When the iPhone was Consumer Reports' highest rated smartphone it would not recommend it. Now the consumer group is recommending the iPhone 4S even though it ranks the device just behind its top Android competitors.
You may recall the death grip issue with the iPhone 4 that sparked "Antennagate." Apple quelled the drama with a press conference and a program offering free cases that would prevent the reception issues caused by the offending grip.
Consumer Reports seems satisfied with the tweaked antenna design on the iPhone 4S, but gives some of Apple's Android competition a slight edge.
Siri and the polish of iOS were not enough to outshine the larger displays and 4G speeds on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Droid Bionic.
Other than a handling edge it is hard to argue against the value of screen real estate on a smartphone. What hurts the iPhone most is its slower network speeds compared to LTE capable phones.
My own iPhone 4S testing has regularly seen speeds of 3 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up on AT&T. Sometimes it is a bit more, and at other times a bit less. But users of the iPhone on Sprint and Verizon will compromise speed since it cannot operate on their 4G networks.
Most consumers seemed undaunted by CR's opinion on the iPhone 4 and its successor has not had to spend much time waiting on shelves.