Verizon iPhone: Consumer Reports warning – Fair?

Since the official announcement of a Verizon iPhone 4 was finally made on Tuesday, Maddy Rowe here on OSM has already asked the question of whether it would be best to purchase the Apple iPhone on Verizon when it arrives on February 10, or if in fact it would be better to wait for the next-generation iPhone, the iPhone 5, thought to be due around June this year.

Many are starting to feel that the iPhone version coming to Verizon is already almost out-of-date, and now Consumer Reports has waded into the argument with more criticisms about the Verizon iPhone 4. Bryan Chaffin over on the Mac Observer tells how a blog post on the well-known and reputable magazine by Paul Reynolds and Mike Gikas feels the success of the Verizon iPhone will be short-lived and criticizes it for being ‘middle-aged’ and being a mid-cycle replacement.

Chaffin notes that Consumer Reports also criticizes the fact that the Verizon iPhone will be for its 3G network and not its new LTE 4G network and also suffers shortcomings because of features not available on CDMA phones as opposed to AT&T’s GSM version. Another criticism from Consumer Reports refers to the screen on the Verizon iPhone, a 3.5-inch screen which has received high praise up until now, as opposed to the 4-inch screens arriving on more phones.

However Chaffin answers these criticisms with some pertinent comments. For example, as far as being a mid-cycle replacement goes, this is accurate, but the same argument could apply to any other phones which regularly see updates. Looking at the fact that the iPhone for Verizon will run on its 3G network is also accurate but Consumer Reports fails to point out that Verizon does not yet have any phones out for its 4G network although some are upcoming, and also doesn’t criticize other 3G phones.

It’s also true that the CDMA iPhone version on Verizon lacks some GSM features, such as being able to place a voice call while at the same time using the web, but then of course this also applies to any other smartphones on Verizon, which have escaped the same criticisms. Lastly when looking at the screens Chaffin points out that there are only 2 devices with 4-inch screens sold by Verizon, both of which have lower-resolution screens.

The only plus points noted on the Consumer Reports article were that Verizon is a decent carrier and it also applauded the Verizon iPhone capability of being used as a mobile hotspot. If you’d like a handy comparison of the Verizon iPhone 4 and Android smartphones on Verizon then take a look at the table on Apple Insider here which shows all the detail.

Another thing to remember that we’d like to point out is that when Apple’s original iPhone 4 came out Consumer Reports refused to endorse the phone because of the death-grip antenna problems, so could these criticisms be a hangover from that episode?

Taking everything into account we’d like to know what you think. Do you think the Consumer Reports article is fair, or maybe you feel it seems to be trying rather too hard to find fault with the Verizon iPhone 4? Please do send us your comments on this as it would be interesting to know the general consensus of opinion.

  • Joann

    I will get the I-phone 4, and not wiat for the i-phone 5. Simply because there is a new one every year, and with contract no one can keep up. When I am ready for a new update, there will be a another new one on the market!

  • JCarraway

    I think consumer reports has ALWAYS been biased. Even when they were magazine only,if you were a company with a product being reviewed, you could pratcially buy an opinion from them. I don't know what consumers they're reporting on or to, but it's certainly not the audience that can't see past what they publish holds zero account.

  • DWD

    To me, the report seems pretty fair. The task of consumer reports is to show the drawbacks of buying a product before they buy it and in this report they have done just that. Certainly many people didnt know these facts and now they can make their decision in a better way.
    As for the concern about "not criticizing the other phones on verizon" , this report was about iphone for verizon. For any other phone, you should read the consumer report article ABOUT THAT PHONE.