Rival’s Reaction to Apple iPhone 4 Antenna Problems

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The ‘tech’ world has been bugged with iPhone 4 antenna problems lately and Apple has been releasing statements which has challenged rivals such RIM, HTC and Nokia. Steve Jobs made mention in their press conference that signal degradation can also happen to any phone and it has mentioned RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9700 as an example. RIM surely defends themselves with this degrading comparison. Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s co-CEO answered the issue from a quoted statement posted in CrackBerry.com

“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.”

– Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

Apple also made mention that iPhone 4 antenna problem should be blamed to it’s design for an aim to have the slimmest phone ever. Nokia is not buying the reason though. They are claiming to be the pioneer of internal antenna technology, and has that it has this all figured out where Apple didn’t.

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.

HTC got the worst comparison though as Apple has sited their Droid Eris to have the worst signal of all. HTC didn’t release any lengthy statement to answer this, rather they used statistics against Apple. They posted that only 0.016% of its Droid Eris buyers have called to complain about signal problems compared to Apple’s 0.055%.

Apple could have been struggling with what’s going on now most especially that rivals all are eyes and ears to whatever they say and very ready to counter-react.

What’s your viewpoint on this matter? Please feel free to post all your reactions to this one.