Nokia, RIM fight back against "Reality Distortion Field"

During Apple's press release yesterday, Steve Jobs made sure it was "clear" that other phones on the market have similar antenna attenuation issues. However, Nokia and RIM have made it even clearer that they do NOT have such issues as their phones are properly designed.

In a statement released by Nokia today, the phone maker has clearly espoused that they "prioritize" antenna design over form so that customers have utmost reception at all times.

"Antenna design 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.

Nokia has 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.

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 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."

Rather than obviously preferring form over function, Nokia apparently seems to have perfected the art of maintaining signal quality while also upholding their design goals. 

Blackberry maker, Research in Motion, of Waterloo, Ontario, similarly dismisses Apple's claims that severe signal attenuation is widespread among smartphones.

"Apple's attempt 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 Apple."

In a very matter-of-fact way, RIM has condemned Apple's external antenna design and derided it as ineffective. The company further explains that their in-house solutions ALSO preserve form over function and do not require a case to maintain efficiency. RIM continues even further, maintaining that Apple should take responsibility for their own actions rather than falsely including other manufacturers as a whole with regards to specific Apple defects. 

Overall, both companies assert that their own processes do NOT cause the same issues found in iPhone 4, and also make it clear that their respective design department take steps to avert "self-made debacles" while still being transparent about potential issues rather than making "deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding."

Interestingly enough, Nokia has had it's own signal degradation issue with the E71 that they seem to have forgotten with their direct comments to Steve Jobs' press release.

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In regards to the final paragraph of this story, was it just the Nokia E71-2 which had the signal issues as I've often said after selling my E71 in January that it was one of the best mobile phones I've ever owned for a platitude of reasons and I just don't recall having any signal issues over the 18 months or so I owned the device.

Anyway, RIM obviously (and quite rightly too) don't hold back any punches.

Fedr0 said,

I hope that this soap opera will finally open the eyes of people regarding Apple and their ruthless practices.

+ 10

RIM & Nokia have responded to the evidence presented at the press conference as being false, and that they don't have similar reception dropout problems.

Now who is not telling the truth?

Check out this YouTube video posted by a disgruntled Nokia mobile phone owner. This video was posted just a couple of weeks before the iPhone 4 went on sale:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amPG52DVQuk

Then there's this one with a RIM phone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHR4pkdlIjc

ViewRoyal said,
RIM & Nokia have responded to the evidence presented at the press conference as being false, and that they don't have similar reception dropout problems.

Now who is not telling the truth?

Check out this YouTube video posted by a disgruntled Nokia mobile phone owner. This video was posted just a couple of weeks before the iPhone 4 went on sale:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amPG52DVQuk

Then there's this one with a RIM phone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHR4pkdlIjc

I don't think the truth really matters. People love to bash Apple and they will use any chance they get, valid or not. Face it, the vocal majority complaining of this issue don't even have iPhones, just an agenda.

Even one of the commentors on YouTube said that the creator of the video was Apple, despite the video being uploaded before the release of the iPhone 4 and never making any mention of Apple or the iPhone.

Were I going to get an iPhone 4, none of this would stop me. But, I am content with my 3GS, so I'll be passing this model. After all, the same people foretelling the demise of Apple over this issue are the same ones that declared that my 3GS would melt or burn when under the direct sun.

Personally i think apple should make a phone that gets a signal.....2nd get a really long wire that you can plug into your iwank and on the other end there is a big hat with a big curly taxi antenna on it, you look like a ****** using an iphone anyway so why not look like an even bigger burk!

Long live all technology company's, HTC (",) and down with Apple boooo

what's hilarious is pre launch jobs was calling this antenna revolutionary. i guess he was right but not quite in the way he expected.

now it seems to me that if you hold other phones in certain ways you can get signal loss. except those ways are not the natural ways to hold those phones. the iphone 4 loses the signal holding it in the natural way.

now if you want to do a test among phones if they lose signal quality, do the following. test them all holding them the same way, test in the same location, not in some fancy word chamber that no real world smart phone user is going to be in ever in their entire lives, at peak hours, with the same person holding the phone, and test the degree of signal loss.

also readint he comments that this hasn't happened in europe seems to indicate that they may have been aware of this issue during manufacturing and fixed it, but passed the lower quality units to the US and given the fixed units to other regions. which isn't entirely suprising given this is apple we're talking about.

