TheHTC HD7 appears to be the latest smartphone to fall victim to the antenna “death grip,” according to reports.
In a video from YouTube that is making the rounds, the phone is seen dropping bars when encircled in a meaty mitt-the so-called death grip-and then regaining them when released.
Beyond the obvious damage control, it seems Apple CEO Steve Jobs may have been on to something when, during a July 16 press conference-called to address what Jobs then dubbed “Antennagate”-he insisted that the iPhone 4 wasn’t alone in losing service bars when held with its bottom right corner covered (its right, your left). Many consumers, however, didn’t find this to be true of their phones, and Apple allayed the criticisms that were building around the matter by offering free rubber bumpers to those whose devices were faulty in this way-though it soon after rescinded the offer, saying that fewer devices were affected than was first thought.
Still, some Samsung Galaxy S phones seemed to suffer the same fate-which likewise was captured in video, posted to YouTube and widely circulated-though, as with the iPhone 4, the issue did little to curb sales. Samsung sold 1 million Galaxy S phones within 45 days of making them available. (During its third-quarter earnings call, Apple announced that it sold 8.4 million iPhones during the quarter.)
Samsung appeared to be addressing the issue, however, in an application it recently submitted to the Federal Communications Commission for what is widely considered to be Samsung’s Nexus S, for Google. In the application, it states that the phone is “identical” to a previously certified device-both support cellular/PCS, GSM/EDGE and AWS WCDMA, as well as WLAN and Bluetooth-except its WiFi and GPS receiver antennas are different.
If the HD7 is suffering from a similar issue, executives at HTC-and T-Mobile-will surely be hoping that consumers are equally forgiving of the matter.
Microsoft introduced the HD7 Oct. 11, along with four other devices running its new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. Exclusive to T-Mobile, the HD7 features a 4.3-inch touch display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a kickstand for propping the device when viewing videos and a handful of entertainment applications, including T-Mobile TV, Netflix, Slacker Radio, Zune and Zbox Live.
Also included is GPS with turn-by-turn navigation, a 5-megapixel camera, Internet Explorer 8 and 16GB of internal memory. Like the other Windows Phone 7 handsets, the HD7 features Live Tiles, which replace static application icons with real-time updating tiles.
“We set out to build a phone that was thoroughly modern,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said at a New York City event introducing the phone. “Modern in the hardware we use, modern in its design principles. … We hope you agree that, with all of that in mind, we’ve taken a very different tact.”