A decision by Consumer Reports against endorsing the latest iPhone because of reception problems threatens to tarnish Apple Inc.’s reputation, yet fans who have braved poor reception for years are likely to keep buying the product, reports the Associated Press. In fact, some analysts say Apple could simply ignore calls by bloggers and others to recall the iPhone 4 or offer free cases to mitigate the problems. As of July 13, Apple hadn’t returned phone calls or eMail messages about the Consumer Reports critique, which the venerable arbiter of product quality posted on its web site July 12. While some Apple watchers find the company’s responses to the reception issue objectionable, they don’t see any penalties for Apple if it does nothing further. People buy iPhones for emotional reasons, not because they’re the best phones, said Deborah Mitchell, executive director of the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin. “People see you using the iPhone, and they think you are a certain type of person—hip, fresh, and youthful in attitude,” she said. “It’s a brand that helps you identify yourself.”

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Maya Prabhu