Nokia says they prioritize antenna performance over design
Hot on the heels of Steve Jobs’ claims that all (smart)phones are equally affected by reception issues when held in a certain way, Nokia decided to release this statement:
“Antenna design is a complex subject and has been a core competence at Nokia for decades, across hundreds of phone models. Nokia was the pioneer in internal antennas; the Nokia 8810, launched in 1998, was the first commercial phone with this feature.
Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior, including how people hold their phones for calls, music playing, web browsing and so on. As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.
In general, antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held. That’s why Nokia designs our phones to ensure acceptable performance in all real life cases, for example when the phone is held in either hand. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.”
So, “we may not have any drool-worthy UI around here, but hey, at least our phones can actually make calls”.
Did I get that wrong?
You know what, it may be true. I’m not saying that Nokias are the best a signal reception, I honestly don’t know. But it does seem like the kind of company that would, indeed, prioritize antenna performance over anything else. Unlike Apple, who at times seem to prioritize design over everything else.
And this makes sense if you think of these companies’ respective backgrounds.
Well, don’t go as far as Nokia’s rubber boot manufacturing, but still, consider that they’re primarily a phone company. They’ve been making phones for many, many years, and selling them well. Now, back when the iPhone was just a dream in Steve Jobs’ brain, phones were mainly used for, well, phone calls. Which was the number one thing a new model had to get right in order to be successful in those market conditions.
Apple, on the other hand, is a computer company. And, one might argue, a design-driven company (be that actual physical design, or user experience design). So, in a way, it would be odd if they had the same order of priorities as a phone company.
And if you want the best of both worlds, well… you may be out of luck for now.