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Consumer Reports: iPhone 4S antenna doesn't suck

Antennagate closed

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The product testers at Consumer Reports have given the iPhone 4S a clean bill of health.

"Apple's newest smart phone performed very well in our tests," CR's Mike Gikas said in a statement issued on Tuesday, "and while it closely resembles the iPhone 4 in appearance, it doesn't suffer the reception problem we found in its predecessor in special tests in our labs."

CR's condemnation of the iPhone 4's antenna design was a major contributor to what became known as "Antennagate" – a storm of criticism that led to Apple firmly denying the problem, saying instead that "gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception" and that the one thing they were "stunned" to discover was that the way the iPhone 4 displayed its signal-strength bars was "totally wrong."

Criticism continued, however – so much so that Steve Jobs found himself in front of a hastily called news conference two weeks later, declaring that "There is no Antennagate."

At that event, Jobs said that a Bloomberg article that reported that he had been warned of the iPhone 4's reception problems was "a total crock" and "total bullshit."

Despite that crock of bullshit, however, Jobs did offer to supply iPhone 4 users with free antenna-covering and reception-aiding bumpers.

CR, however, refused to change its assessment – and when Verizon began selling a CDMA version of the iPhone 4, the product testers said that its antenna was flawed, as well.

But now the iPhone 4S is out, and according to CR the antenna flaw has been fixed – not that there was anything that needed fixing, according to Apple.

We wouldn't, however, go so far as to say that CR and Apple are now bosom buddies. In the testers' latest smartphone rankings, the iPhone 4S ranks behind "the Samsung Galaxy S II phones, the Motorola Droid Bionic, and several other phones that boast larger displays than the iPhone 4S and run on faster 4G networks." ®

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