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Motorola Droid X ad punches iPhone 4 in the antenna

Motorola's full page New York Times ad takes a swift jab into the tenderest regions of iPhone 4 antenna issues.

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.

In our minds (and tweets) it played out like the original Karate Kid, with Droid X getting it's iPhone 4-bloodied nose seen to by the Moto Kai sensei who mercilessly whispers "sweep the leg" "go for the antenna".

Whether or not iPhone-san can pull out an iOS 4.0.1 crane-kick of a software fix and pull a similarly victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat Hollywood ending remains to be seen...

"Send in a bumper case, yeaaaaaaah!"

[@sarahintampa via Android Central]

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

82 Comments
  • Wouldn't the X be more like the Karate Kid, and the iphone be the obnoxious blonde kid who everyone expects to win? I'm just sayin...
  • To-may-to, to-mah-to... :) Well played, Moto.
  • Alli with an I.
  • July 15th is about the right timing in case I need to give the iPhone4 back to ATT !
  • No, iPhone is clearly Daniel-san -- when it first moved to the new neighborhood (smartphones) the locals were mean (dismissed it out of hand -- head of Verizon said he was waiting for Jobs to die). iPhone 2-3 was daniel winning his way through the rounds of the All Valley tournament. Now it's got an injured leg (bad antenna) and the mean old entrenched master (Moto) smells blood.
    Bonzai!
  • I am not having issues with my iPhone 4's antenna...
  • Software issue my a$$. Jobs is full of crap.
  • Haha, you wish, Rene.
    Iphone 4 - Jonny
    Steve Jobs - Kreese
    Android - Underdog Daniel-san (because, well, Android is still the underdog in the overall smartphone market)
    Broken antenna - Result of Kreese's crappy training
  • it looks like a great phone with the better camera and big screen(i don't need a screen that size you need a purse to carry it), but it looks real fragile
  • Read Anandtech's article and you'll see how the software displaying the bars is part of the issue (perception). He didn't drop a conference call or data at -113dbm, that's a GREAT baseband.
  • Of course S.Jobs acting like a douche in emails doesn't make me love Apple, so.
  • Couldn't it be the new Karate Kid too? Just substitute a crane kick for a flip kick and there ya go.
    I missed the original rush for the iPhone4. But if I get one soon, sounds like I'll need to use my focused Chi to hold the phone instead of my hands. Great..
  • iPhone will always be the standard that others follow. The nice thing about this, if you do not like AT&T, you can get a great smart phone on the carrier of your choice You can knock the iPhone, and Apple all you want, and sometimes it is well deserved, but thanks to apple products, the bar was raised.
  • Too bad the droid x is still motorola phone. Had nothing issues with motorola phones
  • well said Glenn
  • Would you expect anything less from a device who's users have the maturity level of a middle-school child? I think not.
  • Wonder how long it will be before Verizon offers buy 1 get 1 free on the Droid X....haha What a joke...iPhone killer... My Ass...
  • If I were Motorola I would play this up big, too. I would come out with a national ad campaign hitting Apple right where it hurts. Of course if Apple really is able to come up with a genuine fix, it could backfire. But what are the chances of that? Apple has done nothing so far but issue 2+2=5 memos and give smug, smartass, blase responses by its CEO in e-mails to users. The silence by Apple is deafening.
  • @Glenn: The bar was raised...as long as you don't hold the iPhone 4 like a phone. If you do, I heard you might actually lose bars.
  • I think my iphone 4 is broken i can't get the bars to go down. Is this a easter egg?
  • Stole the post from Android Central, and painted a fresh coat of Rene over the top of it....
  • The issues are real. How it affects people individually is the key. I can replicate the issue from time to time, but it NEVER affects the reliability of the call.
    Some people generate more static electricity than others, some are naturally more clumsy. So I guess that some humans are more conductive than others.
  • People need to stop flipping about the antenna. I am right-handed and generally hold my phone in my left hand, and I don't have any more of an issue with reception than I did with my 3G or my 3GS. If I'm in a good coverage area (as I usually am), it works fine. If I'm not in a good coverage area, calls may or may not drop, regardless of the hand with which I hold my phone.
  • Still looks like a Franklin Speller & Dictionary. :|
  • I HAVE ONE THING TO SAY: If you dont have a case on your iphone to begin with you dont deserve to even own one...I have a case on mine and i can squeeze it all i want and no dropped calls or data...seriously, people will cry about anything these days...we should be focusing on the worlds problems at hand, we really should all be crying about the oil spilling into our ocean, not apple
  • Funny. I like the analogy. Like most peeps, I'm not worried.
