Oh boy. We'd actually passed over reports that the HTC HD7 suffers from a "death grip" issue this past week, since we think it's been well-proven that you can get almost any phone to drop some signal if you hold it exactly right, but apparently the furor's gotten loud enough to merit an official HTC response. Here's the statement, sent to Computer Weekly:
Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC. To ensure the best possible signal strength, antennas are placed in the area least likely to be covered by a person's face or hands while the phone is in use. However, it is inevitable that a phone's signal strength will weaken a little when covered in its entirety by a user's palm or fingers. We test all of our phones extensively and are confident that under normal circumstances reception strength and performance will be more than sufficient for the operation of the phone when network coverage is also adequate.
Yes, that sounds almost exactly like what Apple said during its iPhone 4 Antennagate press conference, but that makes sense -- we wouldn't honestly expect HTC to say anything else, even though John Gruber points out that the company told the Wall Street Journal that Apple's reception problems were "certainly not common" in July. But we do find it extremely interesting that the HD7 is clearly based on the HTC HD2, a handset which came out over a year ago and suffered from reports of similar reception issues. (In fact, a post at xda-developers in June noted that the HD2 has the same death grip issue as the iPhone 4.) Whatever the case, much of the problem seems to stem from the fact that the HD2 / HD7 antenna is located at the bottom of the phone where it's most likely to be covered by a user's hand, so it looks like the ultimate answer for HD7 owners is a familiar one: you're holding it wrong. Video after the break.