Apple adds Nokia N97 mini video to death-grip series

Nokia N97 attenuation

Apple has added the Nokia N97 mini to their (growing?) list of smartphones that suffer from the now-infamous "antennagate" death-grip. Here we see the N97 dropping from 7 to 3 bars.

Of course, iPhone 4 doesn't suffer from death-grip but death-touch, a single point of attenuation on the bottom left side. Apple made a trade-off for better overall reception and increased battery size at the expense of that single point of death-touch in low signal areas, but has since attempted to draw attention to the greater, industry-wide death-grip. (Though there's at least one video out, not from Apple, showing the new Samsung Galaxy S succumbing to a death-finger all its own.)

Meanwhile, David Chartier has started Don't Hold it Wrong, a log of similar videos as well as manuals where manufacturers point out attenuation areas on many different phones.

It's not surprising the whole "antennagate" hasn't faded away yet. It is a little surprising Apple's still adding to the attention. Video after the break.

Update: as commenters rightly point out, Apple didn't originally include Nokia on their antenna page but Nokia saw fit to make a statement about it, so now the collection has been rounded out.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

MobileMe Calendar Beta upgrades being offered via iCal

Next up →

TiPb free iPhone 4 bumper case give away! [Over]

Reader comments

Apple adds Nokia N97 mini video to death-grip series


"Of course, iPhone 4 doesn’t suffer from death-grip but death-touch, a single point of attenuation on the bottom left side."
Of course this is Not true for all iphone4s, I have no "single point of attenuation on the bottom left side" and I've read many others who also don't.

right..... 0.5% out of 3 000 000 IP4 sold says enough for me! thank you apple for the numbers, i will still be purchasing my IP4 july 30th. this issue was completely overblown by the blogs/media, whats new! its a price to pay for being on top!

Wow, How ridiculous and childish. Apple, YOU released the phone with the faulty antenna system. YOU ignored the issue, and shipped the phone ANYWAY. You held that bogus press conference which had the subtext of "If you DO NOT like the iPhone 4, then don't buy it, or return it." It amazes me how you FAIL to care about this issue. I am one of the people that suffers from one of YOUR affected units. I used to LOVE my 3GS and was in line for FOUR hours on launch day waiting for your product. I'm amazed that you aren't recalling the phone when it is CLEARLY a hardware problem. HAD it been a software issue, I'm SURE you would have fixed it by now. But no, it's definitely the hardware and instead of fixing the problem, you pussy foot around the real problem and offer your LOYAL customers, a free bumber. What the fck is wrong with you? Jobs, you are a greedy old man that needs to retire. Clearly you have lost the passion for your job. Stop trying to transfer blame to other companies. You are the one that fcked up and if you spent as much time uploading smack videos on youtube, you could fix your crappy hardware. It is insane that my 3GS had FULL bars and NEVER dropped a call in the same exact spot my iphone 4 has ONE bar and drops the call with in the first minute.
I'm getting a bold or the captivate. I won't be back. Screw your thoughts on flash, your crappy iphone 4 hardware, and your lack of respect to YOUR MOST LOYAL customers!
BTW in case you haven't guessed, your LOYAL customers are the ones that waited in line on launch day, for 4+ hours to get your sh**ty hardware, and then you screw them by not fixing the device.

What is your problem dude. It's not the end of the world. Return it, My goodness.
As for me, I have a case on mine, so I don't have this "Death Grip" issue. Even when I didn't have a case, all I did was move my finger a 1/2 inch to avoid touching the antenna.

You're obviously NOT a loyal customer. The only childish action here is YOUR rant. If your phone doesn't work well, you have 3 options: 1) exchange it, 2) return it, or 3) put a case on it.
You act like Steve Job personally killed a member of your family. It's just a phone.
So sick of these rants.....

All I can say to apple is, enough is enough. I could personally care less if samsung, htc, bb or any other phone has antenna issues bc I don't own those handsets but I do own an ip4. So please stop kicking rocks and move the treachous seam to an unlikely spot to be touched, LIKE THE BOTTOM of the phone.

