Earlier today, Apple had a press conference regarding the antenna issue with the iPhone 4 which they initially claimed was a software issue with “calculating the signal strength”. Well now we have official word from Steve Jobs at Apple and they have decided to offer a choice of free bumpers or cases (so basically cover up the metal which some people might want to keep uncovered), or if you don’t want one you can get a refund if within 30 day’s.

The free case/bumper offer is only available if you purchase your iPhone 4 before 30th September, at which point they will “review” the issue, and think about continuing, which just makes me think that they are not even thinking about correcting the iPhone 4 issue!

Apply try to point out similar issues with other phones, but I bet the effect on them is now as bad as they claim, but rather just an attempt to cover up their mistake.

You also get a nice figure of “HARD FACT” which he keeps going on about, and that is, “only” 0.55% of calls to Apple care, about the iPhone 4 are about this issue. Steve Jobs seems to not take several things into consideration, if only 10% of all buyers called Apple Care, and of them only 0.55% of people have the issue, that’s still 1650 people with the issue, BUT it’s probably more, because of all the News coverage, I wouldn’t be surprised if a LOT of people didn’t bother calling Apple Care because they were waiting for Apple to respond, as they had heard the stories from hundreds of people, and know that they would just the same response! And also add to that the people who asked their networks or the staff in the Apple shops instead of calling or even the people that couldn’t get through to Apple Care because of all the calls!

You can see the official dedicated page at: http://www.apple.com/antenna/

The video of the press conference is available here: http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/100716iab73asc/event/index.html

In response to this press conference, Nokia also have their say:

“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.”

UPDATE: RIM also have their 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.

RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage.

One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.

A ‘few’ of the slides can be seen below: