The new iPhone 4 has a "design flaw" that hinders antenna reception, Consumer Reports wrote today, citing its own laboratory tests. Because of the result, the magazine said, it cannot recommend the phone to potential buyers. "When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side -- an easy thing, especially for lefties -- the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal," the consumer magazine wrote on its blog. "Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4."
The finding casts some doubt on Apple Inc.'s explanation that the signal issue was largely the result of a software bug that displays more reception "bars" than the user is actually getting -- creating the illusion of a strong cellular signal when there is none.
Apple said it was "stunned" to discover its formula for calculating reception bars was "totally wrong," and that it would deliver a software fix that would display the bars more accurately.
However, the company also noted that all mobile phones are subject to some signal degradation when held a certain way -- including its own earlier model iPhones.