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Nokia and RIM Respond To Apple's Antenna Claims 514

Posted by timothy
from the pot-v-kettle-round-xixiivii dept.
awyeah writes "In response to Apple's press conference, where videos of a few devices were shown losing signal bars with a tight grip, RIM and Nokia have both taken shots at Apple. RIM's co-CEOs say that Apple's claims '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.' Meanwhile, Nokia, noting that they are pioneers in antenna design and were the first company to bring to market a phone with an internal antenna, prioritizes 'antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.'"
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Nokia and RIM Respond To Apple's Antenna Claims

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  • Steve and his FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:02PM (#32938534)

    Apple says the iPhone 4 drops one more call per 100 calls. So only 1%. No big deal. But Stevie left something out. How many calls are dropped per 100? He's good at this game; he didn't say. AT&T claims their dropped call rate is 1.4%. 1.4% + 1% is 2.4%. That's a 70% increase. 70% is quite a bit, especially when the antenna is supposed to be better than the previous generation. Yes, Mr. Jobs, "Antennagate" is real.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Wingsy (761354)
      He left it out because ATT told him to. That information is confidential to ATT, so how can you blame Steve for not telling you? (You're good at your game too.)
      • That's what he said, and there may be some truth to that, but that isn't the point. That information is available on the internet, and with it, we see that the problem is actually much more severe than he made it sound. He knew very well that most people would understand what he said incorrectly, ie, "oh, there are only 1% more dropped calls than with the 3GS."

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        He left it out because ATT told him to.

        And you know this how?

      • by LodCrappo (705968) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:36PM (#32939160) Homepage

        If he was not allowed to give a critical element of the statistic, he should simply not have used that point at all.
        instead, he tried to use half of a statistic to imply something that it doesn't actually mean.
        shady business.

    • Just because issue A has a 1% incidence rate and issue B rate a 1.4% incidence rate does not necessarily mean that A+B = 2.4% incidence rate. How many of those incidence overlap or not?
      • by RedK (112790) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:41PM (#32938792)
        Is math is dead on, Steve said that the 1% was a delta, he said "1 out of 100 more". You just completely misunderstood, which I think is part of why Steve presented it the way he did. To make it sound like 1%, when it actuality it's 1% more than some unknown number which is now said to be 1.4%.
      • Actually... you seem to either not understand the available facts or math in general. "http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/16/apple-iphone-4-drops-less-than-one-additional-call-per-100-tha/ ). How are you interpreting that?

        • by Elfich47 (703900) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:06PM (#32938958)
          The issue I am trying to state is this: AT&T drop rate is 1.4%. Is that for the entire fleet of phones currently in service? Is that for just the iPhone 3Gs? Is that for the iPhone4? These are significantly different populations to be looking at. We have two statements: "AT&T drop rate is 1.4% " and "Iphone 4 drops more calls than iphone 3Gs at a rate less than 1 per 100" Unfortunately we do not have a way of determining how these two pieces of information correlate. Without knowing the total fleet drop drop rate and the drop rate of the specific phones we cannot have any clear analysis of the numbers.
    • Re:Steve and his FUD (Score:4, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:36PM (#32938756) Journal

      Apple says the iPhone 4 drops one more call per 100 calls.

      How to Lie With Statistics 101:

      Fact 1: iPhone4 only drops an additional 1 per 100 calls compared to the competitors.
      Fact 2: Millions of calls are made per day using the iPhone v4.

      The Lie: Omitting any mention of what a +1% increase in dropped calls really means when applied to millions of calls.

    • by otuz (85014)

      Not necessarily. If the drop rate for 3GS is as low as 0.4%, that plus "less than 1%" would equal just the average.

    • Re:Steve and his FUD (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:49PM (#32938842)
      Yeah, but 97.6% uptime, that's still one nine! Pretty good for Apple! Way better than I ever got on my goddamned iPhone... (still zero dropped calls on Verizon/Incredible after two months!) Not so good for telecom, though. I suspect Apple/AT&T is a major driver of the growth of texting over phone calls.

      Another funny numbers game Steve played. He claimed only .55% of iPhone 4 users have called in to complain so far. But ya know... after years and years of Apple denying any problems with the iPhone, MacBook Pro (constant kernel panics that mysteriously went away with a patch about a year later, but there was never any problem, noooo; the high-pitched whining sound, the ball-basting heat, etc.)... and censoring any mention of these problems from these forums; after seeing thousands of people complaining about the issue on the Internet-- maybe people figured it wasn't worth their time to call in. Obviously Apple knew about the problem, and obviously they'd eventually have to give out free bumpers, because this was too big to ignore. So why waste your time waiting to talk to a tech support rep who is paid to lie to you about the problem? Let them try stonewalling for a month or so, let them trash their own reputation by treating their customers like crap-- plenty of others will call. It's not like you'll be telling them something they don't know.
    • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @06:31PM (#32939482)

      Yes, Mr. Jobs, "Antennagate" is real.

      NO Just plain and simply NO. I stood by and watched watergate happen and didn't think much about it. When people started talking about climategate I whinced, but Antennagate? It's not funny, it's not witty, it's not original, heck it doesn't even fit with the original use as a suffix for a political scandal.

      I hereby suggest that everybody who is caught using "gate" as a suffix is made to go outside on a sunny day, to be pommeled into the ground by the awesome force of photons, or to just get a tan ruining the geek cred of slashdot users forever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I'm waiting for some political scandal to surface that somehow involves an actual gate (maybe a property boundary access dispute or something). All the commentators harping on about 'gategate' should be worth a few laughs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zdzichu (100333)

      Meantime, the rest of the world doesn't know what "dropped call" is. It only happens in extreme situations (New Year's Eve celebration, nationwide disasters etc.). Of course one can argue that "quality" of US cell networks is nationwide disaster.

  • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:04PM (#32938544)

    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.

    RIM's market are business people and others who really use their phone for calling, email, and other communications. They bought it to do a function.

    People bought the iPhone because it was Apple and they wanted to have a stylish phone. They wanted to look marvelous.

    If it wasn't the case, then why did the iPhone sell like hot cakes in markets where AT&T was known to have shitty service? Consumer Reports have been tracking that for years.

    • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:29PM (#32938694)

      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.

      RIM's market are business people and others who really use their phone for calling, email, and other communications. They bought it to do a function.

      People bought the iPhone because it was Apple and they wanted to have a stylish phone. They wanted to look marvelous.

      If it wasn't the case, then why did the iPhone sell like hot cakes in markets where AT&T was known to have shitty service? Consumer Reports have been tracking that for years.

      Having used both, I'll have to say that I like having an easy to use phone. The Blackberry that I use for work is crap in this department. An iPhone is more functional for non-work use (video, games, pictures).

      I'm not saying that there are people who bought it to be stylish, but you're over-simplifying things.

      • by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel.hotmail@com> on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:57PM (#32939282) Homepage Journal

        Let's look at use cases. I am in the (fortunate) position to have an iPhone 3G (my wife's) and a BlackBerry 9000 (mine). The 9000 was chosen based on the keyboard size (over the Bold, etc.).

        Phone Usage: BlackBerry. If we are in (say) a parking garage, we use my phone. The iPhone craps out much earlier (and we use the same carrier).

        MP3 Playback: BlackBerry. You just plug the phone into a computer and drag the MP3s over. They play. Then again, I have an iPod as well. But, it doesn't really do so well -- the BB is also a "USB stick".

        Video Playback: BlackBerry. See MP3 Playback. As well, the BlackBerry will just play Xvid encoded AVI files. Grab it and go. No need to transcode and put into iTunes first.

        Instant Messaging: iPhone. The conversation threading is nice

        Email: BlackBerry.

        Bluetooth: BlackBerry. I can squirt pictures and stuff over to computers or other phones. Just not iPhones.

        Storage: BlackBerry. Just a USB drive. Stick in a micro-sd to extend the storage.

        Router: iPhone. I think (I haven't seen the feature on the 3G yet). As a road warrior I carry a micro-router along with my BlackBerry.

        So, it depends on your use cases. It is interesting that the iPhone wins in a one "business" case (router) and one "home" case (instant messaging). As to "usable" it all depends... If you are a "road warrior", you may not have access to the computer that is the "home computer" that the iPhone depends on. Unless, of course, that is your laptop. (but, what if your laptop is stolen?) Which makes the iPhone pretty much a non-starter for a pure "smartphone" play.

        • by mdarksbane (587589) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @08:17PM (#32940078)

          I find it interesting that you ignore web browsing and third party apps, which are pretty much the biggest reasons to get an iphone. Browsing on my father in law's blackberry is *painful* compared to my touch. I won't argue with your specific win/loss analysis much, though (although I'd call mp3 playback a wash).

  • Quiet nokia! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nokia should STFU. Their N97 GPS antenna design leaves much to be desired.

    • Re:Quiet nokia! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jurily (900488) <jurily@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:09PM (#32938588)

      Yeah, it's not like they had hundreds of models on the market over decades, most of which without signal issues! Who the hell are they to talk about phones?!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I should think that the GPS antenna design isn't really responsible for dropped calls, though...

      • The issue is not the phone antenna and not the GPS antenna. The issue is when your hand (or a strip of metal for that matter) bridges between the two antennas. The effective length of the antenna is changed so the ability of the antenna to receive and transmit signals is significantly affected.
  • PR versus PR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:06PM (#32938562)

    As long as no one is arguing over numbers and talking about anecdotes and "priorities" or whatever, this should be maximally annoying...

    One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity.

    It must be particularly galling to RIM that a lot of people prefer even an iPhone that drops calls to a Blackberry that doesn't, even when people are given the option to return their iPhone at no cost to them.

    • Re:PR versus PR (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RedK (112790) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:43PM (#32938806)
      Where do you get that people prefer the iPhone ? RIM have a bigger marketshare in the smartphone sector than Apple does.
    • No, you don't need to use a case to make a call with a blackberry, but you do have to use a case if you want to conveniently prevent somebody from making a call from their pocket with one. Historically, Blackberries have had no auto-lock timer, but required being put into the case or hitting a key combination in order to lock the device. I've gotten countless pocket calls from my boss and other folks on my team at work, sometimes several in a row, sometimes during heated discussions that had sensitive com

    • Re:PR versus PR (Score:5, Informative)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:31PM (#32939118) Homepage Journal

      It must be particularly galling to RIM that a lot of people prefer even an iPhone

      But can you imagine how it makes Apple feel that so many people still prefer a Blackberry after all the money that Apple has spent marketing its phone? By thinking that one company is more "galled" by people buying it's competitor's product than it's own is anthropomorphizing a corporation in a way that seems peculiar to a certain segment of consumers.

      Seriously, I understand fandom (though not of corporations) but I don't understand the attribution of human emotions to legal fictions created in order to make profit while avoiding liability.

      Anyway, here in North America, Blackberry's market share is still more than double that of the iPhone, so I doubt RIM is particularly "galled".

      • Blackberry vs iPhone (Score:3, Informative)

        by falconwolf (725481)

        Anyway, here in North America, Blackberry's market share is still more than double that of the iPhone, so I doubt RIM is particularly "galled".

        From Forbes [forbes.com]: "iPhone Could Overtake BlackBerry Market Share in 2011". iPhone, BlackBerry slip as Android market share surges [fiercemobilecontent.com] tells a different story. Personally I don't care who leads in marketshare as long as there is competition in a relatively free market.

        Falcon

    • Re:PR versus PR (Score:5, Interesting)

      by santiagodraco (1254708) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @07:18PM (#32939786)

      First off Apple is making it very difficult to return phones, and I can assure you there are LOTS of people in the Apple stores trying to get the phones fixed and threatening to return them.

