Opinion Brief

Consumer Reports' iPhone 4 snub

In its review, the respected product guide says it "can't recommend" Apple's problem-plagued new phone — fueling demands for a recall

Consumer Reports says it "can't recommend" the popular iPhone 4 until Apple fixes the "grip of death" — a reference to reception problems caused by touching the device's bottom left corner. The influential buyer's guide said tests prove the widely reported problem is hardware-related, refuting Apple's claim that it's merely a software glitch that an update could resolve. Though the review gave the cell phone high marks for its sharp touchscreen display, video camera and speedy performance, the ominous "can't recommend" warning has re-ignited demands that Apple recall the phone. Is a recall becoming inevitable? (Watch a Fox Business report about the iPhone 4's poor rating)

Do the right thing: Apple must "recall the iPhone 4," says Molly Wood in CNet. What started as a complaint among gadget "geeks," is quickly seeping into the mainstream. And Apple has only responded "with arrogance and dismissal." Of course, an Apple recall would be "expensive and unprecedented," but it would prove the company's "commitment to the impeccable quality and design principles it's always espoused," and win back "some flagging hearts and minds." 
"Time for an iPhone 4 recall?"

A recall? No way: This is ridiculous, says David Morgenstern in ZDNet. The iPhone 4 "is the top-rated smart phone" — by Consumer Reports! Despite its "can't recommend" proviso, the "passive-aggressive" buyer's guide ranked the iPhone 4 "several points higher than the top-scoring iPhone 3GS" and says it "does almost everything that a user would want." Please, "everyone," just put a piece of duct tape on the corner or use a "Bumper case," and then "go out enjoy the best phone on the market." Is that so hard?
"Dudes, put the Bumper on the iPhone 4 and move on"

Apple has to make some sort of concession: Sorry, says Rik Myslewski in The Register, but this problem isn't going away. Consumer Reports is the "most respected product-testing labs" out there and its negative review could seriously compromise Apple's reputation. "At minimum," Apple should "provide every iPhone 4 owner with one of its $29 Bumper antenna covers," for free. "At maximum, Apple should issue a recall." Either way, Steve Jobs, "the ball is now in your court."
"Consumer Reports: We were wrong about the iPhone 4"

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