iPhone 4 press conference on July 16th has lead to Apple’s competitors responding to the antennagagte issue. During the conference Steve Jobs showed videos of HTC Droid Eris, Samsung Onmia II & BlackBerry Bold 9700 dropping the signal strength bars when held in a way that attenuates the signal.
RIM & Nokia were quick to respond and now Eric Lin, Global PR and Online Community Manager for HTC told Pocket-lint that “we have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris.” and approximately .016% of customers reported any reception issues.
Apple believes that phones are not perfect and almost all smartphones have weak spots. Even if you might be able to get the signal strength bars to drop when touching the black strip in the lower left corner of the iPhone 4 stainless band you should only worry if you are experiencing an increase in the number of dropped calls during daily usage.
It is interesting to note that the user manual of Nokia 2320 advises you to avoid “touching the antenna area unnecessarily while the antenna is transmitting or receiving.”
Apple has also posted a video of iPhone 3GS dropping the signal bars when held in way which attenuates the signal but it never became a big issue. The black strip in iPhone 4 stainless steel band does make it very easy for customer to identify the weak spot and get the bars to drop. Consumer Reports iPhone 4 tests and video show their engineer placing his finger on the weak spot and recording low signal strength but I really wonder if any customer actually holds the iPhone 4 that way to make calls.