my friends have owned a wide range of smart phones, and have never bitched about having to hold them a certain way. the way the tend to hold them seems totally natural for whatever they are doing on them, wether texting or talking.

treemonster said,
what's hilarious is pre launch jobs was calling this antenna revolutionary. i guess he was right but not quite in the way he expected.

now it seems to me that if you hold other phones in certain ways you can get signal loss. except those ways are not the natural ways to hold those phones. the iphone 4 loses the signal holding it in the natural way.

now if you want to do a test among phones if they lose signal quality, do the following. test them all holding them the same way, test in the same location, not in some fancy word chamber that no real world smart phone user is going to be in ever in their entire lives, at peak hours, with the same person holding the phone, and test the degree of signal loss.

also readint he comments that this hasn't happened in europe seems to indicate that they may have been aware of this issue during manufacturing and fixed it, but passed the lower quality units to the US and given the fixed units to other regions. which isn't entirely suprising given this is apple we're talking about.

my friends have owned a wide range of smart phones, and have never bitched about having to hold them a certain way. the way the tend to hold them seems totally natural for whatever they are doing on them, wether texting or talking.

That's the problem with these fancy facilities and testing smartphones in perfect conditions... nobody has perfect conditions in real life!

Oh Nokia, how lame...

Didn't you know that your newer phones (such as E75) which features a slide out keyboard, is affected by the same issue as iPhone 4 because consumers will be holding the phone where the antennas are located when operating the slide out keyboard?

GeekTwo said,
Haha, nokia and design goals...

Sure, they design like crap, that's why they are the #1 in the world by far, right? (rolling eyes)

I'm a Macaddict. I love Apple Products. I use Apple Products. I have stock in Apple. I DISLIKE Steve's response. He sounds like he doesn't have an answer. Whichever PR Firm that he hired to help with the situation did him injustice. Sorry, Steve. You are wrong. Admit it and save the shareholders even more losses. Classaction lawsuits are going to do you in. Not completely but it will decrease the value if you start saying stupid stuff like you are doing.

Masterp said,
I'm a Macaddict. I love Apple Products. I use Apple Products. I have stock in Apple. I DISLIKE Steve's response. He sounds like he doesn't have an answer. Whichever PR Firm that he hired to help with the situation did him injustice. Sorry, Steve. You are wrong. Admit it and save the shareholders even more losses. Classaction lawsuits are going to do you in. Not completely but it will decrease the value if you start saying stupid stuff like you are doing.

I hate Apple products, the prefer looks over quality, just do some research among iPod Touch users and the buttons issue and low battery life...

I have a Motorola Milestone and no matter how I hold it or how I grip it, I never lose a bar. I've also never had a dropped call on it either.

GG Apple!

I only have the Samsung Intensity, and there is no way to hold it to make it lose any bars. I know Samsung isn't mentioned, but my phone has no problems and it was free with a contract.

thatguyandrew1992 said,
I only have the Samsung Intensity, and there is no way to hold it to make it lose any bars. I know Samsung isn't mentioned, but my phone has no problems and it was free with a contract.

Actually they did mention the Samsung Omnia II.

Personally i think Apple made a mistake by questioning the ability of other phones. They should of just said what they had to say and stop there. Trying to deflect the situation by saying it is a common fault has made things worse, p.r. guys will never learn...!

This is a good thing. RIM and Nokia are leaders and they should be regarded as such, and not lumped in with Apple's problem to make it seem like a common issue.

Piggy said,
This is a good thing. RIM and Nokia are leaders and they should be regarded as such, and not lumped in with Apple's problem to make it seem like a common issue.

But it is a common issue! Look at the Nexus One. You touch the top left of the phone and 3G service goes away instantly. Hold it there for a little longer and boom! Dropped Calls. No one made a huge deal out of that! Also, I proved a point to myself today. I went to an AT&T Store at Woodbridge Mall, played around with the Bold 9700, held it the way the Apple video showed (with a little less cupping of the phone due to the security device) and the bars dropped amazingly quick. Tried it with the HTC Aria too... same thing. I picked up the iPhone 4 (which sides felt surprisingly more rubbery than before, and running 4.0.1) and nothing. I gripped the phone tightly, pushed down on the "death spot", and nothing. It was fine. Picked up the one next to it, which also surprisingly felt smoother than the one to the left of it (and running the older 4.0), and it dropped to 1 bar with a death grip, but not with the touch of a finger. Keep in mind, there's a cell tower within half a mile from Woodbridge Mall in Woodbridge, NJ so service there is always of the highest quality.

