution makes it difficult to review the phone, because everyone has a different case, and it’s unclear if the solution is permanent; there’s a chance the phone could still be recalled after September 30, or that a new version could be issued, he said.”

“During the press event in Cupertino, California, Jobs tried to spread the blame about reception issues across the smartphone industry as a whole,” Sutter continues. “Gikas said that was a bit unfair. ‘The human hand — the body — attenuates signal on all phones,’ he said. ‘But we haven’t seen it happen to the degree that it’s happened with the iPhone 4.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Did Consumer reports test iPhone 4 with iOS 4.0.1 with its the revised signal display algorithm? No they did not. They should take an iPhone back into their crap booth of flawed testing that’s likely worth 1/1000th of Apple’s state-of-the-art testing facilities (we’re being exceedingly generous with that estimate even though it’s certainly not warranted) and test the iPhone 4 running iOS 4.0.1 with and without Apple bumpers before they make any more of their conflicting and illogical non-recommendation recommendations. Again, anyone under the age of 115 who uses a Consumer Reports recommendation for any electronic device needs to seek immediate mental health counseling. The rest of you, enjoy your Aiwa boom boxes.

Sutter continues, “‘The most important thing to remember is a problem was discovered with the phone and we can confirm it in a lab, and it was a significant problem,’ Gikas said. ‘And I don’t think Apple fully admitted to it. They acknowledged it and they threw an interim solution at it. But everything spells fogginess about this thing.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Fogginess?! Okay, let’s talk fogginess:

In chronological order:

• “iPhone 4 reception is actually better than on the 3GS according to many to some highly respectable and thorough testers, including AnandTech… There’s no reason, at least yet, to forgo buying an iPhone 4 over its reception concerns.” – Mike Gilkas, Consumer Reports’ Electronics Blog – July 2, 2010

• Apple iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market according to Consumer Reports’ ratings. – July 12, 2010

• “Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4.” – Mike Gilkas, Consumer reports’ Electronics Blog – July 12, 2010

MacDailyNews Take: You already did recommend it, you moron. Go look at your own smartphone ratings chart: Apple’s iPhone 4 is the one at the top.

• “But for those who prefer to keep their iPhone, we encourage Apple to step forward soon with a remedy that fixes the confirmed antenna issue, and not one that requires additional consumer expense.” – Mike Gilkas, Consumer Reports’ Electronics Blog – July 13, 2010

MacDailyNews Take: Milk the thing for all it’s worth, Mike, why don’t you?

• “With the Bumper fitted, we repeated the test procedure, placing a finger on the Bumper at the point at which it covers the gap below. The result was a negligible drop in signal strength—so slight that it would not have any effect, in our judgment… The Bumper solves the signal-strength problem… We’re still calling on Apple to provide an acceptable free solution to the iPhone 4’s signal-loss problem.” – Paul Reynolds, Consumer reports’ Electronics Blog – July 14, 2010

MacDailyNews Take: Apple did so today, but CR still won’t recommend their top-rated smartphone, Apple’s iPhone 4.

• “We look forward to a long-term fix from Apple. As things currently stand, the iPhone 4 is still not one of our Recommended models.” – Consumer Reports’ Electronics Blog – July 16, 2010

To recap the fogginess: Consumer Reports recommends the iPhone 4, then they don’t recommend the iPhone 4 even as they say it is the top-rated smartphone on the market, according to their own ratings “system.” Next, Consumer Reports calls three separate times for Apple to “step forward soon with a remedy that fixes the confirmed antenna issue” that does not requires “additional consumer expense.” In the meantime, Consumer Reports then tests Apple’s Bumper case and finds that it alleviates the reception issue. Apple then offers free Bumper cases to all iPhone owners. Consumer Reports then decides that what they asked for is all of a sudden not good enough (for, if they did, then hits to their website from users who do not require bottled oxygen in order to click a mouse button would cease) and fails to recommed Apple iPhone to their geriatric readership who actually believe that Consumer Reports’ opinions on electronic products and God-knows-what-else are worth more than a bucket of warm spit.

At this point, we’re left with just one question: How many more illogical, contradictory, flawed articles can the transparent hit-whores at Consumer Reports concoct regarding this FUD-covered non-issue?


  1. At first, I had to admit this was an issue when CR dismissed the iPhone 4 because of the antenna thing. No matter what you think of CR, something like this will get attention elsewhere in the mainstream media. Publicity like this is something that Apple doesn’t need in the face of Google’s growth.

    But after hearing Steve’s press conference today, he did make a lot of great points. Personally I think you will see a change to the hardware to fix this, but now I believe CR is looking more like a horse’s ass for continuing to exploit this for all that it’s worth.

    And for the record, I never had this problem with my new iPhone 4, with or without the case. WTF is the big deal?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.