Reaction roundup: RIM joins chorus of phone companies telling Apple to suck it

Reaction roundup: RIM joins chorus of phone companies telling Apple to suck it

Following a speech by Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Friday to address what he calls “antennagate” (in a nutshell, the iPhone 4 loses reception when held by the antenna band), RIM, Samsung, HTC and Nokia issued statements refuting Apple’s claim that their phones have the same problem. Here, a compilation of how the other mobile makers told Apple to get stuffed.

RIM CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie released this on the same day. Note how the word “Apple” is used six times in four sentences:

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…

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.

Nokia had this to say, in addition to making fun of Apple’s situation on its blog:

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.

HTC’s chief financial officer Hui-Meng Cheng told the Wall Street Journal (it’s worth noting that the Taiwan-based phone maker was in a legal battle with Apple over patents earlier this year):

Apple should face its own problems… The reception problems are certainly not common among smartphones… [Apple] apparently didn’t give operators enough time to test the phone.

Samsung rounded out the party with this message sent out Monday regarding one of the phones Apple says has a similar reception problem:

The antenna is located at the bottom of the Omnia 2 phone, while iPhone’s antenna is on the lower left side of the device. Our design keeps the distance between a hand and an antenna. We have fully conducted field tests before the rollout of smartphones. Reception problems have not happened so far, and there is no room for such problems to happen in the future.

Good luck to all the phone companies that will probably have to address their own version of antennagate sometime in the future.

• The shame game [Globe and Mail]
• HTC, Samsung rebut Apple’s claims smartphones have reception issue [Wall Street Journal]
• HTC: Drpid Eris complaints nothing compared to iPhone 4 [Pocket Lint]
• July 16 Press Conference [Apple] (the smartphone bashing starts at the six-minute mark)
• The iPhone 4 Antenna-gate Timeline [San Francisco Chronicle]
• RIM, Nokia respond to Apple’s “Antennagate” press conference [Apple Insider]