      How about this interesting story...

      I was in the Apple store in the "Domain" in Austin, tx. I went in for a phone exchange because I was instructed to do so by Apple tech support on the "chance" that it would fix my drop call problems (and proximity sensor issues). I had 2 case numbers and Apple made the appointment for the visit themselves.

      Well, I get there and spend 60 minutes, 15 minutes waiting for help (past my appt time) and 45 minutes talking to the support person while he went to the back 3 times to "get my replacement phone" only to come back out and say "I just want to make sure you understand that after you exchange your phone you cannot ever return it for a refund" and then being unable to show me anything in writing that states that I would lose my contractual rights to a refund if the phone is exchanges in an attempted repair.

      That's right, Apple stores are attempting to decieve customers that they cannot return phones if they are exchanged for repair during their 30 day period. They cannot show anything in writing to this affect (because nothing in writing exists) and when pressured they will simply say "oh I know how the system works and it is simply impossible to return an exchanged phone because the serial numbers change". How interesting. But they cannot explain how that can be possible when the exchange work order shows both the original phones serial and the exchange phones serial"

      So those of you that claim that no one wants to return their phones should walk into an Apple store and see what they are doing to keep people from doing so. The intimidation (with a pleasant voice) tactics used to stop customers from doing so (since most customers will try an exchange at least once before refunding) is despicable and probably illegal.

  • Nokia ftw (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:06PM (#32938568)

    "You're telling us about antennas?"

  • by locopuyo (1433631) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:09PM (#32938592) Homepage
    Apple has and always will be a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity over function. It's the same reason their products have almost no user options. They are too complicated. They force you to use the product the way they want you to.
    • by diegocg (1680514)

      a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity

      Yeah, usability is great. But I'm afraid that normal people love it. Guess why there are a lot of people who would rather buy iPads instead of netbooks with the awesome touchpad input interface?

  • by diegocg (1680514) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:20PM (#32938640)

    It seems they are giving vague answers instead of answering the real question. Steve Jobs played videos [apple.com] where you can see clearly how Blackberrys lose signal depending how you hold them. Are the videos true? If they are, how must I hold a Blackberry to avoid losing signal? If they aren't true, why RIM isn't suing Apple? That is the question I want to see answered.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brufleth (534234)
      They did respond. They're effectively saying, "this is stupid." They don't need to give more of a response because while Apple has created a few phones Nokia and RIM have created hundreds of different models from the stupid to the very cutting edge smart phone. It is like Starbucks getting into the light bulb industry and telling GE they're doing it wrong. It isn't worth dignifying with a response.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:53PM (#32938860)

        Steve Jobs's point wasn't that Nokia and RIM make bad phones or don't know how to design antennas. Watch the video. Jobs wasn't slamming Nokia or RIM. In fact, he went out of his way to say that they make great phones. All Jobs did was to take twenty minutes to put the problem into context for the reporters who've spent a month making it sound like 1) Apple is the only company in the industry with this problem; and 2) the iPhone is a total dog.

        His point was that 1) Apple isn't the only company that makes phones that can lose reception when you put your hand on it and he showed the videos to prove it; and 2) if the problem really was as hideous as reporters had made it sound, Apple would be getting a lot more customer complaints and products returns than the data shows. And Jobs backed up his arguments with empirical data.

        Personally, I'd like a little empirical data on how many Slashdotters who are slamming Jobs in this thread have actually watched the video. I'd bet the percentage is vanishingly small.

        • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdotNO@SPAMpitabred.dyndns.org> on Saturday July 17, 2010 @11:56PM (#32940838) Homepage

          The problem is that Apple is the only company stupid enough to make the antenna able to be shorted out when you hold it, bridging the antenna. All other phones have completely enclosed antennas that do experience attenuation depending on how you hold them, but nothing to the degree of what Apple's does.

