Consumer Reports fixes iPhone 4 flaw with duct tape

Consumers Reports declined to recommend the latest iPhone after finding a flaw in the antenna design that could lead to dropped calls for lefthanded users. But Consumers did recommend an easy fix for the problem — cover the area in duct tape.

According to Consumers, touching a certain spot on the phone’s lower left side can lead to degraded signals and dropped calls. Because of the signal issue, Consumers declined to recommend the iPhone 4 despite its high scores on the other tests.

“Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4’s signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that ‘mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength,’“ writes Mike Gikas. “The tests also indicate that AT&T’s network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4’s much-reported signal woes.”

Consumers does provide a low-cost solution for the problem, albeit one that may not appeal to some of the device’s more stylish early adopters — covering the gap with duct tape or another non-conductive material resolves the issue. Gikas notes that using a case would probably solve the problem as well.