@ezekiel I don't "death grip" my phone, I hold it normally like I held the 3gs, with my hand mostly on the back of the phone. And your right it isn't the end of the world, but I am use to apple treating me better. When I had issues with my macbook, they took it and fixed it without queston. I used to have that type of service with my 3gs, I don't know why they turned on that principle with this phone and instead of fixing the device, transfer blame.

@Andrew... okay? Return it, get a captive, which has the same issue, and be done.. your rants online fix nothing.....

So u must hav seen that antenna video right?
So if u don't like it return to the apple store or exchange for a new one and let someone else buy it, at least they don't have to wait.
My personal experience is I have around 5 friends who have purchased the iPhone 4 n none of them had the problem. So, it must be tht u r goin wth the media hype. If not return ur phone.

What would have have Apple do to "fix" your device? For the first few days I had my iPhone 4 I got great reception and could only cause a problem (which was only data related) by putting my finger over the antenna seam. Once I put my Bumper on (I have 3 other cases on order), the phone performs just as well, if not better than the 3GS and certainly better than the 3G I had prior to that.
If the solution is not good enough for you (free bumper or other case), then turn in your phone and get what makes you happy. For every 1 rant like yours screaming bloody murder, there are probably 2,3,4,5,6...etc times more people that are happy with the iPhone 4. As a matter of fact, in NYC I have seen just as many naked iPhone 4's as one's with cases/bumpers. That means that those for WORK FINE! So, if those phones WORK FINE, then maybe, just maybe, you should walk into the same Apple store that fixed your Macbook and exchange your "defective" phone. If it still doesn't work after that then even I would say Hasta LaVista Baby.
Sounds like a plan?

So instead of fixing THEIR problem and faulty design, they waste time trying to simulate the problem in other phones who's manufacturers actually spent the design time to make sure that said "death grip" would only be able to happen when holding their phones in unnatural positions.
And from what I've heard this design has managed to catch them up to what other smartphones were already able to get for reception, not really much of an "innovation" unless the definition of innovation has changed.

Don't know why so many people come on here and winge about the iPhone 4 like @JNGold said you have the option to return it or exchange it. I've had the phone for a week or so now and haven't had the problem, I've put a cover on it just to stop it getting damaged.
It's a phone, not a failed cure for cancer, if it doesn't work for you return it for something else. If you keep it and then spend your time whining then obviously you got the phone as a status symbol instead of a useable piece of technology.

The last time I looked, Apple was a multi-billion dollar company with MANY different departments. In Corporate America, these departments have different responsibilities. If you didn't know, some of those departments are R&D, Public Relations, Human Resources, Application Development, and Marketing (just to name a few). So, as a citizen of Apple, you know that they are "wasting time"? Really? How do you know that they are wasting time? Did you not see the recent job postings for RF engineers? You don't think that Apple's current batch of engineers are working to improve the issue. Here's a little hint: THEY ARE. Know why? Apple wants to succeed. If they succeed, they make MONEY. And if they make MONEY, that makes the shareholders happy.
So is the WHOLE company sitting out there taking video of other smartphones? I would bet you dollars-for-donuts that they aren't. The eggheads are working to fix or improve the issue and the marketing folks are "busy" with the stuff that you see.

Why are people getting so angry? EVERY new bit of hardware or software has at least one problem when it first comes out. Nothing is perfect. Why take it so seriously?

ugg..ok apple we get it. other phones have it too. enough.
in all honesty im just tired of the whole antennagate, deathgrip, whatever you wanna call it issue. i cant wait for it to be old news.

My 3GS worked Great Ever Since The 4.1 update it's always on 1 Bar Or 0 Bars and I live in a strong AT&T Area. A AT&T store is like 5 Houses Away From Me. And my whole Family Has AT&T phones and are always on 5Bars. I think this update Was a trick to put the blame on att!!!!!!!

Common, Apple. What's wrong with you? I thought you did it ok when you finally came out and admitted the antenna issue and we are fine with the free bumpers. Why keep pointing fingers at others?
If you keep doing this, why don't you tell us one more thing? Tell us if your old iPhone 3G and 3GS have the same death-grip problem or not? If they do, then we will accept as a fact that this is an industry-wide problem. If they don't, then you did know how to make a phone with the right reception design, didn't you?
Please stop pointing fingers at others.

