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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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 ?don?t 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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 547
    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
  • Reply 2 of 547
    st3v3st3v3 Posts: 63member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 547
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 547
    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
  • Reply 5 of 547
    edorfedorf Posts: 29member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 547
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 547
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    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!
  • Reply 8 of 547
    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).
  • Reply 9 of 547
    I demand a free case for my blackberry!!! I have no bars as well when I deathgrip it!
  • Reply 10 of 547
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,012member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 547
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 547
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 547
    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 ?don?t 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...
  • Reply 14 of 547
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 547
    It's getting old now...
  • Reply 16 of 547
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,012member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 547
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 547
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    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.



  • Reply 19 of 547
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 501member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 547
    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).
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