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RIM, Nokia respond to Apple's "Antennagate" press conference

post #1 of 543
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Research in Motion and Nokia issued official statements Friday decrying Apple's use of their handsets to demonstrate signal loss in their press conference addressing the iPhone 4 antenna problem.

In response to a firestorm of criticism from the media and consumers, Apple held a press conference Friday to address issues with the iPhone 4 antenna. During the conference, chief executive Steve Jobs said the antenna problem was "a challenge for the entire industry."

Jobs then highlighted several phones also experiencing signal loss when gripped, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700 from RIM, Samsung Omnia II, and the HTC Droid Eris. He also specifically called out Nokia when he said, You can go on the web and look at pictures of Nokia phones that ship with stickers on the back that say dont touch here.

Shortly after the press conference, Apple added a new section to its site to explain "smartphone antenna performance." The Blackberry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, and Samsung Omnia II were again displayed alongside the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS as suffering from a drop in signal when covering the "weak spot."

For their part, RIM dismissed these references as an unacceptable "attempt to draw RIM into Apple's self-made debacle." The official statement, signed by co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, went on to highlight their company as a "global leader in antenna design" that has been designing "industry-leading" products for over 20 years. The Ontario, Canada-based company called on Apple to "take responsibility" for its design decisions, rather than "trying to draw RIM and others" into the situation.

In similar fashion, Nokia's statement emphasized its role as "the pioneer in internal antennas." The statement also noted that antenna design "has been a core competence at Nokia for decades." Although the statement does not specifically mention Apple, several of the points it makes can be taken as responses to Apple. For example, "As you would expect from a company focused on people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

The Finland-based company admitted that "antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip," but went on to assure that they allow for this in their designs, citing as examples "thousands of man hours" of study, placement of antennas, and "careful selection of materials."

In June, Nokia's official blog poked fun at the iPhone 4 "death grip" issue. The post included a variety of pictures showing a range of grips, encouraging consumers to feel free to hold their Nokia device any way they like without suffering any signal loss.

Users of the site then posted links to videos showing signal loss on several of Nokia's handsets, as well as instructions from a Nokia manual warning users "to avoid touching the antenna area" and that "contact with antennas affects the communication quality."
post #2 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesw View Post

Videos: death grip on EVO, Droid Incredible, Nexus One, Galaxy 1, G1, etc.




* Samsung I9000 Galaxy S: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LROTHrTR92k

* HTC Evo Signal Attenuation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pj2YBYTbag

* Samsung Galaxy 1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

* Samsung Galaxy 2:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPCQdYtPihg

* Droid Incredible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaDE941PzQk

* Droid Incredible (With Network Extender in Room): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpEQH...eature=related

* Nexus One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEIA_lMwqJA

* Nexus One vs. iPhone (start at 1:29): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvMoV4_C4aA

* Nexus One: http://posterous.com/getfile/files.p...n_-_iPhone.m4v

* Nexus One (after Google's update to correct): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2g5J4qPp54

* Nexus One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deCkjeHYT-g

* Android G1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CDaxhjUs9M

* "Major signal degradation when Nexus One is picked up" (N1 Thread on On this Problem): http://www.google.com/support/forum/...9184c33e&hl=en

Well it seems this problem is a general one
post #3 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic8Ball View Post

Well it seems this problem is a general one

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.
post #4 of 543
But a huge to do is being made of the Apple issue, when this is not a solely Apple-related problem. People in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones and all that. Apple is perfectly in their rights to defend themselves. Consider the examples they use as court evidence that they are not alone. This kind of thing could well end up being very important in keeping class action lawsuits from coming Apple's way if the judge is able to look around and freely see that it isn't an Apple-only issue.
post #5 of 543
I watched the press conference and read the Q&A session as well. Thanks to Jason Snell's excellent work at MacWorld.

I came away satisfied and impressed with Apple's take on the 'problem.' I'll now sell my 3Gs and order an iPhone 4. If nothing else, but for the thinner form factor, 40% increased battery life and the improved camera with flash.

Apple's products are great and superior to anything else that is being manufactured from smart phones to laptops.

To expect a device to perform 100%, 100% of the time is unrealistic in the real world. I can see if it's an iPod which is a closed system and you want to play a song, then yes, it should work 100% of the time. But to expect a smart phone to never drop calls or have low reception at times is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

Based on the evidence presented, I agree with Jobs that it has been way overblown and for me is a non-issue.

I would encourage everyone to watch the video of the press conference. It is very informative and I learned a lot.

