HTC, Samsung Fire Back at Apple’s Reception Claims

HTC and Samsung weren’t pleased with Apple saying their smartphones suffer from signal strength loss issues just like the iPhone 4, and are now claiming they don’t share the same problems. Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated signal bars dropping when HTC and Samsung phones are held similarly to the iPhone 4 during a press conference on July 16 to show that all smartphones can have signal issues.

“The reception problems are certainly not common among smartphones,” HTC chief financial officer Hui-Meng Cheng told the Wall Street Journal. “They (Apple) apparently didn’t give operators enough time to test the phone.”

Samsung defended its Omnia II, one of the phones Mr. Jobs used in his demonstration by saying it “hasn’t received significant customer feedbacks on any signal reduction issue for the Omnia II.”

Blackberry maker RIM, along with Nokia, responded to Apple’s press conference over the weekend, too. RIM CEOs Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis called the iPhone 4 antenna issue “Apple’s self-made debacle,” and called Mr. Jobs’s move to include their phones in his presentation unacceptable.

In its response, Nokia said that it has spent thousands of man hours researching antenna designs. “As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict,” the company said.

To address the signal strength loss issues for the iPhone 4, Apple released iOS 4.0.1 with a new signal bar formula designed to offer a more accurate strength representation, and promised free phone cases for all iPhone 4 owners through the end of September.

RIM had a response for that, too. “One thing is for certain,” Mr. Balsille and Mr. Lazaridis said. “RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity.”