giantsnyy said,

But it is a common issue! Look at the Nexus One. You touch the top left of the phone and 3G service goes away instantly. Hold it there for a little longer and boom! Dropped Calls. No one made a huge deal out of that! Also, I proved a point to myself today. I went to an AT&T Store at Woodbridge Mall, played around with the Bold 9700, held it the way the Apple video showed (with a little less cupping of the phone due to the security device) and the bars dropped amazingly quick. Tried it with the HTC Aria too... same thing. I picked up the iPhone 4 (which sides felt surprisingly more rubbery than before, and running 4.0.1) and nothing. I gripped the phone tightly, pushed down on the "death spot", and nothing. It was fine. Picked up the one next to it, which also surprisingly felt smoother than the one to the left of it (and running the older 4.0), and it dropped to 1 bar with a death grip, but not with the touch of a finger. Keep in mind, there's a cell tower within half a mile from Woodbridge Mall in Woodbridge, NJ so service there is always of the highest quality.

Nobody made a huge deal about the Nexus One's issues because hardly anybody holds their smartphone at the top.

By far the most common way is to support your phone from the bottom.

PS. if you're wandering around stores testing this out you really need to get a life mate. Apple bodged up, just admit it.

giantsnyy said,

But it is a common issue! Look at the Nexus One. You touch the top left of the phone and 3G service goes away instantly. Hold it there for a little longer and boom! Dropped Calls.

Oh yeah who told you that? I'm doing that right now on my Nexus One and guess what? nothing happened. I normally get 2 bars in my area i see no sign of bars dropping. In fact the antenna of N1 is at the very bottom of the phone. I can make my 3G signal drop by deliberately cupping the bottom of the phone... and no it's not natural to hold a phone like that.

Edited by bestbuy, Jul 18 2010, 5:43am :

Well if anyone needed another reason why NOT to buy apple products then there you go.

I had/have Nokia, Samsung and BB for a very long time now and i never had this problems. How pointless it is to try and compare the problem to other companies when it's clearly not true.

Just another example that Apple dont really care about the customers and all they want is money and more money.

The sad thing (and i already said it several times) is that no matter what happens with Apple there are those Apple freaks around the world that will keep buying their products no matter what and Apple knows it, this is why they allow them self to treat people this way.


SHAME!

bobbytunda said,
Apple should just own up to the problem and fix it in the new iphone 4GS and stop calling other cellphone
Company name. Please

+100

I have to laugh. Apple's decision to use the phones they did I knew would be a no-no. I have had Blackberries in the past and NEVER had such issues. HTC Android devices seem to always have/had signal reading issues. I had the Eris for a short time and the signal was way off. The Incredible is the same way. Apple is just too arrogant to just come out and admit their mistake.

Can't Apple just come out and admit their antenna engineer was high as a kite when he designed it?
And their QA guys too. "Why test it without a case, what difference could that possibly make?!"

Actually, the antenna engineer told Steve it would be a problem. The big mistaken decision here was Steve Jobs'. And that's the sole reason this fiasco is dragging on like an argument amongst children.

If Steve would learn the value of admitting he was wrong, and then pay the piper for that decision, this would all go away very quickly.

Before this, I would have bet good money that a recall would have been the FIRST step he'd have taken. But I've lost a lot of respect for Steve over how he has mishandled this.

My Nokia E75 didn't need to be held in any way, or even at all to have horrible reception. Even a nearly-basic 6121c was miles ahead of the E75.

That was the last Nokia 'smartphone' I'll ever purchase (the first being the monsterous failure of the E65). My two 3GSes are much better than any Nokia SP.

edit: Even when the iPhone4 is released in Australia, I'll get one, stick a bumper case on it (or even some duct tape) and I won't have to whine like every other iPhone4 user you hear about.

cowlick said,
Why did Nokia chime in on this anyways? Apple *never* mentioned Nokia in their presentation or on their website!

They take any opportunity they can get to market their phones, because they aren't doing very well these days with their Symbian stubborness.

Seqian Wang said,

And it's specifically mentioned on their website too!
Proof: http://www.apple.com/antenna/

Where? I just searched every word on the apple site and didn't see nokia. And Jobs listed Nokia as a competitor in the beginning and never directly used their phone as an example. Get out of your anti-apple reality distortion field.

