Instead of having just one bad PR problem to deal with in the iPhone 4’s hardware problems, Apple may now have two. Gizmodo is reporting that Apple has deleted at least six threads discussing a recent Consumer Reports test that confirmed a design flaw in the iPhone 4, which led to the review site being unable to recommend the phone until the issue has been resolved.
The tests confirmed that holding your hand over a gap on the left side of the phone, right about where your palm would go when holding the iPhone in your left hand, will cause a loss of signal, and could drop calls. Apple has staunchly refused to admit that it is a hardware problem, instead insisting that it is a software issue regarding the display of the signal indicators, and it will be resolved by an upcoming software patch. At one point, Apple even issued a statement claiming that the problems were stemming from people holding the phone incorrectly, and that purchasing a case would solve the problem.
Unimpressed with the lip service from Apple’s tech support, Consumer Reports went out to test the iPhone 4, and did confirm that it was a design problem. The story quickly made its way around the Internet, and subsequently landed on Apple’s forums. Within a matter of hours, the story was everywhere on Apple’s support site. A few hours later, there was no mention of it at all.
Shortly after the threads were deleted, several new threads popped up asking what happened to the Consumer Reports posts. The story then broke about Apple deleting the threads, and a new Consumer Reports thread has since been posted on Apple’s forums. As to whether Apple realized that they have had enough negative press without censoring threads, or whether the current threads just haven’t been deleted yet, we will have to wait and see.