  • Evan, I buy Apple products for the great industrial design, why should I have to cover it up? Isn't that defeating the purpose of buying an iPhone 4? I think we are looking some sort of hardware defect in the face, and I personally would rather see Apple own up and fix it rather than suffer long-term and permanent damage.
  • Guess what iPhone blogs help with?
  • Keep Android users from being bored.
  • @Glen
    Excellent point.
    I've seen the bars drop on my iPhone. However, I have yet to experience it actually result in a dropped call or data connection. I have had a great experience with the iPhone to date. I am sure some will have an equally great experience with the Droid X. To each his own. Each phone will have great features and just further development from all involved. Why this has to lead one manufacturer to bashing another is beyond me.
  • fray dog, drop your beautiful phone on the ground, (see what happens), are you obsessed with showing it off? showing everyone around you what you have? what matters is whats on the inside, it is a computer in your hand, I use the iphone to its full potential and im not obsessed with bragging owning it...this mistake by apple will not hurt them one bit, people are still buying it right? I just hope one day we will not all suffer from cancer in the hand, or worse, head...thats why I use the headphones to chat on the phone always..
    I buy the phone for whats on the inside, just like loving someone for whats on the inside, get it?
  • since it's not out yet I am praying so hard it has the same issues INSTANT FAIL!!! lol
  • @Evan "If you dont have a case on your iphone to begin with you dont deserve to even own one"
    That's about the dumbest thing I've read in these comments in months. Congratulations.
  • America is Full of Dumb People and Zombies.America the Dummy.Being American Su*ks. Steve Jobs said him self that we should use a Bumper.YOU KNOW WHAT STEVE THEY SHOULD BE FOR FREE!!!!!!!
  • Do we know the shortcomings of this device yet? After all, how many units have sold to real world users? Lots of talk from Moto but not a lot of walking the tough talk.
  • Brian- either you have no life and sit home with your phone all day or you have scratches all over your phone, maybe you even carry it in your purse... bottom line is droping it once getting out of your car will permanently damage it... so how am i dumb? accidents happen
  • Maybe its a factory production issue not the design itself cuz sum people have no problems at all & sum do. Jus speculating!
  • Question to everyone...
    Why are apps being updated for iOS4 and not implementing the various multitasking features. Out of all my apps, only three have been updated for multitasking. I keep getting updated apps that only say they are now compatible with iOS4. Is implementing multitasking features not in the SDK because I'm pretty sure it's a simple API. What gives?
  • @AnotherBrian
    Why do Android users come to iPhone blogs? Seriously. I've never been to an Android site. I dont see the point. I mean the clashes on Engadget are expected but that is just a neutral tech blog. Trolling was almost nonexistent here but its slowly spiralling out of control.
  • I haven't dropped a call yet, but I won't be surprised if I do, and I won't blame it on the phone. Before the phone came out, I figured I would end up dropping calls with all the new people joining the network. It will never be perfect, but it's enough to keep me happy.
  • Sometimes when you're on the cutting edge you have to be the first to make mistakes nobody else has encountered. You're welcome Motorola and HTC.
  • @Evan Well for starters, saying someone doesn't deserve to own one under any circumstance is pretty dumb. I think Apple is with me on that one.
    I carried my 3G in my pocket for two years without a case, and the screen has no scratches. The back is worn a little, minor scratches, but that is normal.
    Look, if you want to carry it a case, who cares, do so. But it certainly is not required. And it definitely shouldn't be required to put it in a case/bumper to make the damn thing function properly.
  • @CJ
    'Would you expect anything less from a device who’s users have the maturity level of a middle-school child? I think not.'
    Why the bitterness and mudslinging from the Apple haters all the time? Are you trying to score points - oh, it's a game - I see! Well done you clever boy...
    If you're going to criticise - try not to spell like a middle-school child. 'Who's' is the abbreviated form of 'who is', whereas 'whose' is the possessive form of 'who'. Happy to educate. :)
  • @ brian, i didn't literally mean it but its a disrespectful to carry a product without a case, unless your rich enough not to care...
  • Q: Hello, i want to buy a Smartphone, best Display, many Apps i need.
    A: I have the Iphone 4 for you. Great Retina-Display and over 200k Apps.
    Q: Cool, thx. guess I'll take it. Anything else i need to know?
    A: Hold different, HAHA.
  • I don't care what anyway says because this is hilarious...great ad!
  • Considering that a new Android phone comes out almost every month, I'm guessing this Droid X/2 will have become obsolete before the holiday season.
