I was thinking of writing my own blog post on this, but Kate MacKenzie has done an excellent job here at PixoBebo.com. It exemplifies my perception of Consumer Reports as an anachronistic throwback to the days when print media reviewed dishwashers, for a much less technically savvy public.
Over the years as they tried to rate and review computers I’d often find myself snickering at some of the silliness in their reviews. It got completely ridiculous during the infamous “Antennae-Gate” where CR just blasted the iPhone 4 for essentially having an issue that was common to pretty much every internal antennae mobile phone on the market. Apparently they felt that Apple should somehow defy the physics of attenuation, but what was really appalling was how the issue was blatantly present in phones they recommended. Ultimately it made no difference to the success of the iPhone 4, few people paid attention, but it did help a class action law suit against Apple succeed, which amounts to $15 if you have an iPhone 4 and you’re interested.
Great job CR. You made a great deal of money for a law firm, and protected the public at large. You should be proud.
So now they’re at it again with the iPad and their “OMG the iPad is hotter than the previous model” hysteria. This time fortunately people are catching on as MacKenzie describes in, “The Sad End: How Apple And Facts Killed Consumer Reports.”