Yesterday during Apple's press
conference concerning antenna/reception
issues with the iPhone 4, Steve Jobs tried deflect attention away
from the device and assert that it was an industrywide problem. Jobs
went on to show videos of various phones from competing manufacturers
succumbing to attenuation problems when held in a certain way (you
can catch the entire presentation here).
By doing this, Jobs made it seem to the
untrained eye that this isn't an Apple-specific problem, but just a
fact of life for users of smartphones given today's technology.
Not surprisingly, two of the companies
that were the subject of Jobs' "See, we aren't the only ones
having problems" demonstration are fighting back hard. The first
to respond was none other than Nokia:
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.
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.
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 co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim
fired back after their crown jewel, the BlackBerry Bold 9700, was
shown to be susceptible to dropped bars:
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
It appears that Apple has opened up a
whole new can of worms with its press conference, so we wouldn't be
surprised if other phone manufacturers start piling on shortly.
quote: They WILL redesign and fix this and release it next year.