HTC is following in the footsteps of Apple, facing a barrage of antenna-gate issues on their latest Windows 7 phone, the HD7. The same “death grip” issue arose with the iPhone 4 earlier this year and cost Apple 10-20 percent of their iPhone 4 sales in Q3.
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, formally acknowledged the iPhone’s signal problems in July but said the problem with reception weakening was consistent with all smartphones. HTC is the most recent victim of this same death grip.
HTC condemned Apple’s comments on the death grip issue’s ubiquity amongst smartphones back in July in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“The reception problems are certainly not common among smartphones,” HTC Chief Financial Officer Hui-Meng Cheng said. “[Apple] apparently didn’t give operators enough time to test the phone.”
Signal strength is reportedly weakened when the handset is covered by a user’s hands in a certain way. HTC assures that their phones operate properly under normal circumstances but concedes that if completely covered by a user’s hand, signal strength could be affected.
HTC circulated an official statement after reports swarmed blogs and YouTube of death grip issues and interface glitches.
“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,” said HTC.
“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.”
Apple released free iPhone cases to alleviate death grip issues earlier this year.
Several reports also indicate that the HD7 WP7 suffers connection issues through Wi-Fi and other handset problems. The phone has even gone so far as to re-introduce the infamous Windows ‘blue screen of death‘ when pushed to its limit.
A spokesperson for HTC told Channelnews that the company is yet to set an Australian release date for the HD7 and have not announced any telecom carriers for the phone.