RIM, Nokia and HTC respond to iPhone 4 press conference

Rivals hit back at Apple claims

Smartphone manufacturers RIM, Nokia and HTC have hit back at Apple following the iPhone 4 ‘Antennagate’ press conference on Friday.

During the press conference Apple CEO Steve Jobs specifically mentioned by brand and model a number of competing smartphones which the company claimed also suffer from grip-related reception problems. It even posted the videos on a web page at www.apple.com/antenna.

Finnish mobile giant Nokia was first to respond in a statement that described the thousands of man-hours the company devoted to researching technical design and human behaviour and took a direct shot at Apple by saying "we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

"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 said.

However it was Blackberry manufacturer RIM which had the strongest words for Apple. "Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable," said co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. "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," added Lazaridis and Balsillie.

"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."

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC was less combative but responded to Apple’s claim that 0.55 percent of customers called AppleCare with reception-related complaints by citing the technical support figure for the HTC Eris, a model specifically featuring on Apple’s antenna web page. 

HTC head of PR Eric Lin said that "Approximately .016% of customers" had complained about HTC Eris reception according to Pocket-Lint. HTC’s claimed complaint ratio is around 30-fold less than the AppleCare figure. "We have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris," Lin said.

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