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Nokia mocks iPhone 4's "death grip" issue

updated 04:25 pm EDT, Mon June 28, 2010

Nokia ribs Apple's sensitive phone design

Nokia started the week with a jab at claims of Apple's iPhone 4 antenna problems. Poking fun at Steve Jobs' assertions that people suffering the problem were just holding the phone the wrong way, Nokia suggested that customers could hold their phones any way they like and showed four examples. Unlike certain other phones, signal quality remains the same.

"The key function on any Nokia device is its ability to make phone calls," Nokia joked. "After all, that's why we know them universally as mobile phones... One of the main things we've found about the 1 billion plus Nokia devices that are in use today is that when making a phone call, people generally tend to hold their phone like a... well, like a phone. Providing a wide range of methods and grips for people to hold their phones, without interfering with the antennae, has been an essential feature of every device Nokia has built."

The source of Apple's problem has been identified as the gaps in the corners of the phone, particularly that on the bottom left; obscuring this and creating a bridge between antennas with one's hand dims the signal. However, whether it's actually an inherent flaw or a software bug isn't clear; iPhone 3G and 3GS users claim to have replicated the issue themselves after iOS 4. Allusions have been made to a possible firmware-based fix coming as soon as this week.

Nokia's claims may themselves be distorted as users have produced similar behavior on other phones, including phones of its own, like the E71.

by MacNN Staff



  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Throat Death Grip

    Their only experience with death grip in the one that the smartphone makers have around their throat.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good for them!

    Steve Jobs' reply deserves to be mocked, as it was just plain silly.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a bunch of iDiots

    Don't they know this affects EVERY cellular device on the planet? What's Nokia trying to prove here? That their phones are superior?

  1. _Rick_V_

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nokia needs to put their money where their mouth i

    Here’s a few examples of specifically reception drops when holding various handsets:

    HTC Droid Incredible:

    Nexus One:

    Nokia E71:

    Nokia 6230:

    Nokia 6720:

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    True... of course I guess you did not see the video. It shows a nokia E71 having the exact same problem. I guess Nokia needs to be mocked too. Hey, maybe everyone needs to be mocked.. :-)

    Just a thought there.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nokia is trying to point out that any of their

    smartphones are much better designed than the iPhone 4 and that people who buy Apple mobile devices are being cheated and are succumbing to the Apple hype machine. Nokia phones are not subject to antenna physics and that signal strength never changes no matter how you hold a Nokia smartphone. Once 5 bars, always 5 bars using a specialized signal recovery circuitry built into every Nokia smartphone. They're trying to let people know that their declining smartphone market share is unwarranted and that Nokia truly makes better smartphones than Apple does.

    Steve Jobs is wrong to tell people that they can easily avoid loss of signal strength by avoiding touching certain areas. He shouldn't tell them anything and just let them figure it out for themselves if their calls get dropped. Maybe he should just tell them all to return their iPhones that they've been eagerly waiting for. Do any of the iHaters care to guess how many iPhones have been returned for that poor reception problem? Steve Jobs seems to be really doing everything wrong by trying to answer user's questions. Maybe he shouldn't even have told them that there will be a fix to the problem.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lets see

    Nokia must be banking on the user base with the IQ of a gnat to believe their pitch. Oh yeah, must be their CEO, Mgmt and MKT people that came up with this. LOL

  1. Tjp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My Nokia E61 suffered

    When the Nokia E61 is gripped by a big hand (mine) at the bottom of the phone signal drops enough that AT&T would sometimes drop my call as signal strength dropped. The E61 is an all metal case except for the band at the bottom where the antennas are behind a metal-color painted plastic part that runs the width of the bottom of the phone. But as phones get smaller radio waves aren't accommodating so the length of antennas remains relatively constant and already is a compromise between signal gathering ability and size. Not to mention needing to be tuned to an every increasing number of frequencies. So does the Nokia model have the same support for frequencies used as the iPhone 4. Not when I looked at the FCC certifications. So they are comparing Apples to Cloudberries...

    Conversely I don't have the problem with my iPhone 4 that others have because I have a different grip position.

    So I am guessing some part of the iPhone 4 issue is real for some users, and some is from people who attempt to recreate it, and some is because Apple has a software bug that doesn't accurately report the signal strength. (Which they have had before on another iPhone model, so STEVE --- REGRESSION TESTING --- TEST NEW CODE AGAINST OLD BUGS, Sorry for shouting but he's a ways off from here.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Testudo is right, logic brigade is wrong

    77% of iPhone 4 buyers are upgrades from existing iPhone customers.

    They would know if this was the exact same issue they were having with iPhone 3g, or the orignal Edge iPhone.

    It's a new issue....logic is great, except when its wrong, then its time to re-examine the logic for errors.

    This is clearly a more pronounced issue then seen before...and Jobs is all over the place: it doesn't exists on every phone, we've fixed it in 4.0.1....stay tuned.


  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Jobs never said anything about 4.01

    Jobs never said anything about 4.01. Only rumor sites claimed there was a 4.01.
    The death grip works on all cell phones. As Jobs did say, don't hold it like that.

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