iPhone 4 signal reaction angers RIM, Nokia, HTC and O2

O2: "Please don't call or visit an O2 shop with questions"

RIM and Nokia lead Apple bashing following Steve Job's attack on competitors

With Steve Jobs talking to the stage at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters on Friday for the emergency iPhone 4 press conference, many were expecting a fix to the handsets reception problems, not the start of an industry-wide insult brawl.

Although Jobs has made piece with a number of disgruntled iPhone 4 owners with the promise of a free case, his petty attack on fellow phone manufacturers has not been kindly received by the challengers to the iPhone’s smartphone supremacy crown.

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Attempting to appease indignant iPhone 4 customers of the apparent signal loss issues that have tarnished the handset since launch, Apple, fronted by Steve Jobs set about a critical attack on RIM’s BlackBerry Bold device, as well as leading handsets from Nokia, Samsung and HTC. During his presentation, Jobs showed pictures of devices from each manufacturer subjected to the ‘death grip’ that it claims causes all mobile devices, not just the iPhone 4, to lose signal.

Needless to say Apple’s competitors have not taken lightly to this underhand tactic. Following Job’s speech, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsille, co-chief executives of RIM were incensed to say: "Apple's attempt to draw RIM into Apple's self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple's claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation.”

Whilst Samsung and HTC have taken the somewhat higher ground, responding to the Apple claims with a simple brush off and comment about minimal complaints, Nokia heads followed in RIM’s footsteps to Apple’s attempted belittling responding acidly by stating: “We prioritise antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

It is not just the targeted handset manufacturers that have been affected by and responded to Apple’s press conference, however. Network provider and the UK’s largest supplier of iPhone 4 handsets, O2 has also responded negatively to Apple’s free case brush-off to the situation.

Fearing being inundated by consumers searching for their free cases, O2 released a statement asking customers not to harass it in which it said: "Please don't call customer service or visit an O2 shop with questions about the announcement at this time. They will not be able to give you any more info.”

What are your thoughts on the Apple press conference and free cases for all response to the reception problems? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook pages.