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Steve Jobs: Antenna issue isn’t exclusive to the iPhone 4, but here’s a free bumper case

That’s right, Steve Jobs has admitted that there’s an issue with the iPhone 4’s antenna, but he reckons it happens to all smartphones: using the BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris and Samsung Omnia II as examples. Apple has even set up a smartphone antenna performance page.

During his presentation, Jobs explained that the black stripe along the metal band is in fact there to tell you where not to touch your phone. Who knew?

According to Apple, only 0.55% of iPhone customers have had an antenna or reception issue, and that the iPhone 4 only drops one more call per hundred than the 3GS.

Apple isn’t going to be able to fix the antenna itself but it is offering dissatisfied iPhone 4 owners a free bumper case worth £25 – or you can return your iPhone 4 for free (within 30 days of purchase). It’s more or less what we expected but we certainly didn’t expect Apple to drag in competitors’ phones to highlight an industry-wide antenna issue. We wonder how/if they will respond?

Update: RIM CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsilli, have responded to Apple’s comments. 

“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.”


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