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Vendors Capitalize On iPhone 4 Reception Woes

7/19/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern
NEW YORK — At least two accessories makers and one handset vendor have begun to capitalize on the controversy over the iPhone 4’s cellular reception.

In a recent print ad for the Droid X in the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal, Motorola said its Droid X “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.” The Droid X became available July 15 through Verizon Wireless.

Meantime, accessory suppl ier IvySkin is touting an iPhone 4 case said to improve reception. IvySkin’s aptly named Reception case, a new product at $14.99, is billed not only as the world’s thinnest iPhone 4 case but also as one that improves iPhone reception. For its part, Wilson Electronics is promoting its existing iBooster ($200) and Sleek ($129) in-vehicle signal-boosting cradles as being able to improve reception as well. A spokesman told TWICE that the products’ packaging would soon reflect that it works well with the iPhone 4.

Apple’s own case, the $29 Bumper, was tested by Consumer Reports and said by the organization to solve the smartphone’s reception problem.

Whether Apple will resolve its perception problem, and maintain its iPhone 4 sales momentum, is another matter. The company planned a Friday, July 16, press conference to respond to the controversy. A day before the press conference, Strategy Analytics analyst Alex Spektor said the controversy’s impact on Apple’s market share had so far been “negligible,” although the company “has lost heartshare because of the wave of negative press headlines.”

Apple’s pre-press-conference “attempts to recover the situation have been disappointing,” he said, “and it is reasonable to assume that some on-thefence buyers may think twice about buying an iPhone 4 in the near future, especially considering the Android-powered alternatives available this summer.”

Apple’s press conference performance, however, “may put it all in a different light.”
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