        • Very well said. It's disgusting to see so many /. posts with no basis in fact, just personal bias.
          Before someone posts - please inform yourself by watching the video.
          Apple has done far more than any other smartphone company ( including the "foreign" ones, like
          RIM and Nokia) to make sure everyone who buys an iPhone4 is 100% satisfied including
          free bumpers and complete refunds (no restocking fees). Funny how despite all the press
          about this very minor issue, the iPhone 4 is Apple's best product yet with virtu

      • by Moridineas (213502) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:53PM (#32938862) Journal

        They don't need to give more of a response because while Apple has created a few phones Nokia and RIM have created hundreds of different models

        Just fwiw, you've just made as your argument one of the most classical and basic fallacies -- an appeal to authority.

        • Fallacious fallacies (Score:3, Informative)

          by copponex (13876)

          Just fwiw, you've just made as your argument one of the most classical and basic fallacies -- an appeal to authority.

          Since not all arguments from expert opinion are fallacious, some authorities on logic have taken to labelling this fallacy as "appeal to inappropriate or irrelevant or questionable authority", rather than the traditional name "appeal to authority". For the same reason, I use the name "appeal to misleading authority" to distinguish fallacious from non-fallacious arguments from authority.

          http://www.fallacyfiles.org/authorit.html [fallacyfiles.org]

          Just because you appeal to an authority doesn't make it a fallacy.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            Just because you appeal to an authority doesn't make it a fallacy.

            The argument that someone has done something more necessarily means they are better at it is a logical fallacy, and the fallacy is appeal to authority. They are an authority because they do it a lot, right? By that logic McDonalds should build a better burger. Saying that RIM and Nokia are better at making phones because they've done it more times is false. You can hire experience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)

      Well if they are true, I can't replicate it. My Blackberry for sure has signal variations based on its position. I'm quite sure my body interferes with it too, no way it can't. However it doesn't drop calls when I hold it. I grip with the "whole hand wraparound" method all the time, just how I hold the thing. It always seems to work.

      As for a suit, RIM might but then again that's a pain in the ass. Lots of money involved and nothing might get decided in the end. I mean if Apple can show a case where they are

      • by Moridineas (213502) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:56PM (#32938900) Journal

        I don't have an iPhone 4 nor at the moment a blackberry, but when you say:

        Well if they are true, I can't replicate it. My Blackberry for sure has signal variations based on its position. I'm quite sure my body interferes with it too, no way it can't. However it doesn't drop calls when I hold it. I grip with the "whole hand wraparound" method all the time, just how I hold the thing. It always seems to work.

        It sounds an awful lot like what many iPhone 4 users have said (including friends I've seen with an iphone4 personally, and, eg, the Anandtech review). If you're in a good reception area, the deathgrip makes you lose some signal but does not automatically drop the call. If you're in a low reception area, you can go all the way down and drop a call.

        But if you're in a sold 5-bar area with your blackberry OR iphone, it's very possible that even a substantial drop in reception won't move you from 5 bars.

        Also, FWIW with the 4.0.1 firmware I get a solid 1 bar with my iPhone 3gs in my house. I used to occasionally get up to 4 and it would move between 3-4 and then drop down to 1. It's clear I'm in a low reception area. The new firmware seems to do a MUCH better job of properly relaying this information.

    • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:48PM (#32938832) Homepage

      What videos? All I see is "Get Quicktime".

  • It's pretty simple. (Score:5, Informative)

    by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:25PM (#32938674)

    Consumer report couldn't have illustrated it simpler. You put your finger *here* and the signal strength drops by 15 to 20% or whatever the number was.

    There really isn't much mystery. If the signal is strong, then 20% isn't going to change anything. But people generally move around in the same areas, so if your activites are concentrated in a dodgy signal area, that means your calls could go from a 25% drop rate to completely unusable.

