Apple Beats Out Its Own Tech Support Score From Last Year [Report]


So patient, so knowledgeable. Swoon!

Consumer Reports, the popular magazine and website for figuring out what consumers think about all sorts of products and services, just published its annual reader survey on computer tech support.

Apple not only claimed the top spot in the list this year, beating out all other computer manufacturers, it got an even better score than it did in last year’s survey.

Consumer Reports: AT&T Once Again Ranked Worst Overall US Carrier While Verizon Remains #1



You would think that after year’s of continually being ranked the worst US carrier, AT&T would have done something to pull itself from the bottom. Unfortunately, they haven’t. According to Consumer Reports’ latest rankings, AT&T once again holds the title for overall worst US carrier. AT&T shouldn’t feel too bad as not a single major US carrier scored above an overall satisfaction score of 72.

Consumer Reports Says The iPhone 5 Is A ‘Winner’ And Apple Maps Aren’t That Bad



The advocacy group Consumer Reports wasn’t too friendly toward the iPhone 4, even after Apple offered free bumpers. They didn’t even like the iPhone 4S either. But with the iPhone 5 they’re changing their tune and saying that the iPhone is “among the best smartphones in our Ratings and the best iPhone yet.”

After conducting a series of tests on the iPhone 5, Consumer Reports concluded that the iPhone 5 doesn’t just surpass the iPhone 4S but also a number of other Android smartphones. They even said that despite the widespread criticism its received, Apple Maps is “competent enough.”

Consumer Reports: New iPad Heat Is Harmless, Equivalent To Heat From Android Tablets



The hysterical crybabies over at Consumer Reports — who, ever since the iPhone 4 came out, never have been able to let a new iOS product pass without Chicken Littling it — have just released a report “supplementing” their earlier one, saying that while the new iPad gets “harmlessly hot” in testings (more on this below), well, so do other tablets… like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which reached the same 121 degree temperature in their tests) as well as the Asus Transformer Prime (which was close, at 117 degrees).

If you’re interested, you can go read their report here. Here’s something to note, though: although in an email to Cult of Mac tipping us about their additional tests, Consumer Reports writer James McQueen said that the most they found was that the iPad could get alternatingly “harmlessly hot” or “harmlessly warm” (a direct quote), this phrase (or even just the word “harmless”) never appears in their public report, nor did it appear in their last report. Hard to get people all fired up — wokka — about harmless heat, isn’t it?

Consumer Reports Measures Their New iPad Running At 116 Degrees



In most regards, Consumer Reports do great work, but when it comes to Apple’s mobile devices, they’ve historically tended to act like bozos. Quickly jumping upon the Antennagate bandwagon when the iPhone 4 came out, Consumer Reports refused to recommend Apple’s latest handset for over a year. When the iPhone 4S came out, Consumer Reports grudgingly said it was worth buying, but not as good as Android phones. Are you for real?

Anyway, yesterday, in response to reports that the new iPad ran hotter than its predecessor, Consumer Reports eagerly promised to investigate, sniffing another scandal. They’ve now published some preliminary results, though, and surprise! They’re surprisingly sensible.

MacBooks Get a Lot of Love From Consumer Reports



You’ll find a notebook to suit everyone within Apple’s family of notebooks: the entry-level MacBook is perfect for students and casual computer users, the MacBook Air is a blessing to the travelling businessman, and there’s a MacBook Pro fitting for just about everyone. And I’m not the only one who thinks so – Consumer Reports just dealt Apple’s awesome MacBooks a whole lot of love.

iPad 2 Beats Competitors in Consumer Reports’ Testing – Best Tablet Available



The iPad 2 has beaten off competition to earn the top tablet rating in a recent Consumer Reports test. Devices tested along with the iPad 2 included tablets from Archos, Dell, Motorola, Samsung and ViewSonic. In a press release issued on Tuesday, electronics editor Paul Reynolds said that Apple’s device is ahead of its competitors on both quality and price:

So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced.

Each tablet was evaluated in 17 criteria, which included touch screen responsiveness, versatility, portability, screen flare, and ease of use. The iPad 2 topped the ratings, scoring ‘excellent’ in nearly every category.

Apple’s chief competition for the time being is the Motorola Xoom – which boasts the same 10-inch screen as the iPad but adds a built-in memory card reader and support for Adobe Flash. However, the Xoom’s $800 price tag doesn’t do it any favors.

The biggest difference between the 10 tablets tested was battery life. Obviously the iPad 2 came top with an impressive 12.2 hours of use, while the Archos 70 Internet Tablet could only manage an embarrassing 3.8 hours.

The first generation iPad was also part of the test, beating many of the other tablets but drawing equal with the Xoom.

So, it’s official – right now the iPad 2 is the best tablet available. But you already knew that.

Consumer Reports Won’t Recommend iPhone 4 After Free Case Program Ends


Steve Jobs

Over the weekend, Apple announced that they were ending their free iPhone 4 case program come September 30th, blithely quipping that “we now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought.”

Apparently, Consumer Reports remains unconvinced, though, because they are continuing to not recommend the iPhone 4 to customers, according to a recent update on their blog.

Our tests found the Bumper successfully mitigates the iPhone 4’s reception issue, which was a weak point in the phone’s otherwise-stellar performance in our tests. And we agree with Apple that not all iPhone 4 owners will experience reception difficulties with the device.

But putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us. We therefore continue not to recommend the iPhone 4, and to call on Apple to provide a permanent fix for the phone’s reception issues.

It is arguably Consumer Reports’ scathing denunciation of the iPhone 4’s antenna problems that caused “Antennagate” to become as much of a public relations disaster for Apple as it was. Will Consumer Reports’ withheld blessing continue to plague Apple and re-open the issue once the bumper case program ends, or is the fire effectively put out? While I agree the iPhone 4’s external antenna makes it more susceptible to attenuation than other phones — no matter how much finger pointing and bar-fiddling Apple does — I think the fire’s largely been put out: even dropping one call more out of a hundred than the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone you can buy. At this point, Consumer Reports just looks petulant.