HTC’s HD7 handset is a sweet piece of hardware. It boasts a monstrously big screen (similar to HTC EVO), the hot-ticket Windows Phone 7 OS, 720p video recording, a handy little kickstand.. and a similarity to iPhones signal attenuation problem when you hold the phone in a certain way. That’s according to numerous users who are aggravated at their new phones’ dropped calls.
Does this sound familiar? Oh yes, antennagate. Apple hit the headlines shortly after the launch of the iPhone 4, which sports a “revolutionary” antenna in which the metal frame of the phone itself is used to transmit and receive radio signals. Some people reported that when they held the phone a certain way (the “deathgrip”) they could see the signal strength drop on the phone’s screen. Others complained the phone dropped calls too frequently. All kinds of nonsensical legal threats were made.
We noted that the entire affair was overblown until we noticed that we can no longer make or hold a phone conversation with the iPhone. Our friends have similar issues except for one of them. We have changed the way we hold and talk now. One positive issue was that I couldn’t make a phone call while driving as holding it with one hand while driving and drinking coffee was very difficult. The media seemed keen to take Apple down a notch or two.
The CFO of HTC, Hui-Meng Cheng, felt compelled to get a dig in at Apple’s expense, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal: “The reception problems are certainly not common among smartphones,” he said. “[Apple] apparently didn’t give operators enough time to test the phone.”
Now HTC is defending its HD7 handset with the following statement: “Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC. 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.” Which, of course, is true–firms like HTC and Apple have extensive testing facilities to ensure that antennas work properly. But now HTC has been plagued by the similar issue of antenna problems, but not as bad as Apple.
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