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.