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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cutting through the dross

So here's the thing. It's generally believed that choice is good. Informed choice is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. Who should you believe ? Well that choice is yours. Tricky isn't it?

'Antennagate' is starting to highlight this is a never-before-seen way. Apple's press conference on Friday was a completely new thing for them. Unheard of in their PR history to hold such an event. What really got me interested was the fact that Mr Jobs showed exactly the same 'antanna' issue happening on a Blackberry, an HTC Droid and a Samsung Windows phone. If you want to watch the whole thing, it's available here: Apple's July 16th Press Conference

You could see it happen with your own eyes. Most phones have been plastic historically, but with smartphones that's all changing especially with larger and larger screens. This must have some impact on signal quality, but this stuff is real and is clearly a problem across the board, not just for Apple.

Here's a Droid Incredible with singnal issues:


...and a Blackberry...





The competition don't like Apple eating huge chunks out of their market, the press love a failure in amongst a load of success, but some of the reporting is just false. The question is which is wrong ? Are apple lying to us, or are a handfull of websites lying ?

I'm lucky enough to have an iPhone 4, and I'm very very happy with it. It's certainly a vast improvement over the 3GS and I haven't had a single call fail. The comptetition's response to Mr Job's presentation only serves to show he's rattled their cages by calling them out.

Nokia's response:
We prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

RIM's response
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
So phones that work really well, but look really awful? We are talking about smartphones here right?? People don't buy smartphones that look like housebricks - why would they? If you're paying 500 quid for that much computing power in your pocket, you don't want it to look like an old TV remote. You want the big display, the quality graphics, the slick interface etc etc.... and like I said, I'm still waiting on that dropped call feature - not something I've experienced, but again, Apple's innovative design is irking the boys who like black plastic.

People don't pay as much attention to the problems with these phones because they don't carry the same publicity that the iPhone does. I don't know how the Apple Marketing people got their products to have this god-like status, but they've done an amazing job with that. That's really where the pain for the likes of RIM & HTC lies.

The entire thing hasn't been blown completly out of proportion, rather it's in direct proportion to the amount of coverage that the iPhone as a brand gets. Ultimately the only person's opinion you can count on is your own. Don't ask me (or anyone else for that matter) to make the decision for you. Inform yourself. Go out and try them. I tried an HTC and a blackberry (friends handsets, not on a long term test) and Starfleet issue Blackberry's by default (although there is now an option on iPhone's). I drew my own conclusions.

And this brings us to the really great thing about choice.

You have a choice. Buy one (and you'll love it - they'll even give you a free case if you want one, and you can take it back if you don't like it) or don't buy one. It's up to you. But remember.... It's just a phone. Ring your loved one's, Calm down.
 

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