For all the accolades Apple’s new iPhone 4 has been getting about its state-of-the-art design, rivals have found a weakness to exploit in the company’s usually impenetrable smartphone: the iPhone 4’s calling feature.
Verizon Wireless is turning a known issue with the iPhone 4’s antenna against it by taking out a full page ad in The New York Times that picks on the smartphone’s antenna woes and offering Motorola’s Droid X as an alternative.
The ad, which readers may view on Scribd here resembles a specification sheet. Verizon points out various features of Droid X, which is based on Google’s Android operating system.
The last bit pierces the core of the iPhone 4’s problems: “And most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design. The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls. You have a voice. And you deserve to be heard.”
The marketing message is clear: buy the Droid X, which is on Verizon’s No. 1 wireless network, and we’ll make sure you can make your calls.
This isn’t the first time those in the Android camp have lobbed grenades at the iPhone’s calling quality.
Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha seemed to hint at the issues at the Droid X launch in New York City June 23, just one day before Apple launched the iPhone 4, which sold 1.7 million units in a few days despite all of the calling troubles.
Jha noted: “The reason they carry their device with them is because they like actually receiving and making calls and having conversations where both people actually understand each other,” Jha said, prompting laughter from the audience.
Jha had no way of knowing about the antenna issues that would befall Apple and its consumers.
What he said was a jab at Apple’s emphasis on multimedia, applications and anything but calling for the device, as well as Apple’s choice of AT&T as a carrier.
However, Apple’s antenna issues are no joke. They are serious enough that class-actions lawsuits are being filed by disgruntled customers.