Steve should do one every Friday. Below is the link! Best.

http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.ne...ent/index.html
post #6 of 543
The best thing now is that they all are united on a common difficult challenge. Fighting is bad for the business and the CEOs, not us!

And by the way....... I remember the days with Nokias 6210 to well. A bad bad phone with crazy many faults.
post #7 of 543
The whole thing is way overblown, to the point that it seems like there is an entity behind it. Apple is doing remarkably well in all aspects right now. This year alone, they released two blockbuster products and moved their Mac market share up to 10%, which must have more than a few people worried and or jealous.

 

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post #8 of 543
Apple is singled out because Apple sells a lot of phones from a single phone model. Other companies sells hundreds of thousands per model, Apple sells millions per model.

And there is a high expectation for Apple. So any misstep is regarded as a problem. It is right that they pointed out who else has the same problem. The problem for iPhone 4 may be higher or less depending on the location. The metallic-design also may increase the signal loss.

Bumpers or any case to shield the metal from body contact solves the problem. I am glad the issue is resolved. Those waiting for money from class-action suit will get nothing but a bumper or a refund. Case closed!
post #9 of 543
Apple isn't trying to draw them into the debacle, they're demonstrating there shouldn't be a debacle that all phones designers have challenges and the iPhone isn't unique in its recommended way of holding it ( in weak signal areas).
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post #10 of 543
I demand a free case for my blackberry!!! I have no bars as well when I deathgrip it!
post #11 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

In a side-by-side comparison, the iPhone is generally a much, much better mobile device. Comparisons sometimes have the negative effect of highlighting 'your' product's weaknesses, but Apple chose this strategy to emphasize the industry wide issue of antenna problems.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #12 of 543
I ran that RIM announcement through the Babelfish translator and it came out something like this:

Oh God! Don't show people how are products have the same problem as yours - we are already losing enough market share to you - are you trying to bury us?

it went on to say...

Yeah we know our products have the same issue - but grip of death can beat your grip of death any day of the week and twice on saturday - nyah nyah.

Also...

Damn them for upping the anti and forcing us to make our products even better.



They are correct though - Apple did make this problem far more obvious on the iPhone 4 that it is on other phones - in my opinion Steve did a credible job of explaining the problem, and taking steps towards resolving the problem - which at least in part of problem of perception - and how many other companies do you know who have given free cases or $30 rebates on something that is not necessarily a "real" problem. Now I say "real" because obviously yes some folks are having a true issue - which may or may not be faulty hardware or inaccurate software - but my take is that we need to wait for the software update to propagate and for more cases to get out there - and see if Apple actually changes the design at all.

On the flip side - if the outcome is improved hardware and software for all - then the future is so bright I gotta go find my shades.
post #13 of 543
Jobs exposed the industry's dirty little secret and now RIM and Nokia are crying about it. They need to fess-up too.

I think we just have some poor losers, Gizmodo, out there that want to take Apple down a few notches if they can.
post #14 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Research in Motion and Nokia issued official statements Friday decrying Apple's use of their handsets to demonstrate signal loss in their press conference addressing the iPhone 4 antenna problem.

In response to a firestorm of criticism from the media and consumers, Apple held a press conference Friday to address issues with the iPhone 4 antenna. During the conference, chief executive Steve Jobs said the antenna problem was "a challenge for the entire industry."

Jobs then highlighted several phones also experiencing signal loss when gripped, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700 from RIM, Samsung Omnia II, and the HTC Droid Eris. He also specifically called out Nokia when he said, You can go on the web and look at pictures of Nokia phones that ship with stickers on the back that say dont touch here.

Shortly after the press conference, Apple added a new section to its site to explain "smartphone antenna performance." The Blackberry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, and Samsung Omnia II were again displayed alongside the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS as suffering from a drop in signal when covering the "weak spot."

For their part, RIM dismissed these references as an unacceptable "attempt to draw RIM into Apple's self-made debacle." The official statement, signed by co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, went on to highlight their company as a "global leader in antenna design" that has been designing "industry-leading" products for over 20 years. The Ontario, Canada-based company called on Apple to "take responsibility" for its design decisions, rather than "trying to draw RIM and others" into the situation.

In similar fashion, Nokia's statement emphasized its role as "the pioneer in internal antennas." The statement also noted that antenna design "has been a core competence at Nokia for decades." Although the statement does not specifically mention Apple, several of the points it makes can be taken as responses to Apple. For example, "As you would expect from a company focused on people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

The Finland-based company admitted that "antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip," but went on to assure that they allow for this in their designs, citing as examples "thousands of man hours" of study, placement of antennas, and "careful selection of materials."

