Antennagate- The Aftermath

Posted on July 19, 2010 by


Steve Jobs

MoRecNews has had a busy weekend reporting on Apple’s PR Nightmare iPhone antenna problems, as the issue reached a crescendo at the press conference on Friday. Although Apple have now stated their case, appeased their consumers and are back at Apple HQ packing boxes of bumpers by the bucket load; they couldn’t help but drag the other manufacturers into, what seemed to be, wholly Apple’s problem.

Steve Jobs suggested in no uncertain terms at the press conference that the antenna issues definitely transcend the iPhone and represents a problem for the smartphone market as a whole; his musings accompanied by a nice little video of other manufacturer’s phones under-performing when ‘death-gripped’. It was inevitably not long before statements started coming in thick and fast from Apple’s buddies in the industry.

In case you’ve missed the two cents of RIM, Nokia, HTC and Samsung, as they puff out their chests and wonder, rather fairly, why they have had to wade into Apple’s debate; we’ve collated their responses below:

Nokia’s Statement:

“Antenna design is a complex subject and has been a core competence at Nokia for decades, across hundreds of phone models. Nokia was the pioneer in internal antennas; the Nokia 8810, launched in 1998, was the first commercial phone with this feature.

Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior, including how people hold their phones for calls, music playing, web browsing and so on. As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

In general, antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held. That’s why Nokia designs our phones to ensure acceptable performance in all real life cases, for example when the phone is held in either hand. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.”


RIM’s Rant:

“Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s undersStanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.”


HTC- Numbers speak louder than words:

Speaking exclusively to UK gadget news and reviews site Pocket-Lint, HTC’s global PR and online community manager spilled the beans on the exact number of people who complained about the HTC Eris’ signal:

Approximately .016% of customers“[…] “we have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris“.

Speaking in the Wall Street Journal, HTC Chief Financial Officer Hui-Meng Cheng said:  “The reception problems are certainly not common among smartphones,”  “[Apple] apparently didn’t give operators enough time to test the phone.”

Samsung Response:

Samsung’s response is also reported in the Wall Street Journal, As Samsung suggest, the company: ‘hasn’t received significant customer feedbacks on any signal reduction issue for the Omnia II’

So there you have it, the good the bad and the ugly as the market strikes back. Do you think Apple’s decision to dress-down the smartphone market was fair? Do you have a smartphone not made by Apple that succumbs to the ‘death grip’?

I don’t know about everyone else, but as a HTC hero owner, the only kind of grip I ever need to give my phone is a big ole hug… #fanboy alert!

We welcome your opinions and comments below…