Hardcore Til I Die said,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...Dna0oK4&feature=related (4:05)

"You could go on youtube and see videos of Nokia, Motorola and other phones doing the same thing."

Right. I got that when I WATCHED THE KEYNOTE. If you had bothered to read the quote I had replied to you would have seen that the guy pointed straight to Apple's site saying Nokia was mentioned. I checked every word on that site and there was no mention of Nokia. To prove another point, they did not choose a Nokia phone specifically to do those tests. You CAN see videos of Nokia phones doing the same thing as an iPhone 4 on YouTube, so Apple was right in every regard to make that statement. So PLEASE, before you reply because of your blind hatred towards all things Apple, read.

giantsnyy said,

Right. I got that when I WATCHED THE KEYNOTE. If you had bothered to read the quote I had replied to you would have seen that the guy pointed straight to Apple's site saying Nokia was mentioned. I checked every word on that site and there was no mention of Nokia. To prove another point, they did not choose a Nokia phone specifically to do those tests. You CAN see videos of Nokia phones doing the same thing as an iPhone 4 on YouTube, so Apple was right in every regard to make that statement. So PLEASE, before you reply because of your blind hatred towards all things Apple, read.

I was replying to your "never used their phone as an example" statement, when Jobs quite clearly said that Nokia phones can be found doing the same thing on youtube... think about it

Hardcore Til I Die said,

I was replying to your "never used their phone as an example" statement, when he quite clearly said that Nokia phones can be found doing the same thing on youtube... think about it

Again, Right... but they never publicly tested that phone. The videos on YouTube are from normal people in normal conditions, not in test labs.

This is an great article. Big ups to the writers, but RIM and Nokia and any other cellphone manufacturer have every right to be mad about Apple talking ****. I'll admit it, my mothers Nokia 5310, a very slim phone and a mp3 player, gets 5 bars of reception in the house while my 3G gets only 3 or 4 at times. Blackberries as well, once I switched over the 8900 when it first came out for a week, best reception, not the best call quality but great.
But Apple does have the best call quality I've ever seen.... or heard myself that is...

RIM and Nokia won't challenge this legally for the same reason adobe didn't take action against apple when the flash reliability comments were made.

Both vendors have handsets on the market today which suffer from similar issues... Press releases like this are expected by their respective investors but if it went to court they'd be forced in a much more embarrassing way to admit their problems. Neither have ever admitted fault with their kit.

With regards the comment about testing practices at apple, probably a good idea to research before commenting nohone, apple have quite a lot of chambers as they outlined yesterday.

The rampant fanboydom is really tragic.

Why bother suing Apple when you gain so by letting Apple hang themselves? It would make both RIM and Nokia look very petty if they were to sue, IMHO. Right now they look like both the victims and the better hardware provider. Hard to argue with that...

tanjiajun_34 said,
Apple is accusing other companies. Can they sue Apple?

Was wondering that myself, maybe if Nokia and RIM can prove Apple bodged the testing.

Still its great to see the two biggest phone manufacturers saying 'erm no STFU noob'
Did apple never wonder why apart from size and aesthetics the antenna suddenly went inside the phone?

tanjiajun_34 said,
Apple is accusing other companies. Can they sue Apple?

I've not watched the news conference, only the highlights on the news... but did they explicitly name other companies?

TCLN Ryster said,

I've not watched the news conference, only the highlights on the news... but did they explicitly name other companies?

Yes; the showed the problem occurring on a Nokia device and a Blackberry bold. However, all they showed was a picture of the phones with few bars when held a certain way.. they certainly didn't provide any concrete evidence that it was occurring in the same way. They could have just taken a picture when the signal was low anyway for all we know.

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Yes; the showed the problem occurring on a Nokia device and a Blackberry bold. However, all they showed was a picture of the phones with few bars when held a certain way.. they certainly didn't provide any concrete evidence that it was occurring in the same way. They could have just taken a picture when the signal was low anyway for all we know.


Actually... get your facts straight. There were videos, and it wasn't a Nokia phone and a BlackBerry Bold. It was a Bold 9700, The HTC Eris, and The Samsung Omnia II. The video proof was more than sufficient.

Seqian Wang said,

Yes they did, just like on their website http://www.apple.com/antenna/.

