Consumer Reports gives thumbs up to iPhone 4 Bumper

Jul 15, 2010
Finance

While the world awaits what Apple will have to say tomorrow about signal-loss issues associated with the iPhone 4 antenna, the beleaguered tech giant is receiving some welcome news from an unlikely source. Consumer Reports, which turned Apple’s (AAPL) antenna headache into a migraine earlier this week by detailing why it could not recommend the […]

While the world awaits what Apple will have to say tomorrow about signal-loss issues associated with the iPhone 4 antenna, the beleaguered tech giant is receiving some welcome news from an unlikely source.

Consumer Reports, which turned Apple’s (AAPL) antenna headache into a migraine earlier this week by detailing why it could not recommend the iPhone 4 to its readers, just published a blog report confirming that Apple’s Bumper case “alleviates the iPhone 4 loss-signal problem.”

“We put the accessory to the test in our labs and confirmed that it does remedy the issue,” cites the July 14th post, which added that a piece of duct tape and holding the phone more carefully also fix the problems. “But these options all put the onus on consumers to solve or pay for a fix. We’re still calling on Apple to provide an acceptable free solution to the iPhone 4’s signal-loss problem.”

Whether Apple will provide free Bumpers to consumers who purchased the iPhone 4 (they retail for $29 but reportedly cost only a buck for Apple to manufacture) remains to be seen. While that act and potential upgrades to the iOS 4 software will be less costly than a potential $1.5 billion recall of the iPhone 4 (an unlikely proposition), Apple’s signature mobile device will be tainted in the eyes of the public.

Here comes the Droid X

Concurrent with Apple’s public perception troubles is the commercial debut of Motorola’s (MOT) Droid X, which is carried by Verizon (VZ) and runs on Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system. While the Droid and other Android devices don’t have the same pop cultural cachet as the iPhone, they reliably place calls, connect to the web, and have access to the nearly 75,000 apps available in the Android Market.

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Many consumers scared away by the iPhone’s antenna problems or AT&T’s (T) spotty network will invariably turn to the Droid X when they make their smartphone decisions this holiday season and beyond.

So while the iPhone 4’s “death grip” is far from a death knell for Apple, cracks in the company’s armor give openings to worthy competitors who are coming out with compelling offerings seemingly everyday.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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