Consumer Reports vouches for Apple’s Bumper as resolution to iPhone 4 antenna bug

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Date: Thursday, July 15th, 2010, 04:49
Category: iPhone, News

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Apple’s iPhone 4 reception issues. On Wednesday, Consumer Reports announced that Apple iPhone 4 owners can eliminate reception problems by enclosing their phones in the “Bumper” case Apple sells.

The findings could presage a decision by Apple to offer iPhone 4 owners a free Bumper, as the publication confirmed yesterday that it has been in contact with Apple over its testing results.

Per Macworld UK, the consumer testing organization said it could not recommend the iPhone 4 because of major reception issues when users touched the external antenna, the publication’s engineers went back into their lab to retest with iPhones equipped with Bumpers.

Apple’s Bumper, which retails for US$29, represents the company’s first efforts to move into the iPhone case market.

“With the Bumper fitted, we repeated the test procedure, placing a finger on the Bumper at the point at which it covers the gap [on the lower left side of the case],” said Paul Reynolds, Consumer Reports’s electronics editor, in an entry on the magazine’s blog on Wednesday afternoon.

The publication tested only Apple’s Bumper, although another Consumer Reports editor said yesterday that it was planning on evaluating several different cases.

“The result was a negligible drop in signal strength – so slight that it would not have any effect, in our judgment.”

On Monday, Consumer Reports explained its could-not-recommend decision by describing testing of three different iPhone 4s in its radio frequency (RF) isolation chamber, where a cell tower emulator simulates real-world signals.

The magazine’s engineers also tested several other AT&T-sold phones, including the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre. None of those phones showed the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and I’ll happily trade you my first born for a Bumper should the need arise…

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2 Responses to “Consumer Reports vouches for Apple’s Bumper as resolution to iPhone 4 antenna bug”

  1. “Appleā€™s Bumper, which retails for US$29” when I first saw the price for the bumper it seemed outrageous. $29 for what amounts to at most, an item that costs perhaps $1. These should have been sold for $5 to begin with.
    Apple should give all iPhone 4 purchasers a voucher to buy one, and just throw one in for future iPhone purchasers.

  2. My solution-please read all – Hold a Sec “Consumer Reports” – I don't “buy” the “bumper” solution. I had multiple reception issues with the iPhone4 and bought an approved, made for the iPhone4, case. It helped, a bit but the problems persisted. The real problem, here, is a love-hate relationship between Apple and AT&T. The 3G iPhones and iPhone4 is too sophisticated for AT&Ts network and Apple was too cheap to cut a better deal with Verizon (vice-versa). So the pox on both of their houses. But to be truthful, I have the iPhone 3GS and bought the iPhone4. Before my 30 days was up, the iPhone4 went back to AT&T and it'll stay there until they find a real solution and not a rubber band around the phone. Joe