In June, Nokia's official blog poked fun at the iPhone 4 "death grip" issue. The post included a variety of pictures showing a range of grips, encouraging consumers to feel free to hold their Nokia device any way they like without suffering any signal loss.

Users of the site then posted links to videos showing signal loss on several of Nokia's handsets, as well as instructions from a Nokia manual warning users "to avoid touching the antenna area" and that "contact with antennas affects the communication quality."

this is getting good...
post #15 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Those waiting for money from class-action suit will get nothing but a bumper or a refund. Case closed!

While the law firm handling the case buys new Italian sports cars for their staff... to go in their new garages at their new beach houses.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #16 of 543
It's getting old now...
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post #17 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by fordyingseasons View Post

I demand a free case for my blackberry!!! I have no bars as well when I deathgrip it!

You just might be on to something. Now all of the other phone companies are going to be on the defensive with consumers for their various issues. I saw the responses from Nokia and RIMM, but I don't think customers will be satisfied with their respective stances.

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post #18 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

What evidence do you have that iPhone db drop is higher than norm?

None. You are merely an irrational koolade drinking hater.
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post #19 of 543
The RIM phone is released to the public so therefore it's game. I saw the phone being held normally and the bars go down to one. That's all there is to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.
post #20 of 543
I disagree that Apple was out of line in any way here.

Remember the Toyotas-won't-stop problem from a few months ago? If the issue wasn't a Toyota issue, but instead a problem that was universal to all cars (or all sedans, regardless of the carmaker), you're damn right that I'd have wanted Toyota to point that out.
post #21 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

Seriously? -- these other companies were all too happy to make gratuitous references to Apple's bad press, so good on Apple for making it clear that the others have problems too. As for the technical side, this issue long ago became a media issue rather than a technical issue (a technical issue that is trivially solved by using a case on your smartphone was never a real issue anyway).
post #22 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

This is unscientific but:

I live in a fringe area. I have tried various grips with a BB Curve, a Motorola W385, a 3GS and a 4. The death grip on the 4 drops 24 db and the indication changes to no service from 5 bars (pre-patch ios4). The curve, the 385, and the 3GS all will maintain a call connection.

If I use a bumper on the 4 or wear a glove, it gives the best connection and audio quality of the group. Lowest noise, no artifacts. Great phone. Just don't hold it in your hand in a secure manner.

Point is: of course a persons body and hands are going to affect signal strength. The Apple antenna problem is extreme and was totally avoidable. Observed on the 4: 24 db loss. On the 3GS: 5 db (actually a 3 to 5 db gain if you turn the phone upside down).


So, I think it is valid to say that Apple still likes to deflect and deny instead of just manning up. But what the hay, at least they are addressing the problem.
post #23 of 543
De-tuning is not attenuation.
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post #24 of 543
At least Nokia won't sue Apple over the iPhone 4 antenna...
(and not extend the existing patent suit either)
post #25 of 543
I think that the RIM executives are the pot calling the kettle black. How can they deny the video proof that their phones have the exact same problem? The hand in the video held their phone using fingertips and then with the palm and fingers encircling it with a normal grip. Their bars dropped just the same as the other phones.

Nobody likes being caught in their hypocrisy but it happens.
post #26 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

I disagree that Apple was out of line in any way here.

Remember the Toyotas-won't-stop problem from a few months ago? If the issue wasn't a Toyota issue, but instead a problem that was universal to all cars (or all sedans, regardless of the carmaker), you're damn right that I'd have wanted Toyota to point that out.

I agree with you that I don't think they were way out of line, but a response like this was probably to be expected. RIM and Nokia have probably been in something of a panic as they have seen the rise of Apple, and you can't blame them for poking at a chink in the armour.
post #27 of 543
Sad to see Nokia and RIM turning their backs on their customers and denying their "death grip" problems.
post #28 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

I think that the RIM executives are the pot calling the kettle black. How can they deny the video proof that their phones have the exact same problem? The hand in the video held their phone using fingertips and then with the palm and fingers encircling it with a normal grip. Their bars dropped just the same as the other phones.

Nobody likes being caught in their hypocrisy but it happens.

Precisely.

The real take away from these statements from RIM and Nokia is that while they are filled with a lot of bluster, there is no where in either statement where they maintain that Apple is lying or that the videos of their phones dropping signal were faked.

If those videos Apple showed of Nokia and Blackberries doing the same thing as iPhone 4 were fake, the lawyers would already be involved. They aren't, so ipso facto, the videos are real and the problem is both industry wide and unavoidable.
post #29 of 543
Quote:
"As you would expect from a company focused on people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

That probably explains the Nokia X5 then:

post #30 of 543
People tend to not get angry unless you have hit a sore spot or pointed out something that they don't want you to know, THEN the get Angry because you have pointed out weak spot.