  • by omar.sahal (687649) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:28PM (#32938692) Homepage Journal

    Meanwhile, Nokia, noting that they are pioneers in antenna design and were the first company to bring to market a phone with an internal antenna, prioritizes 'antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.'"

    Och! This hits the nail on the head. The original Apple Macintosh used to over heat because it did not have a fan! Why did it not have a fan, because Jobs wanted a quiet machine.
    To be far though the case was designed to keep the machine cool and it worked, but there was a problem with the hardware running hotter than it should. Even the circuit board/mother board (don't flame me if I got the terminology wrong I'm no computer engineer) had to be redesigned to look pretty because Jobs wanted it that way. The man has form!

    • by jmichaelg (148257) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:41PM (#32938796) Journal

      It's true that Apple ranks style very high and Nokia are noted for their antenna skills.

      However I am not convinced that Nokia "prioritizes 'antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.'" It's my understanding that the old rod-style antennas perform better than the now common internal antennas. The antennas disappeared into the phone to gain style points, not to improve overall reception.

      Perhaps an RF engineer could comment?

      • by tftp (111690) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:07PM (#32938962) Homepage

        The antennas disappeared into the phone to gain style points, not to improve overall reception. Perhaps an RF engineer could comment?

        Primarily you need a manufacturing engineer to comment on this. External antennas are large, expensive to make, and they tend to break, and you must depend on the customer to extend them (if they are extendable.) But from the RF point of view, a well designed and well matched internal antenna is not any worse than an external one. The technology of antennas has also improved, CST came up with specialized simulators and models, new LNAs are now available to increase sensitivity, and so on.

      • by Drew M. (5831) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:41PM (#32939196) Homepage

        As a person who was completely obsessed with maintaining cell reception, I did a ton of testing of cell phones on Verizon. I can say that the Nokias were always the best at holding calls in fringe areas, even the models with internal antennas like the 6236i. All the Nokias I owned would actually gain very little signal strength (1-2db) by extending their antenna. I read that part of their design was to be able to use the external antenna internally or externally. 2nd best was usually Motorola. There were definitely times where other Verizon users had to borrow my phone to maintain a call. When Nokias were dropped by Verizon I would go pick up used ones as backups. All in all, I owned 1 3589i, 3 6015i, and a 6236i, every single candybar style Nokia that Verizon carried near the end.

        Testing done by others on Sprint would place the Nokias as the best followed by Sanyo. This was confirmed by many users on howardforums and by an internal Sprint engineer that had access to call drop data.

      • by Dragoniz3r (992309) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @06:02PM (#32939308)
        I wish I could find a source on this, but I believe your understanding is flawed. Infact, if memory serves me, I've seen that Nokia was the company that went to great engineering lengths to make internal antennas that were as good as external ones, and also to convince everyone of it.

        My memory may be flawed, so don't crucify me if I'm wrong, but I believe that is what I have seen in the past.
  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:30PM (#32938706)

    I personally don't believe that it'll make one difference how many calls the iPhone4 drops; people will still buy the phone. The "cool factor" outweighs the ability to make a phone call. Go back and look at the reviews of the original iPhone, it was always inferior to the other phones on the market, but people stood in lines for hours to buy one.

    I have ATT, but with a Samsung Blackjack 1. It's ancient by today's smart phone standards, and I don't get any more dropped calls than anybody else I know. Funny though that we always say iPhone dropped calls are an ATT problem, not an Apple problem. Even now, we've got a million excuses, but when it comes down to it and a call is dropped people blame the carrier.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ninjakoala (890584)

      This is just anecdotal evidence of course, but I've never had my iPhone 3G drop a call. Not once. It's only been used in Denmark and Norway, though.