Rene: the Nokia video has been posted because Nokia decided to issue a statement a few days ago stating their phones had no reception problems. Apple obviously felt if Nokia wanted to join the party uninvited, they would post the missing invitation that the other major manufacturers got last week. In other words, poke Apple in the eye at your peril.
As for '“antennagate” hasn’t faded away yet', I would disagree. Looking through the mainstream media (not the blogs where this has become an easy end to a paycheque), there is scant mention of the problem aside from reports on competitors' denials. In fact the story is fading in the manner of any major news story with just the scraps left behind as the bandwagon leaves town.

There are many variables in the mobile game. If you are Nokia you are the big fish in the pond. But the carriers call shots too.
Example: In 2006 Softbank(only Iphone carrier in Japan) mobile bought Vodafone Japan.
Previously Vodafone Japan sold some N-Series Nokia mobiles here. No problems except Vodafone Japan forced Nokia to lock the phones,offer no software updates, cripple the music/video player so you had to download music,etc from Vodafone Live to use your "smartphone". I plan to buy and Iphone 4 because it just works.
Chill and put on that old Beatles song, "Let It Be".

Lol why are you people freaking out. There(apple)is just trying to state that this is not just a apple problem but a industry problem. Has been since they but the antenna where you hold the phone. At the bottom of the phone. Of course it's going to lose reception. And for the people crying and whining that their iPhone is still having problems. Bring it back. No big deal. Lol this is way way way overblown. Seriously enough. Was there is much focus on all the android phones that came out with problems. Nope. Amazing.

Also for those looking for a new android phones check out the new droid x. Lol battery drain and blue bars and flickering screens. But you will not hear about that on the news or all over the web. Nope there perfect. Btw I would like to thank those who made a federal case out of the antenna on my iPhone 4. Even though I was not one of the people with the problem I get another case for notta. Awesome fabulous great.

yea no doubt. heard about the screen thing with droid x..we iphone 4 users may not be able to hold are phones in a certain way but at least we can see our screens

You don't hear about the Motor problem because they owned up to it, explained the percentage affected and talked about the solution/fix for users affected. In other words they handled it professionaly from the start instead of telling users to just not look at the screen. Take a moment to swallow all that Steve spunk.

Well at least the iPhone 4 has a lovey display. That's more than I can say about these "other" phones:
Verizon Wireless and Motorola are aware of a DROID X units that have experienced a flickering or banding display. Motorola is continuing to ship the phones. Any consumer who experiences a flickering or banding display should contact a Motorola customer support center or Verizon Wireless.

I for obe do not care one bit about those other phone. I only care how the i4 works we did not buy bolds and droids here we have i4s if we are gonna talk about antennas let's talk about our own.

I think the big issue here is that apple first lied about the problem and tried to cover it up. Then when they finally admit it like a child pointed a finger and said "he did it too". I tried my friends bberry its bogus this grip issue is fake on other phones. Its to push the attention off of them. Of course big apple nuts will believe anything apple says. I have tried it on my friends iphone 4 and the bars drop.
Apple should take the blame and thats it. This passing the buck proves just how little they care about the customers, and dishonest they are. They dont back there products till they get backed into a corner, and even then no integrity.

You remind me of my whiney little nephew.
Return or exchange it and suck on a lollipop, you'll feel better!
Sent from my iPhone 4 - held the right way!

Nokia jumped in and took a shot at Apple. They saw a chance to promote themselves in the face of impact from newer phones with awesome operating systems and took it. They made a global statement about how much better their phone reception is. They rooks a risk. Apple's video was simply a reply that called them out and that said, "nice try but you have the issue too." Not childish... Tactically brilliant.

Apple is pathetic, they show no sign of wanting to improve their faulty device. Instead the choose to attack every other major phone manufacturer.
Who knows what they do to the phone to make it look like that. I´m amazed how blindly people believe in what they see on a video that's made by the same company that's trying to convince you that their "top product" isn't flawed. It's like watching a video of Iran telling you that they really have no nuclear program and they don't want to produce nuclear weapons.
Unbelievable how people can be so short-sighted.

