HTC Droid Eris

Apple CEO Steve Jobs led a news conference today to explain what he's now dubbed "Antennagate" -- and he called out a couple of other smartphones to show that the iPhone 4 isn't the only one to drop signal strength when held. On the Android side, Apple chose the HTC Droid Eris, which has since been replaced by the HTC Droid Incredible.

We get it. A whole lot of people have had their eyes opened to the wonderful world of RF engineering, and suddenly we're all amateur EEs and are going to be watching our "bars" -- the little lines that approximate signal strength. Fine. And there's chatter going on that the new Samsung Galaxy S phones have the same sort of "death grip."

Fact is, you're likely to see signal attenuation on any phone. And if you want to stare at your bars all day, be our guest. Where we start to worry is when calls are dropped. And that's always going to be a marriage between hardware design and network capability.

Our suggestion: Everybody relax a tad. This iPhone thing might well be blown out of proportion. Or it might well be bigger than we think. Frankly, we're not going to let it drag us down. While Apple fans have a single phone on which to focus, Android has more phones than we know what to do with. We'll judge call quality the same way we always have -- by using the phone and making calls.

(Oh, and Jobs' crack about nobody wanting to buy that "Hummer" of a Droid X? We think that's been disproven, right?)

 
There are 50 comments

rugbyua9 says:

Android FTW! I don't need an iCondom to make my Incredible work.

"iCondom" to take the INTERNET BY STORM! NEVER STOP USING IT!

bkj216 says:

I'll make it my duty to spread the word of "iCondom"s everywhere.

oscarahj says:

Great points, Phil. Ok, I'll lay off of antennagate headlines too. Though its fun seeing people argue in comments of the different blogs.

Steve Jobs is a complete idiot. He speaks before thinking things through and has a hard-on to badmouth anything Android. This guy really views Android as the 'Anti-Apple'. He should focus more on putting out a quality product than throwing mud and trying to take others down with him. We get that all phones will experience reduced reception under certain conditions. The issue here is, YOUR iPHONE COMPLETELY DROPS CALLS. Own up to it. People I know are starting to lose respect for Apple as a company just because they act so dodgy around the iPhone 4. Between this mudslinging contest and the apparent modding of their forums, Apple's looking real sketchy right about now. If I were a shareholder in Apple, I'd be concerned about the company's public relations. Maybe Jobs needs to step back and let someone else be the mouthpiece for the company.

crichton007 says:

That's a bit harsh or a critique. Steve Jobs realizes that once you give in to the popular voice there's no going back. I think Apple makes quality products but not everything they make is the best and you can count me as one of those who definitely thinks Android is better than iOS.

With that said I have a hard time accepting the explanation offered today I've been suing cell phones for 11 years now and while I've had a few that included pictures or text descriptions showing the best way to hold a phone without interfering in the signal I've never had a phone completely drop a call when held with the left hand.

GQ50 says:

I agree Apple needs to allow someone else to speak on their behalf of the company and yes they need to man up. He's(Steve) stated some pretty stupid remarks lately-"your holding the phone wrong?..droid x is a hummer?..the bars dropping is not an issue?"...uhmm..yeaaah..

gbhil#AC says:

Don't forget 'At least we aren't Koreans'. That really really pissed me off.

what what WHAT?! did he say that? oh hell no!. please do me a favor, and post a link with exact time he says that. i will post it on my facebook that steve blowjobs is racist! he cannot get away with trashing minority groups!

Kedar says:

Free case for everyone was a good move by Apple. It doesn't cost them that much in terms of all the phones have sold.
Apple is good about customer and developer support. However I still don't like Apple that much.

But did you guys see how he masked the iphone call dropping rate? He compared it to the iphone 3gs and said only one extra dropped call than the 3gs.
Basically it drops the same amount of calls as the 3gs.

Edit: I think people are confused.
When they grip the other phones like Droid Eris, the BBold, and the Omnia... they grip the WHOLE phone.

