In a series of lab tests, Consumer Reports has confirmed that the iPhone 4 has issues with the design of its antennae that will cause calls to drop.
If you have an iPhone 4 and have been lucky enough to avoid the issues, here’s the deal: on the lower left hand side of the iPhone 4 (while looking at the screen) there is a gap in the metal band. When you put your hand on the gap- when, for example, you are talking to someone and holding the phone in your left hand, the phone will lose signal strength and can drop calls if the signal was already weak.
Apple then claimed that it was an issue with the software that affected the signal strength indicators- not the phone itself- and the company claimed to be “stunned”. A software patch was recently announced in order to fix the signal strength indicators, but Apple refused to concede that it was a hardware issue, despite many claiming to have proved that it was just that.
Now in what may be the most damning review, Consumer Reports has tested the iPhone and discovered that it is indeed a hardware issue, and that it cannot recommend the phone until the issues have been resolved.
Testing the phone in a lab, the results were conclusive: when you put your hand on the phone, you will lose signal. In all other tests, the iPhone 4 preformed well, and scored in the top of all smartphone categories, but the hardware issues is considered a major one, and cost Apple the vaunted Consumer Reports recommendation.
Consumer Reports did have a fix in mind though, one that anyone could use. Just put a piece of duct tape (or another piece of non-conducting materiel) over the gap on the casing. Until then, they recommend the iPhone 3G S.