Consumer Reports’ No To iPhone 4: Bad News For iAds?

Uh-oh. Looks like iAds may not reach as wide of an audience as hoped, if phone users listen to the buyers’ Bible Consumer Reports.

Yesterday, Consumer Reports senior electronics editor Mike Gikas said in his blog that the magazine’s test engineers found that yes, there is a reception problem with the iPhone 4. Contrary to Apple’s statement that the problem has to do with a software glitch (i.e. that an indication of weak bar strength may not mean actual weak reception), the  purchasers’ guide found, “When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal.”

Concluded Gikas, “Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.”

Of course, certain brand loyalists will get the iPhone 4 anyway. But when a consumer advocate like Consumer Reports speaks, many listen. The growth of new-to-Apple phone owners may stall, and with it the number of eyeballs who will see iAd adverts.

Then again, Gikas said, “If you want an iPhone that works well without a masking-tape fix, we continue to recommend an older model, the 3G S,” whose operating system can be upgraded to the iOS 4, which serves up iAds. “Masking-tape fix” refers to the strategic placement of duct tape on the lower left-hand corner of the iPhone 4. While it works, it negates the whole point of Apple products being beautiful objects of design.