If you cover just that one spot on the Iphone 4, dropped call!

nmyeti says:

Good call, if it drops less than 1 call MORE than the 3gs, then it's not the revolutionary IMPROVEMENT that Jobs announced at the keynote by a long shot.

Sonicaholic says:

Is that the best he can do to address a proven fact that his device drops signal, is to sidestep the issue that HE called the press confrence to address and do nothink but a bit of mud slinging?
I am sure that makes all those Iphone4 owners who ARE suffering from this problem feel much better, knowing that there are other devices that do the same would make me if I owned the device much better than the disgust I am sure some are at this very poor responce to a totaly valied question.
I am sure if the blogasphere found another device that had the same problem they would be asking that manufacturer the same question!

ceger says:

Apple will continue to be damaged as a result of Job's stupidity and arrogance. Give it all a little more time. Apple needs to put a filter over their CEO's mouth.

Ceger

well Steve check this out.. I've had an eris for about 4 months now and have not dropped 1 call yet.. I recently traveled by car from Ohio to New Mexico to Colorado and back. and had 3g coverage the entire time! eat it apple, puff on that AT&T!

mcook1670 says:

Funny..my Eris is in left hand and I still have a signal. Guess what I can still make calls! How old are you again my Jobs? Grow up. If I wanted a crappy phone service I would buy an iPhone, but I like being able to make calls inside my apt. Couldnt do it when I had at&t.

jfa1 says:

I have my tilt2 in my left hand and presses it the left side and the right side and top and bottom and the only thing that happened was my push to talk message came up asking if I wanted to activate the feature and pay the charges on it and I clicked no. Oh and I turned the screen off. yeah right steve o!

oldpapa49 says:

Ok, ok, now I have this EVO here and I have held it with both hands, top to bottom and the only time I loose any bars is when I cover the screen. Because I can't see em..
So suggestion to iPhoney 4's, cover the screen with both hands and the bar issue is over.. This way, it acts like my EVO. Oh, I can still have speaker phone on and have a connection, can you? Oh, oh yes, sometimes I act like an antenna.. My signal gets better..

Way ta go EVO..
Old

Ecoteric says:

I wonder if the death grip affects iPhone4's 4G antenna... oh wait...

kadield says:

Now *this* was the priceless part:

11:22AM Q: You released a software update for the iPhone about two years ago which improved the signal. You say now you've got a long-standing bug that doesn't show the right bar data. Can you square those two things?
Steve: Well let me say something about Apple. We didn't want to get into any business where we didn't own or control the primary tech, because if you don't the people who do own it will beat you. Our big insight about 8 years ago, was that it was going to shift from big displays or optical pickup heads, or radios being the most important component, we thought it was going to be software. And we're pretty good at making software, we showed that in the iPod... other people are good at it too, like Palm, but we brought great software to the smartphone space. We've been able to create and distribute major updates to this software since the iPhone was released, and we've made the product better and better for free. Everyone is copying us now, but we were the first ones to do it. To answer your question, the formula we use the calculate bars has been off since the beginning, and the new update fixes that for the iPhone 4, 3G, and 3GS... I don't know if I understand the other part of your question?

11:22AM Q: Well you fixed this bug two years ago, and now you say there's always been a problem...
A: They're probably unrelated. I honestly don't remember what the issue was before, but they're probably totally separate.

You can find this at: http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/16/live-from-apples-iphone-4-press-confe...

harle83 says:

I like my new hummer!!!!!!!! I just watched and laughed and laughed and laughed! Steve Jobs is a piece of work, I can't fix mine so I'll bash yours. Really mature Stevie baby! It's always look at the other guy when you got nothing to offer and he offered I Phone users a whole lot of nothing, except a bumper case. GEEZ!!!!

phidelt1499 says:

I am an avid Mac user - I am a huge fan of my iMac and I'd prefer to use OS X over Windows any day.
However, I've never been too in with the iPhone. I have an iPod touch, the apps are nice, but regardless of "app counts," the number of apps for the iPhone and for Android that are actually fun and/or useful is about the same - think games, social networking, browsing... Oh and AT&T is a huge drawback. But I digress...

Anyway, I've had my Droid Eris since March and after watching the press conference today, I haven't been able to replicate the bars dropping scenario that Jobs described. In fact, I live in southeastern South Dakota and I have had nothing short of perfect 3g coverage. I have traveled from SD to Fort Worth to San Francisco and have had zero dropped calls and zero issues with the data coverage.

Android + Verizon's Network = FTW

jfa1 says:

ATT may be part of the problem but there have been several articles that have stated that part of the issues with ATT and the iPhone are caused by the way Apple 's device handles and processes data

droideris says:

You know what, Stevie is right. The DROID X is a Hummer. The iPhone is a Pinto (its fatal flaw is not being rear-ended just right, it's being touched on the left side just right), the DInc is a Gallardo, the DROID is an original Hummer, I guess, the N1 is a Ferrari, the Ally is a Porsche, the EVO 4G is a Range Rover, etc. Anyway, if by death-gripping a Droid Eris you make it drop to half signal, and by kind-of death-gripping the i*hone 4 (and by that I mean having a single finger in the wrong place) you make it lose all signal and DROP THE FREAKING CALL, I'll take the Eris any day. Or the X, or the DInc, or the DROID, or the Ally, or freaking anything that I can still make calls on. (I'm on Verizon--the EVO and N1 are out.)

judasmachine says:

I've watched my bars for a whole of about two minutes since I got my Eris back on November 6th, and I've had like two calls dropped. And even then it could have been the other party, but I just figure it's going to happen sooner or later to everyone. Two times in about eight months ain't bad.

Disclaimer: It could have been more than twice but that's all I remember. Therefore showing it isn't a huge problem.

likwidsoul says:

Its just a little sad I think the old man is losing his touch.

myriad46 says:

He's right that every phone has an optimal way to hold it, and there is a way to hold every phone where the bars will be reduced....NOT GO TO ZERO!!!!!!! I am loving this Fail by Apple. It's about time they got some egg on their face. That would be the egg in the one basket they own. At least if Motorola screws up a phone, google doesn't take a hit for Android. There is a weakness in owning every part of the process.

pucrepeap says:

Haha! I guess the Eris and iphone4 are comparable phones! Eris is a year older, already being discountinued, and was never touted as THE phone to have. So much undeserved hype behind the Iphone and it has the same value as the ERIS, LOL. WTG Apple.

galvar says:

both a coworker and my wife have an iphone. No calls dropped minimal loss of bars. maybe it's a bad batch of phones? maybe it's because of calling area either way, no matter how bad the iphone4 is, it's not gonna just go away. people are not going to stop buying them. i'm pretty sure even if the iphone caused your hair to turn white and horns to grow out of your head people will still buy it because it's apple. their PR the money they make from the ipad will make it all better...

jnabbott#AC says:

I used an eris for 6 months, never once did I have a death grip problem. As for his crack about the hummer. I love my X, fits nicely in my adult sized hands. Maybe Steve is like the guy from the bk ads. "I have these tiny hands." Epic fail Steve...

petemichigan says:

Man up bitch (S. Jobs). Admit you have a problem and address it. Yes it’s been exaggerated but it's not like the antenna issue has no truth in it at all. Calling out the Eris to minimize your own short comings is totally dickly.

pmdied says:

Eris+ Verizon= great phone for me. IPhone 4 + bad design flaw +AT&T service = problem. Nice try Steve-O. Even the New York times ran an article about how the increased demand for data usage and phone calls kept increasing the frequency of dropped calls.

