It's understandable to compare the Apple iPhone 4 and 3GS, but to bring other manufacturers into the fold is simply unacceptable. Whether you feel the same way or not, that's the tone that Apple's competitors are taking after Friday's press conference, where Apple CEO Steve Jobs compared signal attenuation issues found on the iPhone 4 to other smartphones on the market - the BlackBerry Bold 9700, Samsung Omnia II, and HTC DROID Eris, to be exact. The companies' responses are all similar - the issue is Apple.
From Research In Motion (BlackBerry):
“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.”
“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.”
“Approximately .016% of customers [have complained]. We have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris."
And last but not least, a video clip of the various tests is shown below. On one hand, one could excuse Apple for the issues due to the fact that today's devices experience similar antennuation issues (I've personally worked with several that do), and a vast majority of the public backlash is coming from the number of devices sold in relation to its competitors. On the other hand, an issue is an issue, and Apple should own up to it beyond offering free cases to customers. What say you?