I love how in the pictures, all the phones with antennas at the top they grip higher, and antennas at the bottom are gripped lower. And every-phone has also been photographed in a different location. - I'd like to see some other phones tested too.

giantsnyy said,


Actually... get your facts straight. There were videos, and it wasn't a Nokia phone and a BlackBerry Bold. It was a Bold 9700, The HTC Eris, and The Samsung Omnia II. The video proof was more than sufficient.

Apologies, the liveblog I watched didn't post videos, only images.. but it doesn't really matter which phones they used.

They showed this happening once with each phone in a controlled testing facility; it's hardly proof that this problem widely affects other phones in real life use. I have no doubt that attenuation affects every other smartphone in existence.. but other phones are designed in such a way that holding the phone naturally will not cause enough attenuation so as to drop calls.

I see how Apple only tested the "death grip" and not simply placing one finger on the other phones, which is all it takes to affect the iPhone 4.

And as I've said countless times.. I can smother my HTC Desire without it dropping a bar.

Apple have made a serious mistake in their design and are trying to push the blame. Face it.

Nokia and RIM have every right to be mad at Apple for stating such stupid statements and involving them for no reason what so ever. I mean the iphone has become such an over blown and over praised phone, its a joke for everyone to laugh at. The iphone 4 is worse than some phones and Jobs does not want to admit that to himself or the press.

Xypro said,
Nokia and RIM have every right to be mad at Apple for stating such stupid statements and involving them for no reason what so ever. I mean the iphone has become such an over blown and over praised phone, its a joke for everyone to laugh at. The iphone 4 is worse than some phones and Jobs does not want to admit that to himself or the press.

+2

Auzeras said,
I shall buy a brick. it is easier, cheaper and will perform better than any other mobile device on the market

Free long distance answerphone messages too via over arm throw.

Aergan said,

Free long distance answerphone messages too via over arm throw.

It's got security too. If someone tries to steal it, hit them over the head with it lol

dogmai said,

It's got security too. If someone tries to steal it, hit them over the head with it lol

I bought this, just got the app called "door stop", this thing rules!

shakey said,

I bought this, just got the app called "door stop", this thing rules!

I'm gonna have to get that one. I only have the paper weight app and with the rope accessory, you can get the anchor app too for when you go out in the boat.

Apple have always been about form over function and always will be.

Nokia and RIM are absolutely right, no other phone on the market has these issues and because Apple like to pass the buck, they have to make it sound like ALL phones are the same.

But drawing other companies into this "debate" is unacceptable.

I guess you missed the last part of the article?

Regardless of the fact, Apple should pluck the courage and offer exchanges for fixed iPhone 4 rather than simply offering a free plastic case.

neo158 said,
But drawing other companies into this "debate" is unacceptable.

Oh really? And it's ok for Apple to draw other companies into the iPhone 4 antenna issue? You aren't an Apple Fan Boy are you?

thenonhacker said,

Oh really? And it's ok for Apple to draw other companies into the iPhone 4 antenna issue? You aren't an Apple Fan Boy are you?

Maybe you need to reread my post, Apple are the ones drawing other companies into this debate!!!!

rahvii said,
Has anyone repeated the test that Apple made in this press release? This is when it gets interesting

Actually what I want to know is the conditions under which Apple conducted the tests with the non-Apple phones. After all, AppleInsider (including in a few comments here on Neowin) claimed that the Consumer Reports tests were invalid because they did not test in an anechoic chamber (http://www.appleinsider.com/ar...phone_4_testing_flawed.html). If the Consumer Reports test was invalid for not using the "proper" environment, wouldn't Apple's tests be invalid if they did not use an anechoic chamber?

rahvii said,
Has anyone repeated the test that Apple made in this press release? This is when it gets interesting

I don't doubt that you can degrade the signal by covering it, but it seems to me that Apple is purposely misleading people about what the issue really is.

As i understand it, the issue is that the external antenna is conductive, since it is conductive you are adversely affecting the characteristics of the antenna itself, by doing so, the antenna itself is rendered worthless, and the phone can't maintain a signal, it's not a signal degredation, it is pure and simple signal loss. There have even been people reproducing this without covering the antenna, but simply touching it to make the connection, so obviously the hand blocking the signal isn't the issue here.

Similarly this should also be an issue everywhere, no amount of celltowers, nor any kind of proximity should change the result for the iPhone, but the other phones are a totally different story.

The other phones do not have an external antenna, but you can degrade the signal by covering the antenna, the success of that will definitely vary on cell tower proximity, but you don't nessecarily lose the signal, and that is my question, do the other phones actually lose the signal?