Laxidasical says:

Weird, my EVO's bars go up in my hand down when it's not...

jayty97 says:

i don,t think Jobs really understands the tech involved in these devices. He is taking a problem which can be reproduced in some way with all radio technology and using it to hide the real issue, which is poor design implementation. I'm sure they are not pioneers in the concept of putting the antenna on the outside of the device.. just the first to allow such a device to go through concept, design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing.. the real problem arises from grounding the cell radio antenna (bottom) to the (i believe it's wifi on the left) antenna, rendering the antenna useless. look how badass their new device looks... then look at it with a case over it... total Fail and not a fix at all. I would be more than pissed. send out some plastic strips to coat the bottom antenna and work it into the manufacturing process on future batches in an applied finish. I'm sure a company like Bodygaurds would love to help them out! Finally, just admit the screw up and don't use other devices as scape goats.

On a side note, trying t-mobile out after long time reception issues with sprint... picked up a vibrant yesterday and all I can say is WOW!

youngdrake says:

They did admit that there was a problem and they did offer a solution that can be implemented affectively immediately. What jobs said is that him and his company are not perfect and neither is any other company or product. He pointed out that other phones have had reception issues to show that problems have come up in the past and a lot of what is going on now is a gleeful overblowing of an issue to bash a once untouchable company. And it is way overblown because people love to see someone at the top crash and burn. It is a foregone conclusion that future batches of the phone will have either a bumper in box or another fix to render this issue moot. The problem has been acknowledged and a solution has been provided. It is not a perfect solution but given that the phone just launched it is a simple and quick way to prevent the problem and one that most users would do anyways (considering it is a 500+ dollar phone). and it is also not mandatory as many people are using their phones without seeing any problems at all. Even consumer reports is going to have to reevaluate their stance now that apple has indeed done what they suggested. I know iHaters are still gonna point at this flaw and tell me I am an idiot or a sheep or something else insulting with a lowercase I put in front of it for liking apple. This post will probably label me an apple apologist, whatever that means. But it is tiring to be branded technologically incompetent and incapable of making a decision on my own because I like a different user experience than others. And for the record I own a d.inc and love it. My dad has an iPhone and I love it. My mom has a palm pre and guess what I love it. Three different operating systems that all have strengths and weaknesses. Three different hardwares that all have strengths and weaknesses.

migs#AC says:

what the f*** was jobs thiking? of course the x was going to be successful, I wouldn't be surprised if it outsells the iPhour, please Jobs, think before u speak

darktanone says:

The Droid X sold out in most places, but how many sold? How many phones were produced? It was the same with EVO... Sold out everywhere, but they won't release the sales figures. Is it just me or are they creating hype to get more customers because sales aren't that good? Apple on the other hand releases their sales figures. 1.7 million the first three days and more than 3 million to date. Also Google execs did a lot of Apple basing at Google I/O this past spring, so Steve Jobs taking a few jabs is only fair. Don't be such cry babies. Hummer phones? Hmmmm, that might stick

UncleMike says:

Every phone suffers from signal attenuation when held. It's the nature of the beast. However, it's up to the engineers to minimize said attenuation, and Apple failed to do so. In fact, Apple has done the opposite - increasing attenuation when compared to traditional antenna designs.

For the Apple faithful, Jobs' claims of similar attenuation in non-Apple devices, and the offer of a free bumper will be all that is needed to placate them and prove to them that the rest of the world is wrong. The more the rest of us try to point out how wrong they and Jobs are, the more defensive they become, and the more solidified will be their belief that they are right.

beaker77 says:

I used to have a ton of respect for Steve Jobs. The man was a visionary. He has lost a lot of credibility with his latest stunts over the past few years. He has been become the very thing that he hated, a Big Blue Apple.

mannw1977 says:

I love my IMAC and my DROID INCREDIBLE.Why can't apple just manup and fix the issues at hand with the IPHONE.If they don't start another line of phones with APPLE OS they are going to be mad as hell when the ANDROID OS is out selling them and taking over the world.Look would we be were we are without the IPHONE?NO I've used both phones and wouldn't even think of trading my incredible for one.WHY? ATT SUCKS!!!!!Thats the real issue STEVE.

