Consumer Reports does it to Apple yet again

“You can bet that, when reviewing smartphones, Consumer Reports magazine appears to have a blind spot towards Samsung; maybe a few blind spots,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “There’s a story from Seoul, South Korea touting the fact that, ‘Samsung’s Galaxy S8 tops U.S. consumer review.'”

“This story no doubt originated from Samsung, even though a manufacturer is theoretically prohibited from quoting a CR review,” Steinberg writes. “So the article mentions the conclusion, not the contents, so even if it was originated from Samsung, the company is off the hook.”

“According to the latest CR report about smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus gained top ratings,” Steinberg writes. “Number three, peculiarly, was last year’s Galaxy S7. Really. So where did the iPhone 8 end up? According to CR, fourth and fifth.”

“The Galaxy S8 versus the iPhone 8. The former is rated 81, the latter is rated 80. So despite the implications of the article from that South Korean publication, the scores are extraordinary close,” Steinberg writes. “In short, [with Samsung’s Galaxy S8] you have a breakable smartphone with two biometric features of questionable quality being judged superior to another smartphone [Apple’s iPhone 8] that’s rugged and has a reliable fingerprint sensor. But maybe it has somewhat shorter battery life than the competition.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Consumers Reports never has known how to accurately rate electronics. It’s a joke. Consumers Reports gives too much weight to some factors and too little to others. The same goes for vehicles and many other products.

As we’ve often said, Consumer Reports is an anachronism for geriatrics to use to reassure themselves that they ought the right vacuum cleaner (even though they didn’t unless they bought a Miele – which they almost certainly didn’t since they’re a Consumer Reports subscriber).

We don’t think Consumer Reports is shady or on the take. They’re just not very good at rating complex products. Not very good at all. As Hanlon’s Razor states: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

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Consumer Reports stands by its weird MacBook Pro battery test results – December 29, 2016
Consumer Reports says do not buy Apple’s new MacBook Pro, citing erratic battery life – December 23, 2016
Consumer Reports evaluates iTunes Store movie streaming, confusion ensues – August 13, 2012
Is Consumer Reports having its revenge against Apple? – July 10, 2012
How Apple and facts killed Consumer Reports – March 29, 2012
Consumer Reports was no iPhone killer and they’re no iPad killer, either – March 28, 2012
Tests prove Apple’s new iPad heat levels comparable to Android tablets – March 26, 2012
Expert: iPad heat claims overblown, not a real issue – March 22, 2012
What’s the deal with Consumer Reports and Apple? – March 21, 2012
Consumer Reports’ bombshell: New iPad runs hotter than predecessor but ‘not especially uncomfortable’ – March 20, 2012
FUD Alert: Consumer Reports to ‘investigate’ reports of iPad and ‘excess heat’ – March 20, 2012
Consumer Reports hops off free PR gravy train, officially recommends Apple iPhone 4S – November 8, 2011
Why does anyone believe Consumer Reports? – April 6, 2011
Consumer Reports on iPad 2: We didn’t notice any significant speed improvement – March 15, 2011
Consumer Reports was wrong on Verizon iPhone 4; so-called ‘death grip’ fixed by Apple – March 2, 2011
Consumer Reports: Verizon iPhone 4 has antenna ‘problem’; not recommended – February 25, 2011
Consumer Reports continues laughable vendetta against iPhone 4 – January 14, 2011
Android sweeps Consumer Reports’ rankings as iPhone 4 is omitted – November 17, 2010
All of Consumer Reports’ ‘recommended’ smartphones suffer attenuation when held – July 19, 2010
Consumer Reports: Apple’s free Bumper case does not earn iPhone 4 our recommendation – July 16, 2010
Consumer Reports: Apple’s Bumper case fixes iPhone 4 signal-loss issue – July 15, 2010
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Electromagnetic engineer: Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 study flawed – July 13, 2010
The Consumer Reports – Apple iPhone 4 fiasco – July 13, 2010
Consumer Reports: Oh yeah, almost forgot, Apple iPhone 4 is also the best smartphone on the market – July 12, 2010
Consumer Reports: We cannot recommend Apple iPhone 4 – July 12, 2010
Consumer Reports does their readership a disservice, says viruses target Apple Macs – December 13, 2005
Consumer Reports: Apple’s new iPod screens scratch-prone like iPod nanos – October 28, 2005
Consumer Reports dubiously finds 20-percent of Mac users ‘detected’ virus in last two years -UPDATED – August 10, 2005


