Smartphone Makers Respond to Apple’s Claim That All Phones Suffer Reception Issues

This image described by iPhone, HTC, BlackBerry, RIM, Nokia, Droid, Screen shot 2010-07-18 at 12.17.23 AM 


Some mobile manufacturers aren't happy with what Apple said at Friday's press conference.

During the event, Jobs mentioned that only .55 percent, or one half of one percent, had issues with reception on their iPhone 4.

Apple also pointed out that many other phones have issues with reception when held incorrectly. They showed the results of several popular lines of smartphones. One of the phones mentioned as one of the most problematic phones was was HTC's Droid Eris. HTC was asked by website Pocket-lint what percentage of their phones have such issues. They resounded with:

"Approximately .016% of customers, we have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris."

RIM, makers of the popular Blackberry smartphone prepared an official statement in response to Apple's claim:

"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

Nokia responded with the following:

"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."

It seems all the companies are covering their butts. Not that we can blame them–Apple drew first blood.

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