Steve Jobs Claims Apple's Problems are Common to Smart Phones (Photo from Apple Video)
Before he announced he was giving every iPhone 4 user a free case and an opportunity to return the phone for a free refund if they weren't happy, Steve Jobs took several minutes to make the case that the problems with the iPhone 4's antenna are no different than those of other smart phones. (Click here to video Apple's press conference)
Do all Smart Phones Suffer from Grip of Death?
To make his point, he showed videos of people gripping a Blackberry Bold 9700, an HTC Droid Eris and a Samsung Omnia II that showed all phones lost signal strength if gripped in a certain way. The Blackberry Bold's signal strength meter dropped from 4 to 1, the HTC Droid Eros from 4 to 0 and the Samsung Omia from 4 to 1. When the person in the video released his grip, the bars went back up.
Other Phone Makers Beg to Differ
Jobs demonstration didn't convince makers of other phones. Research in Motion, which makes the Blackberry quickly retorted that "Apple's claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation." (Scroll down for full statement)
Other phone makers also chimed in. All Things Digital quoted HTC saying "[Apple] apparently didn't give operators enough time to test the phone." Motorola, according to the site says that it has avoided using external antennas "because consumers don't like being told how to hold the phone. While the whole industry has to deal with phones being held in different ways."
Nokia issued a statement that "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."
RIM's full statement
"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 understanding 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."
iPhone Antenna Song
Steve Jobs began Friday's press conference by showing a video that makes fun of people who are complaining about the iPhone 4's antenna problem to the refrain "If you don't want an iPhone 4, don't buy it. If you bought one and don't like it, bring it back."
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