Consumer Reports magazine said Monday it cannot recommend the iPhone 4 to shoppers because of persistent reception issues caused by touching the Apple phone.
The magazine also questioned Apple's explanation for the glitch, saying it tested other smartphones in its labs, including the older iPhone 3GS, and "none of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4."
The comments by the product-reviews publication add to a pile of complaints about the iPhone 4's ability to handle voice calls. Consumer Reports tested three iPhone 4s and found that touching a spot on the left side of the phone can cause reception to "significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal."
"Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4," the magazine said in a statement. The conclusion was an about-face for Consumer Reports, which said in a July 2 blog post that the iPhone issues were not yet a reason to forgo buying the device.
The publication also took some of the heat away from AT&T Inc.'s network, which has been criticized for not being able to adequately handle the load of data-guzzling iPhones. "The tests also indicate that AT&T's network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4's much-reported signal woes," Consumer Reports said.