Its been my experience that anger like this is centered around secrets and positioning of PR, guess what folks, its not really been a secret just not been highlighted that much until now

Boo Hoo For RIM

I'm still having some issues with my phone4 and am not 100% satisfied but I am not at all Angry about it, good grief.

If nothing yesterday made me feel like Apple in the long run will do the right thing

post #31 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

I can understand that they would be upset Apple is calling them out when consumers obviously haven't had significant problems (since we didn't hear about death-grips until Apple pointed to them). At the same time, Steve Jobs did say that he didn't think it would have been such an issue because all phones do it, and if he hadn't proved it, there'd be more trouble. Nokia, especially, has almost no right to be upset since they were making fun of Apple for it.

RIM did sort of get dragged into this, but a consumer who takes even a moment to think will realize Apple isn't insulting RIM - if RIM has the same bar drop but no one noticed before, it means phones can still work with some attenuation (or de-tuning, or what-have-you) so Blackberry or iPhone or whatever, maybe parts of the media really did blow this out of proportion. They're simply proving this is a common issue; they aren't dragging anyone through mud.
post #32 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

De-tuning is not attenuation.

Indeed it is not, and here is a good explanation of the difference:

http://www.antennasys.com/antennasys...?currentPage=2

By the way, having seen in the bottom of your post that you are waiting until October for a hardware fix, what sort of thing will you consider a "fix"?

I can't see how they can stop the attenuation effects of your hand being close to the antenna, unless they put it inside the phone, and I don't see them changing the appearance of the phone at the moment.
post #33 of 543
Pfft. Nokia, RIM are crybabies. The videos of their phones don't lie.

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post #34 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

The amount of the signal drop, by itself, doesn't say ANYTHING. If the antenna is more sensitive to begin with, and then loses more signal when partially blocked, it can still end up more, or as, sensitive as a phone with an antenna that is less sensitive to begin with. The conclusion that Apple came to when testing the external antenna, that the net result was more performant, is born out by the return/dropped call rate for iPhone 4.
post #35 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

I disagree that Apple was out of line in any way here.

Remember the Toyotas-won't-stop problem from a few months ago? If the issue wasn't a Toyota issue, but instead a problem that was universal to all cars (or all sedans, regardless of the carmaker), you're damn right that I'd have wanted Toyota to point that out.

Yep and along those lines 2oh1, WSJ reports the problem like the Audi 5000 was drivers depressing the accelerator by mistake!


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...S=toyota+tests
post #36 of 543
[QUOTE=stillman;1677981]That probably explains the Nokia X5 then:

Holy crap!
I actually had to google that phone model because I couldn't believe that was a real picture of a real phone! ...Unbelievable.
post #37 of 543
My wife has a Nokia E71. We get 5 bars at our house. With all 5 bars showing, if you grab the E71 in the same way as the iPhone 4 deathgrip, the signal meter on the phone drops to either 1 or no bars. This is 100% reproducible.

Nokia needs a nice, warm cup of STFU.
post #38 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Indeed it is not, and here is a good explanation of the difference:

http://www.antennasys.com/antennasys...?currentPage=2

By the way, having seen in the bottom of your post that you are waiting until October for a hardware fix, what sort of thing will you consider a "fix"?

I can't see how they can stop the attenuation effects of your hand being close to the antenna, unless they put it inside the phone, and I don't see them changing the appearance of the phone at the moment.

And, even if they do move it inside the case, you will still have attenuation as it is a common problem no matter where you put the antenna. He will not be a buyer regardless. He just likes to bash Apple. It doesn't take long reading his posts to figure that one out.
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post #39 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

Hogwash. Apple actually did exactly the right thing. They put the other manufacturers on their heels. It's obvious that many smart phones show the EXACT same behavior as the iPhone 4. Pretending that this is just an Apple problem is just as idiotic as pretending that there is no problem whatsoever. Apple's decision to show how the death grip works on other manufacturer's hardware is exactly what any good marketing department would do: Put the rest of the industry on the defensive.
post #40 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It is, but RIM was right in what they said. Apple used other examples to divert attention to their specific problem, which is signal decrease higher than the norm in terms of dbm. There was no need to draw them into this, especially if they weren't going to be thorough in the style of anandtech and show exactly how this counts in terms of dbm and how it affects the performance of the phones.

I disagree. Nokia and others already had made fun of Apple despite themselves having similar problems.
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