Apple: 'Nearly every smartphone' suffers death grip

Though Apple may be right in pointing out "death grip" issue in rivals, the iPhone 4 could still be the worst example

We're all familiar with incidents when children do something wrong, but rather than owning up and apologizing, they try to justify or downplay it, claiming, "But all the other kids were doing it." Apple has taken a similarly juvenile approach in addressing the antenna issues with the iPhone 4, calling out RIM, HTC, and Samsung as purveyors of phones that are prone to losing reception if held the wrong way.

This claim isn't just immature and hyprocritical, given how hard Apple works to present itself as superior by virtue of being different; it's also dubious. Yes, rival smartphones with similar antenna may experience a drop in call quality if held in a certain way, but it's also possible that the iPhone 4's drop in quality is more significant.

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On its website, Apple has posted pictures and video from tests it claims to have performed on the iPhone 3 and iPhone 4, along with three rival devices: the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the HTC Droid Eris, and the Samsung Omnia II. Apple depicts how gripping each device in a certain way can result in a drop in signal strength. It's not clear whether Apple was testing actual performance based on call quality (measuring decibel levels or sound to noise ratios) or simply counting how many reception bars disappeared during the tests. Those bar drops could be a result of a stunning software issue, not representative of a significant drop in quality, right?

Naturally, Apple's attempt at spreading the pain and blame elicited responses from rival companies. RIM's response on Crackberry was the most heated: "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 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," the response continues, "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."

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