Consumer Reports issued a note about the reception problems of the AT&T (NYSE: T) iPhone 4 last July. Apple all but denied the trouble and offered free covers for the handsets that supposedly solved the problem.
Consumer Reports now says the Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 has the same problem. Fortunately for Verizon Wireless, the AT&T analysis did not appear to hurt its iPhone sales at all.
The CR website reports that:
The Verizon iPhone 4 closely resembles the original AT&T iPhone 4 in many positive respects, including offering great multimedia functionality, a sharp screen, and the best MP3 player we’ve seen on a phone. Unfortunately, it also shares with its sibling the possibility of compromised performance in low-signal conditions when used without a bumper or case.
Verizon or Apple may be forced to give out more rubber bumpers like those distributed after the AT&T problem. Verizon is fortunate because it did not get the raft of complaints that AT&T did last July. Now that Consumer Reports has issued it findings, it is almost certain that the owners of the Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 will suddenly “find” the problem. The herd mentality extends to smartphones.
Apple’s brand was not harmed by the AT&T reception problem. The AT&T 3G network is so poor that some members of the media and customers blamed the carrier for the problem. Now that Verizon’s version of the handset has similar characteristics the onus is back on Apple
Douglas A. McIntyre