Consumer Reports Slams The iPhone 4 Over Antenna Issue

Apple might have some amazing marketing for the iPhone 4 and it thinks that it can sweep the phone’s antenna reception issues under the rug, but Consumer Reports isn’t buying it. And it is recommending that consumers don’t buy the phone either.

After testing three different phones by its own engineers in its “radio frequency isolation chamber” (it sounds like something out of the 1950s, and the equipment looks that old too), Consumer Reports concludes that the signal degradation is very real when you put your finger over the gap on the lower left-hand side of the phone. (The external antenna wraps around the outer edge of the device). This is a devastating review coming from Consumer Reports.

Steve Jobs recommends getting a case for this issue, but Consumer Reports calls it a design flaw. It suggests a duct-tape fix. Already there are lawsuits brewing..

Other than the antenna problem, Consumer Reports loves the phone:

it sports the sharpest display and best video camera we’ve seen on any phone, and even outshines its high-scoring predecessors with improved battery life and such new features as a front-facing camera for video chats and a built-in gyroscope that turns the phone into a super-responsive game controller. But Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4.

It also continues to sell like crazy. So is the antenna problem real and widespread, or do people just not notice it or care because they figure it is AT&T’s fault?