  • @Josel by that logic the iPhone 4, Palm Pre, Blackberry Storm 3, and Nokia N8 all will be as well. Makes no sense. New phones don't make old ones obsolete. Just add choice.
  • Makes you wonder does apple & others actually do real world testing of the hardware & software. Seems rather inadequate dont u think!
  • @josel you are so right. Buy 1 get 1 free...hahaha
  • Me to my friend...Ey, cool, you have the new iphone4. Wow, crystal clear display. Can i test it ?
    Yes, but i'm awaiting a call so don't hold it like a....gosh..not there...aehmm...just hold different, dude!
    Haha
  • My iPhone does not have a single issue.
  • I am convinced that the iPhone 4 reception issues are NOT a hardware problem, and I think there's enough reported evidence to support this. In alll likelihood, it's entirely software related. I will be shocked if we don't have iOS 4.0.1 by this time next week that completely eliminates the problem.
    Of course, we don't know the exact cause or solution, but I think Apple Insider provided the most likely explanation:
    "The fix is expected to address a issue in iOS 4 related to radio frequency calibration of the baseband. [...] the issue is believed to occur when switching frequencies; because the lag is allegedly not calibrated correctly, it results in the device reporting "no service" rather than switching to the frequency with the best signal to noise ratio."
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/06/25/deathgriphysteriamayendmondaywithios4_01.html
  • Yay ifone isnt king anymore
  • Yea, Verizon really is getting the iPhone....
  • It's a poor sign when a new phone has to rely on putting down the competitor rather than focusing on the strengths of it's own features.
    Anandtech's thorough analysis of the iPhone 4's antenna problem (http://bit.ly/duZNJ3) sheds a lot of light on what is going on too. After reading Anand
    s test results I'm far less worried about it. Mind you I will probably get a bumper case so as to eliminate the problem altogether and to offer the phone some basic damage protection.
  • What a bunch of whiners. It is advertising. You trumpet your own strengths and crow about your own weaknesses. Apple has built entire campaigns around shortcomings in Windows, and has been for at least 18 years.
    But call the waaaahmbulance when somebody does it to the sacred masters in Cupertino!
    Grow up.
  • That's funny. I love my iphone 3g but that is hilarious. I applaud them. Sends a good message to Apple. You know Steve Jobs is sitting at his house right now cursing at his iphone cause he can't make calls on it lol. "Fill that antenna design team spot quick!!!" Hahahaha. I love it.
  • "It’s a poor sign when a new phone has to rely on putting down the competitor rather than focusing on the strengths of it’s own features"
    Are you kidding me? Have you seen any of the Apple vs PC commercials?
  • Who really cares, its a Droid based platform....already is doomed.
  • Evan, I'm sure Jonny Ive slaved away so we could all put the phone in a case. Right... Are we that desperate to defend this, that we put down one part of Apple to defend the other?
  • By the way, Motorola is the one behind this ad, not Verizon. Look at the format of the ad.
  • @Dorito make that 1,699,999 because mine works like a champ, but really it's probable over 2 million by now.
  • Does anyone know how many iPhones were returned since launch? I know.. They sold 1.7 million but after all the problems, did they report on returns? I love mine btw, but that was a very good advertisement on motorola's part.
  • It's tools like Dorito that criticize a phone they do not own. Hey chip, how long until your phone is being sold as a Buy 1, Get 1? You are the same type of D bag that would criticize a car without driving it. ..save your drivel for your "Roid" chat rooms.
  • AHA! I finally found some info from a site that puts this all into laymens terms for the dummies:
    http://www.antennasys.com/antennasys-blog/
  • To those saying they don't think the iPhone 4 drop bars is an issue, listen to Macbreak weekly that came out. Leo does have drop calls and it is an issue for some.
  • Well I absolutely love my iPhone 4!!! There is no other phone that even comes close! But I just made a call yesterday on it on speakerphone and it said it had 4 bars and I was talking for about 15 minutes in the same exact place and all of a sudden the call failed. And it also this past weekend but thought nothing of it! :(
  • If you don't like a bumper you may want to try this if you have reception issues. http://www.iphonesavior.com/2010/06/decal-wraps-add-wafer-thin-color-to-....
  • @Steve Woz
    When I say Droid X/2 will have become obsolete before the holidays, I'm referring about within their platform family. Why would you buy a Droid X/2 when HTC might be cooking a replacement for Nexus 1 by then that could work on both GSM and CDMA.
    Of course at one point newer phones will perhaps trounce the iPHone 4 , but at least within the iPHone family, we pretty much secure for a year.
  • So the iPhone haters descend to a new low - stealing someone else's tag to make their pathetic comments!
