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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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