Wow, Renee is the un-appointed pathetic spin master for apple. This is really starting to look pretty pathetic. The whole buck passing thing is just sad. Once again, rather than apple itself resolve the issue, it just dirties the water. Good ol American business hu. Did anyone see the Jay Leno show with the mocked inception movie poster with Steve jobs titled reception?

Apple does not make products it makes merchant mercenaries, these rabid little platform eradication verbalist, who slander even those who have a legitimate problem with the same product they own. These feeble minded vocal chainsaws brainwashed to cut down the forrest of choices until only one fruit tree remains, are sickening and poising the life sustaining water we all drink. With Sargent jobs leading the way, pointing out flaws in other products that have a higher success rate of their primary task (MAKING CALLS) leading the unsuspecting customer into his 3.25 billion dollar piggybank, with what can be described as elegant dogpoo if it does not work, while fire booming the mobile industry. If it does not serve it's primary function don't buy it says this independent consumer.

When I watched the press release for Apple last Friday, I didn't think he was trying to say other phones suck he was just saying it's a cell phone problem that plagues the industry, but the iPhone just has a more sensitive spot. Everyone reads it they way they want to read it, if you have a faulty phone it pis**** you off, if you are a Android fan you just try to push iPhone 4 users buttons so they may switch and make your choice feels so much better for yourself. I for one have a iPhone 4 that I can't even make a bar drop and has better reception than my 3GS had. I actually went to Hollister in the Mall yesterday and got 3g reception, never before on my 3GS. It's called my surfing time while kids and wife shop and it sucked with my 3GS.
I know others have problems so you have a few choices, try to swap the unit for a different one, get a free case, put a skin on the sides of the phone that you can't even notice or return it. I know the last one would be my last choice because there are good experiences out there.

LOL at Andrew and all the other Trolls/haters going apoplectic over this! It is so hilarious and sad that a Company and it's wonderful product sends you into such fits of rage. AWESOME.
Your life must really suck. iPhone 4 would make it so much better.
Whoever the idiot at Nokia was who decided to jump in on this uninvited...OUCH! you just got a big dose of Apple Smack-down. Does the point of Steve's toe feel good up your azz today? Dummies.

You are quite the full one aren’t you? Haha! Blind leading the blind. Love it.
I get no rise in blood pressure, I actually get a kick how naive and gullible people tend to be.

Bill you can't be gullible when your phone works perfect, people may be mad at there situation but not everyone has the same issues as the media has made it out to be.
And if Nokia did comment and they weren't mentioned they asked for it, Steve at the press conference was just showing it's a industry problem of antenna issues, is Apples worse? Yes but there not doing a recall because it doesn't have a bad effect on a big percentage of users. Does it drop bars on a lot? Yes but if it's not dropping calls then it's acting like other phones that have antenna coverage issues. I'm not saying some don't have dropped calls but it's not the main percentage of users.

Apple fanboys will never understand that they've been brainwashed again. They won't see that apple tried to hide, lie, and shift the blame to other companies. Don't bother trying to prove a point. Stubborn is as stubborn gets.

Are you REALLY serious??? ....This is becoming increasingly pathetic by the minute....

Apple really needs to stop this, the whole mentality behind "Ohh I know I got in trouble but look they did it too" is ridiculous.

I'm disgusted by a company who tried to create the conversation for their mindshare thieving loyalist, and less allows consumers to do true product comparisons. For those who follow the apple provided evidence citing their one sided claims to coax the loyalist's sphere of influence, into an iDrone experience, give your friends and the general public a half indulged fruit free honest opinion .

I can see your point, being it does not directly affect you. But for the individuals it has affected and to how apple has chosen to handle the issue is just wrong.
In my area, my ip4 dropped calls constantly. I would average about 5-10 dropped calls per day. I returned my ip4 and now have a Samsung Captivate and have yet to drop a single call.
Again I see your point, but just because certain individuals do not have the problem and to act as if there is no issue or to be told by the manufacturer you are holding the phone wrong is just flat out denial. I am sorry but there really is no other way to put it.


