After a thorough round of testing by Consumer Reports engineers, it has been confirmed that the call dropping problems that iPhone 4 owners were experiencing is, in fact, a design flaw and not a software issue as Apple originally claimed.
Consumer Reports tested three different iPhones, acquired from three different sources, in a controlled environment. In each case, signal strength significantly decreased to the point of call loss, when the user touched a specific spot on the phone on it’s lower-left side. Tests on other AT&T smart phones, including the iPhone 3Gs, did not produce the same results as the iPhone 4.
After initial complaints about this issue being design-oriented, Apple claimed that the problem was the way in which the iPhone 4 software displayed signal strength and that the signal never really weakened.
Consumer Reports has gone as far as to NOT put their recommendation on the product, but for the sole reason of this reception issue. They gave it rave reviews in all other categories, but not working very well as a phone is too big a design flaw to overlook… for a phone.
The video below from CR has all of the details…
Apple has since acknowledged the flaw and is offering refunds for owners who send back their phones within 30-days, and will be issuing free cases that eliminate the issue to those who wish to keep their iPhone 4s.