      But - and this is rather interesting - my previous provider was having some trouble, where suddenly I couldn't make calls at all or use data. When I switched to an older phone (Sony-Ericsson W810i) I could eventually get a lock on the signal, but data was still a no go. Making calls was a hit and miss affair. When I switched to an old black/white Nokia (1112 I b

  • HTC Benelux response (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animaether (411575) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:31PM (#32938722) Journal

    Mark Moons of HTC Benelux posted his response to twitter.
    source: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/68622/mobieltjesmakers-reageren-fel-op-antennevergelijking-van-apple.html [tweakers.net]
    ( the comment threads there are a lovely Apple vs The World whinefest )

    Translated (Google fails due to colloquial word usage)
    "Is Jobs yacking about the reception on competing devices to justify his own design error? I must seeing it wrong*"
    ( * "I must be misinterpreting", though that would typically be written as "Ik zal het wel verkeerd begrijpen")
    http://twitter.com/markmoons/status/18702074270 [twitter.com]

    "....ok, stopped following that fruitlet's sobstory.... got better things to do... he's denigrating the industry."
    http://twitter.com/markmoons/status/18702370046 [twitter.com]

  • damage controle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by luther349 (645380) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:32PM (#32938730)
    apple is in damage control mode. as nokia said trying to shift the damage away from there defective phone. i have a old original blackberry and it works in spots the iphone does not. seems odd a 10 year old smart phone smokes your supposed new design.
  • one theory (Score:2, Interesting)

    by z-j-y (1056250)

    one theory says that since iPhone4 makes antenna design, especially the gap, so prominent, it is far easier for people to correlate signal quality with hand position.

    on other phones, even if the same problem exists, it is very difficult for people to discover, because the antenna is internal. drop of signal is so common, you just won't think too much about it.

    the lesson is, if you have a design flaw, obfuscate it so that people can't easily identify the cause.

  • I had a Nokia 8210 a long time ago. Granted it's ancient history, but that phone was definitely sensitive to how you held it. If you touched the top of the phone, the signal strength dropped dramatically. Haven't had a Nokia since.

    I'm just sayin'... I've experienced similar antenna issues in other brands... looking at you, Nokia.

  • by dnaumov (453672) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:39PM (#32938774)

    "As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

    Judging by how Nokia phones look, must be a lot of conflicts.

  • Nokia video (Score:3, Informative)

    by Reverberant (303566) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @04:42PM (#32938798) Homepage

    A Nokia E71 user posted this [youtube.com] a month ago. And this is with a microcell nearby.

    Get your own house in order before complaining about Apple airing your dirty laundry.

    (FTR, I'm an E71 owner)

    • by yyxx (1812612) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:21PM (#32939064)

      Yes, you can produce signal drop by holding phones in a certain way. Usually, that's not because you cover the antenna, it's because you get standing waves. That's particularly bad if you have a microcell sitting in your home. No phone can receive anything where there isn't a signal, and there are just places where there isn't a signal. At cell phone signal frequencies, moving 10-30 cm can get you from full signal strength to nothing. That has nothing to do with antenna issues. The iPhone antenna problem is a problem that exists on top of these normal effects and causes additional signal loss.

      That's why all cell phone can experience signal loss depending on how you hold them, and why Apple can make those videos. But that's not a reasonable test. The CR test is what you need to do: you need to firmly fix the phone in space, and then just touch the case in different places. The iPhone signal strength drops, the signal strength on other phones remains essentially unaffected.

  • What a whiner (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 17, 2010 @05:12PM (#32939004)

    What a whiner and complainer. He's using the press conference to put down his competitors, misrepresent his own company, and lying about the antenna problem.

    Lying? He's claiming that all the phones behave the same way, but doesn't show any data. CR compared these phones under controlled conditions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Phroggy (441)

      Lying? He's claiming that all the phones behave the same way, but doesn't show any data.

      He showed videos of precisely the same kind of signal loss that people have been complaining about, happening with three other phones, caused just by holding them in a particular way. He provided the best statistics AT&T would allow him to provide publicly, and acknowledged that the data does show the iPhone 4 drops calls more often than the iPhone 3GS. He also provided data about their return rate so far, and how many people have called Apple's tech support about this issue. What data are you lookin

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