Consumer Reports: free iPhone Bumper isn't good enough

Consumer Reports got a few name-checks at yesterday's Apple conference, in fact the independent reviewers even managed to get onto Steve's big screen with their "The Bumper solves the signal-strength problem" quote.  Unfortunately, if Apple thought that giving all customers a free Bumper would placate the reviewers, they'll be disappointed; Consumer Reports say that it's good but not good enough, and they're still withholding their "Recommended" award from the iPhone 4.

"Consumer Reports believes Apple's offer of free cases is a good first step. However, Apple has indicated that this is not a long-term solution, it has guaranteed the offer only through September 30th, and has not extended it unequivocally to customers who bought cases from third-party vendors. We look forward to a long-term fix from Apple. As things currently stand, the iPhone 4 is still not one of our Recommended models." Consumer Reports

Key among the reviewers' complaints seems to be the fact that Apple aren't refunding those iPhone 4 owners who bought third-party cases, and that the Cupertino company themselves admitted that the free cases aren't a long-term solution.  In the Q&A session, Jobs told reporters that Apple would be looking for alternative solutions while simultaneously offering free Bumpers and other cases up until September 30th; after that point, there could be a different approach to dealing with the signal issue.

The news will likely come as another disappointment to Jobs and Apple as a whole, with the CEO saying the company had been upset by the unexpectedly negative reviews.  All eyes are on the Apple engineers now, to see if they can come up with the "long-term fix" Consumer Reports – and others – seem to expect of them.