"I’m disgusted by a company who tried to create the conversation for their mindshare thieving loyalist, and less allows consumers to do true product comparisons."

No. You're disgusted that users are happy with their iPhone 4s, and that you didn't get your wish of Apple receiving any backlash, or suffering, from this. You're disgusted that Apple even HAS loyalists. It's called self-destructive behavior. :roll:

Again people even if the bar drop on these phone they still work...the iphone 4 does not. Everyone is looking at bars and Apple keeps selling defective phones that don't work without an ugly case.
Old magician's trick.

Fast lane
You admit that owning a iPhone 4 leads to self destructive behavior, interesting? Loyalist are not of my concern, loyalist allow apple to make some stunning products I will concede that as an iPhone owner and am impressed. What pelages my mind is when a defect is detected and apple keeps fueling the fauder after they admit that they have a defect to deflect the publics peception of the product. Apple has put itself as the watchdog of signal attenuation, and maintains it's pointless finger waving, pointing out flaws in other products. It is perceived as a lack of attentiveness akin to a coconspirator to a crime acusing his comrades of their faulty planning, when apple is the leader or mastermind behind the industry. Defending the applites puts the loyalist in

A preconcevied notion of supioriority when the phone is only superior in some specific ways.
In my feild if expertise when you use the word love over and over again the logical definition of that word become confusing, and allows ....
Attenuation of the perception of what the intended meaning of the word, deliberately used to confuse. I saw that at the keynote and I am now writing off the marketing of the what could be astounding products.


"You admit that owning a iPhone 4 leads to self destructive behavior, interesting? Loyalist are not of my concern, loyalist allow apple blah, blah, blah..."

Yeah... in other words, you refuse to just keep your finger out of the way. :roll:

Since the "death grip" issue exists on ALL devices then let's see the videos of the iPhone 3G and 3GS death grips as well as iPhone 4 death grips AFTER putting the bumper on since the iPhone 4's death "touch" is not the same as the death "grip" they claim all other phones suffer from.

@Bill there is no way to win this argument about what is going on, because blogs and forums will never show the true numbers. The only thing that people see is if they're having the problem or if they're not and that drives what is being said by each person (bad or good). Everyone here has there opinion and I can only express mine which I believe there are thousands with the problem but millions that don't have the problem. I am talking dropped call not dropped bars, I tend to believe it's area specific or bad phones. The reason I have a hard time with area specific is because I have better reception at places my 3GS wouldn't get reception and I have traveled with my iPhone 4 and experienced no problems.
After anyone reads this they will still believe what there phone is driving them to believe.

I don't care about any of that. I love my iPhone 4 and I don't have reception issues. I am not a fanboy either. The iPhone is the only apple product that I have ever owned. But the iPhone 4 has always worked for me. I absolutely love it. To get the things you want you have to give up a little bit sometimes. For instance if you buy a cheap car it's not going to be reliable or fast. If you buy a fast car it's not gonna be reliable and cheap. And if you buy a reliable car it won't be fast or cheap either. But sticking to the subject if nokia put themselves in that position screaming "look at us we don't have any antenna issues" then don't be mad when you get called out.

lol ya know whats funny about fandroids. I went on android central to read something real quick and scrolled through the comments. These morons troll there own web blog lol funny funny

I have SO many dropped calls with this iphone 4 it's not even funny... The phone as a phone is toast... thing is that I can see so much clearer what I read on it, that I don't dare go back to the 3gs. That is it... If i had the display on the 3gs I would go back in a heart beat. Now that would be an interesting project... Install the retina display onto a 3gs.

Bulls^%t!!! Ive been using my N97 mini since i came out and i never had a signal problem. I never had a dropped call, bar loss or any of the symtoms seen in the Iphone. This is coming from a guy on the T-mobile network.
Apple = Fail!

I just study through the entire article of yours and it was rather fantastic. This can be a fantastic post many thanks for sharing this informative details. I will visit your website regularly for some latest post.