Consumer Reports steered blame away from AT&T for the shoddy reception issues, blaming it solely on the device itself. And to add fuel to the fire, the engineers at CR remained skeptical about recent reports stating that the loss of bars is a software issue, and that reception is actually uninterrupted. The report goes into depth on how these conclusions came about:
Consumer Reports also noted in their iPhone 4 report that there is a DIY solution to the antenna issue. It may not be the most glamorous solution, but at least it involves the geek's favorite tool, duct tape:“We reached this conclusion after testing all three of our iPhone 4s (purchased at three separate retailers in the New York area) in the controlled environment of CU’s radio frequency (RF) isolation chamber. In this room, which is impervious to outside radio signals, our test engineers connected the phones to our base-station emulator, a device that simulates carrier cell towers. We also tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre. None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4 .” Consumer Reports
Check out Consumer Reports' video on the antenna issues here.Cover the antenna gap with a piece of duct tape or another thick, non-conductive material. It may not be pretty, but it works. We also expect that using a case would remedy the problem. We'll test a few cases this week and report back.
Source Consumer Reports Blog