Immediately after the event at the Q&A there was someone who tried to reproduce the problem, but he couldn't get it to drop the call, Steve Jobs immediately dismissed that as it wasn't everywhere that it would work.

That leads me to believe: Nomatter what coverage you have, you can kill the signal on an iPhone 4, but to actually kill the signal on the other phones you need to cover it up sufficiently, and be far enough out of range in order to actually do it.

But we need someone to test this out for sure, if my conclusion is supported i would very much not be happy to be those companies who were needlessly slandered by Apple.

FISKER_Q said,

That leads me to believe: Nomatter what coverage you have, you can kill the signal on an iPhone 4, but to actually kill the signal on the other phones you need to cover it up sufficiently, and be far enough out of range in order to actually do it.

Nope. From what I've heard, it's actually very much dependabt on signal quality. The iPhone 4's antenna seems to attenuate more-so than other phones specifically on that band in a tight grip (by about 10 extra dB's for a total of 20-something dB signal loss by bridging that gap).

Interestingly enough, Europeans apparently don't really have this problem. I don't know if it's the difference in frequencies used over there or just the all-around better coverage than in the US, but reports just aren't nearly as widespread as they seem to be here in the US. Some frequent travelers even noted that in the US, they could death grip every time. When they got back home to Europe, they couldn't do it.

It's a complex issue and one that I imagine Apple will properly address in the future through some sort of insulative coating or otherwise. Apparently, it's very hard to coat stainless steel, so they might have to get tricky. Probably wasn't something they could do in 22 days.

nohone said,
wouldn't Apple's tests be invalid if they did not use an anechoic chamber?

Apple built their own chamber just for the iPhone 4. Just go to their site, there's a video about it. It's simply incredible, when you're inside, it's as if you were in another world !

Elliott said,
Interestingly enough, Europeans apparently don't really have this problem. I don't know if it's the difference in frequencies used over there or just the all-around better coverage than in the US, but reports just aren't nearly as widespread as they seem to be here in the US. Some frequent travelers even noted that in the US, they could death grip every time. When they got back home to Europe, they couldn't do it.

They do have the problem, take a look: http://www.engadget.com/2010/0...the-iphone-4-is-not-broken/
Probably they haven't got the problem over there because they are in an important city with excellent coverage.

@FISKER_Q

No. It isn't the two metals shorting together. Find a good conductor and short the two out. That isn't the issue. The issue is interference. Tests show that there is an average of -20 dB drop from death gripping. It's a lot, but if you have 5 bars (post 4.0.1), you will only drop to 2 or 3 bars. If it were as you describe then a wire between the two pieces of metal would kill the signal, and the death grip would as well even in higher signal areas.

Elliott said,
Nope. From what I've heard, it's actually very much dependabt on signal quality. The iPhone 4's antenna seems to attenuate more-so than other phones specifically on that band in a tight grip (by about 10 extra dB's for a total of 20-something dB signal loss by bridging that gap).
I live in the UK, and I've been doing this test with mixed results, sometimes I loose 1 bar (with the new OS) and sometimes I even get an extra bar, and tried doing a phone call as on the videos to drop de conexion but I couldn't do it... I'm with O2 and they don't have a great service here...
Interestingly enough, Europeans apparently don't really have this problem. I don't know if it's the difference in frequencies used over there or just the all-around better coverage than in the US, but reports just aren't nearly as widespread as they seem to be here in the US. Some frequent travelers even noted that in the US, they could death grip every time. When they got back home to Europe, they couldn't do it.

It's a complex issue and one that I imagine Apple will properly address in the future through some sort of insulative coating or otherwise. Apparently, it's very hard to coat stainless steel, so they might have to get tricky. Probably wasn't something they could do in 22 days.

SweetRiverBaynes said,
I hope this huge soap opera between the cell phone companies will spark a revolution in technology, that will truly combat signal degradation.

I hope that this soap opera will finally open the eyes of people regarding Apple and their ruthless practices.

SweetRiverBaynes said,
I hope this huge soap opera between the cell phone companies will spark a revolution in technology, that will truly combat signal degradation.

I hope this soap opera gets washed out. ;D

Fedr0 said,

I hope that this soap opera will finally open the eyes of people regarding Apple and their ruthless practices.
+10

Fedr0 said,

I hope that this soap opera will finally open the eyes of people regarding Apple and their ruthless practices.

thank you