  • I think the add is funny and right on track. It is sort of funny the i"phone" or just i since you cant use it as a phone with reception problems. I went to the store and showed even on a demo phone the problem. They just look at me and say what problem. Whats even worse is people here posting that its okay or steve will save the day. Its bad design, and the law suits will prove it out.
    Look at the job posting for apple they are looking for an antenna expert. I wonder why. A little late I would think.
  • Dear Bloging Host: I am still wondering why 'Bob Marley' post is still on this site? It is clearly off task and offensive. Aww Look at me, my name is Rene, I am going to play god and remove only the posts I chose. I love your double standard.
    "30.Rene Ritchie says:
    June 29, 2010 at 11:28 am
    No comments were moderated, however lots of comments get spammed routinely, every day. (Thousands of them, dang bots!). We sometimes offer open chat comments, especially after hard days in Apple lines or software updates. Other times the comments are meant to be of value to the readers by offering more, better, on topic information.
    Anything else, including junk ads, pr0n links, illegal download links, and high volume trolling/hi-jacking gets spammed. (And that usually means the auto-spam filters are more likely to spam all your comments in the future — that’s the equal and opposite part of the personal responsibility physics here).
    Discuss iPhone 4 and the review here, not each other, and do it with respect to the other readers and commenters."
  • A very smart add from the Droid X people. When the iPhone4 is down, you have to kick him! Apple has done the same thing for years. It's funny to see someone else use their own advertising tactics against them for a change.
    @ Rene
    I found Bob Marley's post offensive. His post #19 (this page) is attacking Dorito's "opinion" and is completely uncalled for. It's not Dorito's fault that Apple made a bad product, rushed it to market, and won't address the problems with it.
  • @ Si7verwolf
    Why is there a number in your name? The L key is nowhere close to the 7. Anyway, stealing? Really? That statement wreaks of bitterness. They are merely pointing out the obvious flaws of the "magical" iPhone4. Maybe the ad should have labeled the iP4 as "the smartphone that doesn't make phone calls"?
  • I BEEN AN iPHONE USER FOR A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AND IM NOT GOING TO BS ANYONE WHEN I SAY THAT I LOVED MY iPHONES BUT WITH THIS iPHONE 4 I WILL BE COMPLETELY HONEST, THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING QUICK TO FIX THIS ISSUE AS I USE THIS DEIVCE BOTH FOR BUSINESS AND PERSONAL. I BEEN DROPPING CALLS LEFT AND RIGHT BUT THATS HAPPENED FOR OVER A YEAR LONG BEFORE THE i4 AND ITS BECAUSE OF CRAPPY ATT. THE ISSUE THAT IS REALLY REALLY KICKING ME IN THE ASS IS THE PROXIMITY SENSOR ISSUE! ITS BEEN SOOOOO STRESSFUL HAVING TO DEAL WITH THIS BUT I WONT DEAL WITH IT MUCH LONGER, I MAY BE FORCED TO USE MY 3G|s| AGAIN OR JUMP SHIP AND GET THE DROIDX AND SELL THIS ON EBAY UNLESS THEY FIX IT QUICK! AGAIN, THIS IS COMING FROM A DIE HARD APPLE USER...I SPEAK THE TRUTH...
  • @Dorito
    i agree...u have to kick them while they are still down...its all in the business...hopefully apple can counter attack this soon but they better fix these issues 1st
  • Notice that the only people that say this is being blown out of proportion are the iPhone 4 owners that don't happen to have the problem? What about the ones that ARE having a problem? Do you think they think it's being blown out of proportion?
    My advice to the people with no reception issue is this... Watch very closely how Apple handles this issue with it's customers who are affected by this. Soon there may be a another release in which YOU may be affected. The way they are treated by Apple today will be how YOU are treated by them in the future...
    I mean no disrespect...
  • Dorito is upset WAAAAAAAAA! And no, my post has not bee removed. Point is, SCOREBOARD. The problem with you is you continue to go on and on, but in the end you have said nothing. You are boring. The only thing that is offensive is I wasted 20 seconds of my life that I can't get back reading one of your posts! Hey Chip, it's time to go away!
  • Smartphone Antenna Performance - Motorola Droid X
    Droid has it also, So Motorola just got their Butts handed to them and now they are in the fire.
    Proof of DroidX Antenna Issues and death grip.
    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJG7pbSRvJ8&feature=player_embedded
    So Much for the so called Punch, Apple just handed Motorola DroidX a KnockOut and has proven Motorola should keep their mouth shut. DroidX Also has the same Problem.
    Don't throw Stones in glasses houses motorola, You just shattered your Attack against Apple and proven your Lies.
  • Doubtful. That ad is old. Know how you can tell?
    "Coming July 15". I think that's already over. So the ad is old. So I highly doubt Apple is responding to an old ad.
  • Any Droid phone is already light-years ahead of the closed, Apple iPhone that is already on the nations worst network anyway. Screw the elite that buy a defective device just because it's popular. Hope you enjoy those square icons for life, apple fan-boys. LOL