Consumer Reports claims Verizon iPhone has antenna issues, too

As if the press frenzy surrounding the antenna problems with the AT&T iPhone 4 last year was not enough, Consumer Reports has just added some more fuel to the fire. The publication claims that in its own internal tests of the Verizon model, the same exact attenuation issues are occurring.

Bloggers and journalists labeled it a whole bunch of amusing and comical names: from the "grip of death" to "Antennagate." It became a whole lot more serious for Apple, who eventually was forced by the publicity to admit some issues and provide free bumpers to all iPhone 4 owners.

Consumer Reports says the issue is similar to that which plagued AT&T models, and occurs in weak signal conditions. Gripping the bottom of the phone can cause an attenuation or possible full loss of the cellular signal, however with a case on the issue disappears.

The same tests performed on the AT&T version were used in the tests of the Verizon iPhone. Consumer Reports did say the phone performed "superbly in most other respects," meaning yet again the design of the phone itself appears to be the iPhone 4's biggest downfall.

In any case, Verizon iPhone 4 users will still need to mind the gap -- that is, the gap in the metal outlining the case encircling the device. With a finger over the lower left gap, in certain circumstances voice calls would fail.

"The Verizon iPhone 4 closely resembles the original AT&T iPhone 4 in many positive respects," Consumer Reports wrote in its review. "Unfortunately, it also shares with its sibling the possibility of compromised performance in low-signal conditions when used without a bumper or case."

Reviewers speculated that the reasoning for far fewer reports of attenuation issues came from the fact that overall Verizon's coverage is much more robust than AT&T's. This means that the low signal strength that is needed to make the antenna issues noticeable is possible over a far smaller portion of Verizon's network.

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