Tag Archives | Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports Responds

Consumer Reports on Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference–sounds like Steve Jobs didn’t convince them that the iPhone 4 has no unique issues:

Consumers deserve answers and fairness.  Providing free bumpers and cases is a good first step toward Apple identifying and finding a solution for the signal-loss problem of the iPhone 4.


Consumer Reports Can't Recommend the iPhone 4

Consumer Reports thinks that the iPhone 4 has the sharpest display and best camera it’s ever seen in a smartphone. It’s impressed by the phone’s battery life, and likes the front-facing camera and gyroscope. But CR doesn’t recommend Apple’s newest phone–because it says that that its testing proves that the 4 can indeed suffer from degraded reception if you touch the lower left-hand corner. In areas with weak AT&T coverage, in fact, touching the phone can cause it to lose signal altogether.

CR’s refusal to recommend the iPhone 4 represents something of a turnaround from its initial impressions: At first, it said that the reception issues weren’t unique and might not be a major problem. Now they’re serious enough to outweigh the numerous things the publication likes about the phone. Which leaves me wondering whether Apple will be forced to reengineer this phone or otherwise address concerns before the next-generation iPhone shows up in a year or so.


Good News: Consumers Union is Buying the Consumerist

consumerist-crThe media biz is such a vale of tears these days that it’s a delight whenever a scrap of news that isn’t completely depressing comes along. And here’s news that’s all good: The Consumerist, the excellent consumer-issues blog that flirted with death when owner Gawker Media put it up for sale last month, is being bought by Consumers Union, the Consumer Reports folks. Here’s a New York Times story with all the details, including sound bites from my friend and former boss Kevin McKean, Consumer Reports’ editorial director.

Last month, I was a guest at a conference put on by Consumers Union and the Columbia Journalism Review. I was on a panel moderated by Kevin that the Consumerist’s Ben Poken was also on, and the news about the site being up for sale had just come up. Mediablogger Jeff Jarvis was in the audience, and during the Q&A he sprung up to suggest that CU buy the Consumerist. The CU folks present there looked intrigued by the idea but very, very cautious.

For all I know, they were already talking with Gawker, or would have done so whether or not Jeff threw out the notion. In any event, it’s hard to imagine a better home for the Consumerist than Consumers Union–it’s great news for everyone involved (including, especially, Consumerist readers), and nifty to see so venerable an institution as Consumers Union fulfill its mission in such a new and powerful way.