GQ50 says:

Actually I've been with ATT for years and use a blckbrry(soon Captivate). I never really had a drop call issues. The iPhone seems to require a lot more signal strength than other phones and for the the most part, even from the beginning ATT has handled it pretty decent. Other companies didn't at that time have the power to handle the demand of that phone. And let's face it, there are millions of iPhones used not that ATT may not be able to handle now. I would like the phone to go to other companies to release some of the strain ATT is enduring. ATT is under contract(choke hold of Apple), thus the hold on droid apps from outside the market..anyway if anoth company take the iPhone I feel ATT signals will improve..

svtcobra1995 says:

They need to man up, and recall the phones, and actually FIX the problem. What happens when the cheap bumpers wear out or break? Apple, you suck!

NickF227 says:

I just deathgripped my Eris....no bar change.

MAD WIL says:

...my Evo's bars drop from 3-4 to 1 when I wrap my hand around top half of the phone. Page 153 in the manual shows where to avoid holding the phone (the top corner behind the LED's). I can't do it when I hold the Phone naturally though...

Timcity says:

Its funny. I tried this same test with my O.G. Droid and my signal strength got stronger from 3 bars to 4

fysician says:

First off, I have an eris. I can go to Settings and actually read signal strength in dBm. Let's see.. I just covered the phone with both of my hands in death grip. -66 dBm to -71 dBm.... a drop of -5dBm compared to -20dBm with a single finger? You see why iPhone will never let you see your signal strength in absolute measure?

Mr. Z says:

its actually a scheme by AT&T so you will blame crappy coverage and dropped calls on something else!!!!

This is the only logical explanation as to why apple's "teams of scientists" were so baffled that they were unable to realize such a glaring flaw through years of development and testing, it would also explain why jobs had no fix for us and instead attempted to side-step the issue and bash other phones.

To bad the real explanation is that jobs is just arrogant and apple is just fail.

**BTW: apple will never be able to fix the AT&T issue lol

Daniel0418 says:

This is a totally ridiculous claim by Apple. The Droid Eris suffers signal loss from covering the phone. The iPhone suffers signal loss from touching the bottom with one finger.

Here is a post with video showing the iPhone 4 problem is like 1,000x worse than the Droid Eris.
http://fonefrenzy.com/2010/07/17/the-iphone-4-antenna-problem-isnt-just-...

I just have 3 things to say,

First Jobs says, they only found out about the problem 22 days ago., Then a minute later he says the designed the phone with this black plastic line in it to show you where not to hold it to avoid the problem? Doesnt this mean they knew about it while designing it? What a contradiction!

Second, The way to get any signal drop from the Blackberry or eris or omnia he had to hold the phone by almost wrapping his hand over the entire phone. I've never seen anyone hold a phone in this manner, Where the IP4 that I tried was very easy to do holding it like anyone would.

Third, Did he really compare the IP4 to a Droid eris and Omnia? No offense to the Eris owners, but it is not the flagship high end phone like the Droids or Samsung! Is he admitting, that the IP4 should be considered similar to an Eris, and not up to par with high end Android handsets?

Wow finger pointing, and smoke and mirrors. Jobs contradicts himself, and comes off smug doing it.

mellisnj says:

Who is Steve Jobs and what is all this talk about apples?

jason012 says:

We have taken suggestions from users that we have guided,and provide some information for the jobs location and more about .We feel that being honest and having realistic expectations for our users will be our key to success.so many users satisfaction will be our South Dakota Jobs sites. we provide all kind of jobs such as Technical jobs , IT-professionals, government jobs ,management jobs ,accounting jobs etc.we also provide about city information just you want jobs in this city. you maybe check our site and take a good ,realities information about your needs.