RIM Responds To Apple’s Press Conference

Yesterday saw Apple CEO Steve Jobs defend and reiterate (and also announce the iPhone 4 launch date in Canada will be on July 30th!) that the iPhone 4 “Antennagate” has been blown out of proportion. During this press conference, the presentation included a demo that showed other smartphones exhibited the same erratic signal distortion behaviour if held with a “death grip”.

One of the first phones in the antenna attenuation demo was RIM’s Blackberry Bold 9700. Here’s the video below:

Well, of course RIM didn’t take this lightly. They’ve had their own launch issues with their smartphones that were intended to be “iPhone killers” (*cough* Blackberry Storm *cough*). A chance to shoot back at Jobs was what they did. Here’s what the CEOs had to say:

“Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.”

– Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

Strong words, straight to the point. What I question is the sentence where they explain RIM’s use of “innovative designs”. The last time I checked, Blackberry models have remained with the same form factor since–forever. Trackball, 2 inch screen, tiny keyboard, and a half-baked “browser”.

If you don’t like the iPhone 4 and this isolated issue, don’t buy the phone just yet. Lots of people haven’t had problems with the phone. I still think the advantages of the iPhone 4 outweigh this issue with the antenna’s “soft spot”.

We haven’t even had a chance to play with it in Canada. It’ll be interesting to see how the iPhone 4 performs in Canada, as our networks will surely respond differently versus the overstrained AT&T networks in the US.