Various Smartphone Makers Respond to Apple’s Antenna Issue Claims

Submitted by lalit on July 19, 2010 - 12:19pm.

Apple not only showed signal attenuation problem on smartphones from RIM, HTC, and Samsung at their iPhone 4 press conference, but also posted a webpage showing videos and photos of this happening on various smartphones. Well this is not making any of the smartphone makers happy. So they have released statements saying that the signal loss problem is mostly affecting Apple iPhone 4. Response from various smartphone makers is as follows:

Nokia: 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. We prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

RIM: 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.

Samsung: We have not received significant customer feedback on any signal reduction issue for the Omnia II. Based on years of experience of designing high quality phones, Samsung mobile phones employ an internal antenna design technology that optimizes reception quality for any type of handgrip use.

HTC: Reception problems are not common on smartphones, regardless of what Apple said at its iPhone 4 press conference on Friday. Apple should fix its own phone rather than bring competitors into the fray.

While most of the smartphone makers are saying that it is iPhone only problem, many video have been posted on YouTube showing that this problem exist in many smartphones. In fact, BGR posted a video showing the death grip in action on BlackBerry 9650 after RIM released their statement. Also, HTC’s instruction manual for the Droid Eris instructs user to not touch the area where antenna is located. So, basically signal attenuation problem exist in many phones, but because iPhone is so successful it is for the first time bringing media’s attention to the topic.