  1. I’ve noticed this about consumer reports for years, on appliances their methodology seems sound and is usually correct. But when it comes to electronics? They’re wrong more than 50% of the time and flawed methodology can easily explain this.

    1. … And you are too lazy to do the simple math to re-weight the calculations in a way that matters specific to you?

      Calling objective product testing to be stupid is more telling about the bias of the reader than the testing organization. It is so easy to accuse others of bias when MDN is the poster child of data cherry picking and selective reporting. No wonder the usual fanboys here are so thin skinned and ignorant. They refuse to look at half the data or more.

  2. Stupidity is a bit harsh; it’s more like ignorance. You don’t ask someone who can’t or doesn’t cook to rate cookware. Likewise, one should leave an analysis of electronics to engineers who have an understanding of how the device will be used. Evaluating a smartphone by weighing edge cases like how well it survives being run over by a car doesn’t make sense.

  3. According to the latest CR report about smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus gained top ratings

    Devices running the single most dangerous and least security updatable operating system available today, Google’s Android.

    Oh, well done Contemptible Repugnance (CR).

    Meanwhile, IRL:

    Up to 50% of Android devices impacted by WPA2 vulnerability

    Krack Attacks break WiFi’s WPA2 security, here’s why Android users should care

  4. Yes, CR is extremely unlikely to be on the take on this, but they are just incompetent. The incompetence goes back almost 30 years.

    Back in the late 80s they compared Macs with DOS/Windows PCs. In order to “make a level playing field” they defined that certain tests had to be done with the DOS/Windows version of the Microsoft Office suite elements. (If all machines run the exact same version of Microsoft’s products it has to be a fair test, right?) This required things running on the Mac to be done in VirtualPC (back before MS bought them). CR’s results? Everything ran on the Mac much, much more slowly than on a DOS/Windows machine. Therefore, CR published that the Mac was much, much slower than a DOS/Windows machine — even a DOS/Windows machine with inferior hardware.

    Anyone with any knowledge of virtual machines of the day and the real test configurations implemented by CR understood that the CR tests and resulting reports were biased.

    But what did the average CR reader get out of it? The average consumer got that CR was doing an apples-to-apples comparison (exact same software running) and thus was doing the best test possible. And, the consumer got that the Mac was much, much slower — even for such simple things as scrolling through rows in an Excel spreadsheet.

  5. CR are the first two letters of ‘CRUD’.
    Coincidence? …I think not.

    Anyway, I cancelled my subscription years ago with just too many obvious biases, not just against Apple.

  6. Apple is nothing but a patsy of a company. There are no companies or publications that are scared of Tim Cook and Apple. They all know Apple never fights back, so they might as well take advantage of the situation. No one would ever go up against Amazon or Alphabet like they do Apple. Apple is like that guy who used to get sand kicked in his face at the beach and there’s no Charles Atlas to help him out.

    Apple has gotten the reputation of being a loser and most big investors don’t want anything to do with the company. I can’t really blame them. It appears even Google’s Pixel 2 has been praised more than the iPhone 8 from most reviewers. Most reviewers certainly rate any of the Samsung Galaxy 8 and Note 8 smartphones over the iPhone 8/8 Plus. People should be used to the iPhone coming in second place. Apple can’t really defend itself as the odds weigh heavily against Apple in many ways.

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