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Apple citing Samsung Omnia 2 during 'Antennagate' response; Omnia HD too?

As some of you may have heard, Apple held a press conference today in an attempt to get ahead of the ongoing 'antennagate' controversy surrounding the iPhone 4 (see TiPB's ongoing coverage here). Basically once Consumer Reports did their story, all heck broke loose and the usual Apple-friendly media turned a bit on Cupertino.

Although the iPhone has a clear, demonstrable antenna reception issue when held a certain way, Apple went ahead and tried to downplay the controversial design by pointing out that their competitors often suffer from the same reduced-bar problem.

Here, Steve Jobs cites the Samsung Omnia 2 on Verizon (see our full review) as having the same reception/grip issue. While not exactly the poster board Windows Mobile phone (that would easily be the Touch Pro 2 and HD2), the Omnia 2 is a decent piece of hardware, despite being pretty much forgotten by most of the world, including the WM community.

Any validity to Jobs' claim? A cursory search of various forums and sites would suggest that the Omnia 2 (both on GSM and Verizon's CDMA) is not the best of the world, but neither is it the worst. In fact, it doesn't come up even as a recurring problem or complaint. Having said that, we did find this video of the Omnia HD (i8910), which basically demonstrates the same phenomenon, lending credence to the claim by Jobs.

Bottom line: Windows Mobile and Windows Phone may suffer from such occasional hardware inconsistencies (CDMA Palm Treo Pro is just awful for reception, see this doozy of a fix), but having multiple devices for consumers to choose from, instead of just one-flagship phone, gives consumers options. If you're going to put all of your eggs into one basket, you better make sure that basket is 100% perfect or nearly so. Kudos to Apple for giving away those free cases, but we think that this problem should have never had happened in the first place. 

See Omnia HD i8910 reception video after the break.

 

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Reader comments

Apple citing Samsung Omnia 2 during 'Antennagate' response; Omnia HD too?

11 Comments

Actually, I own a TP2 and I can get the signal to drop exactly as Apple specifies all cell phones will do. Yeah, my hand is an insulator, and it'll attenuate a signal.

The question becomes, does it do that when I'm holding the phone "naturally" (design flaw), or when I'm holding it ackwardly?

99% of the time I'm using my phone, I'm holding it by the bottom in my left hand. If it drops the signal holding it like that (like the iPhone does), it's a design flaw.

In order to attenuate the signal on a TP2, you have to hold it in your right hand with your thumb sticking straight up and the screen just about even with the top of your hand. Would you ever hold your phone like that normally? No... so it's a good design.

I have a TP2 on Sprint, my signal is not affected even if I cup my hands all around the phone and peek through to see the bars.

I think the problem isn't losing the signal when holding the device in a "certain way"

The real problem is when you lose the signal when you hold the device in a "natural way"

That's why this problem became so big in iPhone 4, and not in 3GS or the other devices.

If you're going to put all of your eggs into one basket, you better make sure that basket is 100% perfect or nearly so.
Exactly! It's been something I've been saying for a while.

the easy fix is put in a case and forget about the issue. Or put small piec of duct tape over the gaps and dont worrry about it or just dont buy the darn thing. Maybe they will add a coating to the metal band which in theory will solve the issue Hopefully they wont make the same mistake again when they release the iPhone 5 next year. I'm not holding my breath.

This was a PR stunt by Apple and I did not buy into their CEO's statements/claims. He failed to show a single phone other than the iPhone 4 that could have its signal attenuated by a single finger. He never responded to this particular complaint, which is the MAIN complaint, and the entire reason people are talking about it. He tried to lay the problem at the feet of ALL manufacturers instead of Apple...even though it is their flawed product that is in question. He blamed the people who bought the phone! He blamed media for talking about it too much. He even complained about the laws of physics.

Someone from TiPB asked Jobs to respond to the issue of the signal being affected by a single finger touching the bottom left corner of the phone. It appears that Jobs chose to ignore that question. Someone else asked him to reproduce the problem on their Bold but Jobs again declined.

Apple has not yet admitted that there is a problem. They tried to spread blame amongst pretty much everyone and everything but did not address the problem. But, to placate iPhone 4 owners they are going to offer free cases. Do companies really offer anything as a concession unless there is a really sound business reason (like screwing up a product)?

What a massive bull***, as a Omnia2 owner i have never had any problems with signal, holding my phone in in every possible way, its true, theres a signal drop but, i never had a call drop on signal as low as i couldnt make a call

As a Omnia 2 owner on the Verizon network since December 2009, I haven't had any issuse with hand positions and reception quality that has plagued the iPhone 4. In spite of taking advantage of the Preferred Roaming List update, network superiority will always be a primary factor, the hardware is secondary. It's clear the Apple needs to issue a recall and stop "playing PR games".

As a Samsung Omnia II owner in a SouthAmerican country as Argentina is, where I was born and live, I have NEVER experienced this antenna trouble Steve Jobs mentioned all phones suffer from. At all!

What a selfish jerk he is. Pathetic and lame excuses. No fix, no problem solve, just wear a bumper in your iPhone 4. That's it. His attitude: 'If you don't like it, I don't care!'.

What a waste of money and time. I feel sorry for those who still defend him.

Steve Jobs and Apple are starting to become as arrogant as Microsoft was back in the day with the browser wars. I wouldn't buy any of their products for that reason alone!