“And just when I thought I was out.. they pull me back in.” Jeez, the day where we stop talking about signal attenuation in cell phones can’t come soon enough. At least time around it’s not Apple we’re talking about, but rather HTC.
In response to a number of YouTube videos complaining that the HTC HD7 handset suffers from antenna problems when gripped in a certain manner, HTC issued a statement explaining the design behind their phones.
“Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC,” the press release reads. “To ensure the best possible signal strength, antennas are placed in the area least likely to be covered by a person’s face or hands while the phone is in use.”
“However, it is inevitable that a phone’s signal strength will weaken a little when covered in its entirety by a user’s palm or fingers,” the statement continues. “We test all of our phones extensively and are confident that under normal circumstances reception strength and performance will be more than sufficient for the operation of the phone when network coverage is also adequate.”
So how is this news? Well it’s not, really. But it is sort of funny that HTC is now dealing with the same issue it once contended didn’t affect its handsets. Remember that during Steve Jobs’ iPhone 4 antenna conference, Jobs demonstrated that signal attenuation is a common phenomenon that affects all handsets, including devices from RIM, Nokia, and HTC. Jobs even quipped that the problem would persist because Apple has not “figured out a way around the laws of Physics – yet.”
In the aftermath of Jobs’ presentation, HTC CFO Hui-Meng Cheng told the Wall Street Journal that Apple shouldn’t displace blame onto competitors for its own faulty design.
“The reception problems are certainly not common among smartphones,” Cheng said, “[Apple] apparently didn’t give operators enough time to test the phone.”
Apparently HTC didn’t follow its own advice. Oh, and never mind the fact that the user manual (pg. 13) from the HTC Droid Eris specifically warns users not to come in contact with the area of the phone where the antenna is housed.
C’est la vie.